Why SumaGrow®? Because good stewardship is not just about the responsible planning and management of Earth’s limited resources for the Earth’s sake. It’s about us. It’s about our friends and family and people around the world we don’t know. It’s about meeting our basic needs to eat nutritious foods, drink clean, fresh water and fill our lungs with life-giving oxygen. We believe in reaping abundant harvests today using forward thinking farming practices that do no harm to generations to come.
SumaGrow® is an award-winning combination of carefully selected microorganisms proven to promote rich, fertile soil and work with the plant to supply the nutrients it needs when it needs them.
Products containing SumaGrow® support farmers in three important ways:
- They are profitable: Farming must remain profitable to ensure the future of agricultural production and our global food security. SumaGrow® supports producers by maximizing crop production and reducing fertilizer applications by a minimum of 50 percent in most cases.
- They are accessibleand meet the producers' immediate needs:
- Crop Specific. Products containing SumaGrow® are offered in a variety of crop specific formulations including forage, food plots and golf. The agriculture formula supports the greatest variety of crops.
- Cost Effective and Convenient to purchase. The cost of products containing SumaGrow® are well within or below industry standards. Plus, the added benefit of reducing fertilizer increases profits for the producer as well. Products may be purchased online, through local distributors or retail stores (where available).
- Easy Application and Storage. Products come in a liquid form and may be used in conjunction with most other agricultural inputs. Products may be applied in single or multiple applications. Products do not have to be refrigerated as most competing biologicals demand. Simply store in a shaded area between 40-80 degrees to get the best product performance.
- They support agricultural conservation: We are dedicated to building and supporting our farmers’ most valuable resource- the soil. Products containing SumaGrow®support reasonable and responsible land management and agricultural conservation in several ways:
- Our products reduce soil erosion and vital topsoil runoff. By increasing the soil’s organic matter and reducing soil compaction, products containing SumaGrow increase the water holding capacity of the soil. This means less water remains on the surface to wash away soil and applied nutrients into nearby waterways and groundwater. This means the soil holds on to more water and nutrients for plant development.
- Products containing SumaGrow® reduce and even eliminate fertilizer applications. This improves the health of the soil and decreases the damaging runoff of nitrates into waterways and groundwater.
- SumaGrow® is all natural, organically based, and contains no genetically modified organisms. Additionally, Bio Soil Enhancers manufactures OMRI Listed products to meet the needs of organic producers.
- Products containing SumaGrow® help:
- Decrease input costs by reducing the amount of chemical fertilizer needed.
- Improve water efficiency and moisture holding capacity for decreased watering needs.
- Improve animal performance.
- Increase the nutritional benefits of plants and forages.
- Grow healthier, hardier plants more resistant to environmental stresses like transplant, extreme temperatures, and drought.
- Improve soil fertility and tilth.
- Increase the plant's absorption of fertilizer inputs.
- Help balance soil pH thereby making nutrients more available to the plants.
The most significant benefit of co-branded products that contain the technology of SumaGrow® is the yield increase. These yield increases are achieved cost effectively as products containing SumaGrow® cost less than the fertilizer and other inputs they replace in most cases.
How does it work?
Soil that is balanced and maintains a strong, viable community of soil microorganisms will grow higher yielding and healthier plants, even under stressful environmental conditions. Adding products containing SumaGrow® to your nutrient program inoculates the soil with these vital microorganisms that break down and capture bound, atmospheric and applied nutrients, hold water, and help balance the soil’s nutrients.
The technology of SumaGrow® was developed to help plants achieve their maximum potential, even in less than desirable conditions, like transplant, extreme temperatures and drought.
The following results reflect the ability of products containing the technology of SumaGrow® to maximize yields for the producer.
The following is a representative sampling of results:
Alfalfa – Michigan State University – One gallon and 1.5 gallons of a product containing SumaGrow® were compared to a control field resulting in yield increases of 29 percent and 33 percent, and a profit advantage of $58 and $62 per acre. read more
Cattle Weight Gain – Murray State University (Kentucky) – cattle gain of 40.5 extra pounds during a 150 day grazing season; higher compared to grower standard fertilized pastures; also higher Animal Unit Months (AUM) and Return on Investment (ROI) read more
Corn – Arise Research & Discovery, Illinois – corn yield increased 19 percent, with a 50 percent reduction in fertilizer, compared to grower standard of 100 percent fertilizer read more
Forage Grass – Tellus Consulting, Virginia – higher yield (36 percent), more nutrients (crude protein and digestible protein), improved soil (higher calcium, phosphorous, potassium and magnesium), greater weight gain (extra 2/10 of a pound per day) and lower cost than grower standard fertilized fields read more
Golf Courses – Turfgrass Disease Solutions, Pennsylvania – golf course turf was comparable in quality and color using ReeCourse Golf (SumaGrow® inside) and 20 percent fertilizer (80 percent reduction) compared to 100 percent fertilizer, and color was better with solely ReeCourse
Soybeans – Illinois Soybean Association Yield Challenge – won first place in District 9 (only district entered)
Strawberries – Holden Research, California – increased the net profit by $1185 per acre with a 20 percent reduction in fertilizer compared to grower standard
Tea – Nanjing Forestry University, China – “… all parameters related to plant growth vigor increased by more than 25 percent as compared with those of untreated tea trees' and the product “produces positive effect on the soil.”
While it may seem counterintuitive to reduce fertilizer usage to increase yields, a significant reduction of fertilizer is necessary to obtain the highest yield increases when using products containing the technology of SumaGrow®.
The microorganisms in co-branded products containing SumaGrow® contain beneficial microorganisms specifically selected because they work within the soil and the root of the plant to capture existing and applied nutrients, unlock bound soil nutrients and convert nitrogen from the air into a form plants can utilize. Because of the microorganisms’ ability to efficiently utilize their resources, a reduction in applied nutrients is critical.
For example, let’s say that 300 pounds per acre of NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium) were the normal application rate for a crop. If an additional 300 pounds per acre were added, the yield would likely decrease and the crop might be severely damaged. Because products containing SumaGrow® improve the efficiency of the applied nutrients, your crop only needs half (on average) or, in this example, 150 pounds per acre of applied nutrients. Using 300 pounds of NPK (the full treatment) could actually reduce the crop yield.
There are several controlled studies which have been performed which show the negative effects of full fertilizer and the addition of SumaGrow® products.
Mississippi State University conducted controlled field trials on cilantro and tomatoes in Crystal Springs, MS. The table below shows the response of cilantro shoot yields comparing 50 percent conventional and 100 percent conventional fertilizer rates (growers standard), with the addition to both of a SumaGrow® product application at the rate equivalent to one gallon per acre.
The addition of SumaGrow® to the full fertilizer treatment showed an increase of only 7.5 percent (2.58 vs. 2.40) while the addition of SumaGrow® to the half fertilizer treatment (50 percent reduction) showed an increase in yield of 19.2 percent (2.98 vs. 2.50); as fertilizer was reduced the yield went up.
In tomatoes, the results were even more striking, as the tomato yield with 100 percent fertilizer and SumaGrow® product was actually lower than the yield with just 100 percent fertilizer. The table above shows the total number and weight of tomatoes comparing 50 percent conventional and 100 percent conventional nitrogen fertilizer rates, with the addition to both of a product containing SumaGrow at the equivalent rate of one gallon per acre.
The addition of SumaGrow® product to the full fertilizer treatment showed a decrease of 1.9 percent (72.7 vs. 71.3) in weight while the addition of a SumaGrow® product to the reduced fertilizer treatment showed an increase in yield of 15.1 percent (83.0 vs. 72.1); as fertilizer was reduced the yield increased.
Barenbrug’s U.S. subsidiary, Tecomate performed tests for hunters’ food plots to determine whether SumaGrow® increased the protein levels of forages. Higher protein levels are a contributing factor for larger antlers in deer.
Two different hunter food plot seed mixtures- Tecomate Monster Mix and Tecomate Max-Attract 50/50- were tested to determine both the protein percentage and yield. According to data points – 300 pounds per acre of triple 13 NPK fertilizer (a typical full fertilizer treatment) versus 300 pounds and the addition of one gallon per acre of a SumaGrow® product showed the yield actually decreasing, although, protein levels still went up with the addition of a SumaGrow® product.
When the traditional fertilizer treatment was reduced (200 lbs, 100lbs and zero) and a SumaGrow® product was added at the rate of one gallon per acre, yields increased. Protein levels continued to increase as the fertilizer was reduced. For the Monster Mix, the highest yield was obtained with a 33 percent reduction in fertilizer, or 200 pounds of triple 13 NPK per acre with the addition of a SumaGrow® product, and for the Max Attract 50/50, the highest yield was obtained with a 67 percent reduction in fertilizer, or 100 pounds of triple 13 NPK per acre and the addition of a SumaGrow® product.
There are other crops where fertilizer can be reduced even more than 50 percent. In many grass/turf applications – forage grass, grass hay and ornamental turf (including specialty applications such as golf courses) – fertilizer rates have been reduced 80-100 percent for tens of thousands of applications, often with better results than 100 percent fertilizer. Additionally, organic growers use products containing SumaGrow® as well as end users in many foreign countries without the addition of any petrochemical fertilizer. Notably, this includes China and India where testing has been performed without fertilizer and achieved significantly positive results.
SumaGrow® containing products have demonstrated the ability to increase the water holding capacity of the soil and improve water efficiency of crops. To be clear, plants grown with products containing SumaGrow® still need the same amount of water to grow; however, the water efficiency is increased sufficiently to allow crops to grow with less rain or irrigation water.
How? There are several modes of action which create better water efficiency – reduced compaction and control/reduction of salinity.
Notice the difference in the photo below of the water holding capacity of the soil in the fields treated with a product containing SumaGrow® versus the untreated fields.
Reduce Soil Compaction
The ability of soil to hold water is related to the amount of compaction of the soil – high compaction equals reduced water holding capacity. Soil compaction can easily reduce crop yields by 10 percent, and can lead to water and soil quality degradation due to increased runoff and the destruction of the soil structure. Products containing SumaGrow® alleviate this condition by reducing the compaction.
One way of measuring compaction is by using a penetrometer. Imagine a giant needle inserted into the ground. The penetrometer is designed to mimic a plant root. Root penetration decreases linearly with penetration resistance, until almost no roots penetrate into soil with a penetration resistance of 300 psi (pounds per square inch).
For example, a typical truck farm vegetable may reach a penetration resistance of 300 psi at 5-6 inches in untreated soil while the same vegetable growing in soil treated with a product containing SumaGrow® may reach a penetration resistance of 300 psi at 10-12 inches deep.
Consider the results from Holden Research’s test on cabbage in California. With only a 20 percent reduction in fertilizer and the addition of a product containing SumaGrow®, penetrometer depth increased from 6 inches to 17.8 inches.
Since topsoil dries out from the top, down, when the top 6 inches are out of moisture the grower standard crop was without water; however, the treated plot still had 11.8 (17.8 – 6) inches of soil with moisture and nutrients in it for the roots to extract.
Control/Reduction of Salinity in the Soil
Petrochemical fertilizer leaves behind salt residues. Salts in the soil can wick away moisture from the plant roots which is why soils with high salinity are more challenging. The more fertilizer applied, the more water is needed.
Microbes excrete a substance known as exo polysaccharides (EPS) which encapsulate salts, preventing the salts from absorbing moisture. This is a first step in bio remediating the soil of excess salts.
In a field trial with the City of Costa Mesa, California on sports turf, in less than three months, the treated fields achieved a 26 percent reduction in salinity, according to third party laboratory analysis. The moisture in the soil also increased by 10% and the Sodium Absorption Ratio (SAR) decreased 17 percent (lower is better). The SAR is a test of water quality, not quantity.
SumaGrow®helps to restore and maintain soil health and fertility.
Products containing SumaGrow® can increase crop yields, reduce fertilizer dependence, and increase the nutritional values of food and forage crops.
SumaGrow®'s microbial formulation is suspended in an organic humic acid carrier.
Soil health is fundamental to profitable and sustainable agriculture.
Vital organic matter and soil nutrients are often destroyed and mined out because of the overuse of chemical inputs, soil erosion, nutrient runoff, and unsustainable farming practices. SumaGrow®'s microbial formulation restores and maintains soil health and fertility in several ways:
- Biological Nitrogen Fixation - 95-99 percent of nitrogen in the soil is in an organic form that is not readily available for uptake by plants. SumaGrow® unlocks bound soil nitrogen and converts nitrogen from the air for the plant's use.
- Phosphate Solubilization - SumaGrow® solubilizes the bound phosphate and makes it available to the plant in a useable form.
- Mobilization and Mineralization of Available Plant Nutrients - It is not enough that a soil contains an element. What matters is its availability to plants. Mobilizing and mineralizing soil nutrients, such as bound phosphate, magnesium, and calcium into a form that is available for plant uptake is a vital role of the microorganisms and humic acid contained in products containing SumaGrow®.
- Saprophytic Competence - Products containing SumaGrow have a high saprophytic competence. This helps the microbes to compete with native soil microbes and allows them to perform their intended, beneficial functions.
- Soil pH - SumaGrow® promotes a gradient of optimal pH under extreme environmental conditions.