New Soil Amendment Product
Consistently Good in NCSU Tests

As corn growers in the Carolinas get ready to plant their 2017 crop, once again costs and risks will be at the forefront of their planning. The risks of trying new technology is likely to still exist, but the cost of not doing so is going to be greater, with the expected rise in corn prices for the 2017 crop.

One of the new technologies that has proven beneficial to a number of Carolina corn growers is Quick-Sol, a soil amendment product that has been available on a limited basis to growers for the past five years.

NC State Extension Corn Specialist, Ronnie Heiniger has looked at the product for the past four years, with different, but consistently encouraging results.

In 2013, Heiniger did a test, looking at effect of date of Quick-Sol application and rate of Quick-Sol on yield and test weight of corn, compared to check plots. These corn tests were planted at the Tidewater Research Center near Plymouth, NC. Pioneer 1690 corn seed were planted on April 15, for the 2013 test.

Across four QS-treated plots, corn yields ranged from 186 to 204 bushels per acre. In the four check plots, yields ranged from 165 to 184 bushels per acre.

Overall, in 2013 the four Quick-Sol plots produce 19 bushels per acre, or 11 percent more yield. In the real world of farming, hoping corn prices reach $4.00 per bushel, which would mean a return on investment of more than $40 per acre.

In 2015, Dr. Heiniger compared QS alone at 32 ounces per acre to two popular starter fertilizer treatments: (1) 10-27-0 fertilizer, plus Rotech at 10 gallons per acre and (2) 3-18-18 fertilizer at 5 gallons per acre. These three treatments were compared to check plots.

While all treatments showed a numerical advantage over check plots, only the Quick-Sol difference (202 bushels per acre versus 185 bushels per acre for the check) showed a statistical difference.

In 2016, Dr. Heiniger conducted tests to study the impact of Quick-Sol on yield of DynaGro DG54VC52 corn, planted on May 13, at 34,000 seed per acre. Excessive early season rainfall and periodic dry periods throughout the growing season kept corn yields below historic yield levels at the Tidewater Research Station, however, the same yield improvement pattern continued for Quick-Sol.

Summarizing his multiple years of testing Quick-Sol, Heiniger says, “As a result of the early differences in plant vigor, Quick-Sol significantly increased corn yield by 15.3 bu acre compared to the check. Although the final yield on the research station was lower than desired, this test confirms the results from previous tests in 2013, 2014, and 2015, which show that the impact of Quick-Sol on soil drainage and plant vigor results in increased yield when compared to an untreated check or to conventional starter fertilizers.”

In a ‘real world’ test, similar to Dr. Heiniger’s small plot work at the Tidewater Research Station, but conducted with Pendleton, NC grower Bobby Edwards, Quick-Sol treated corn showed more than a 30 bushel per acre yield increase.

A part of the yield increase on the Edwards farm, says Quick-Sol Sales Manager Steve Speros, is explained by the consistently high levels of key micronutrients we found in tissue analysis in treated versus non-treated plots. These lab-analyzed tissue samples also showed slight, but consistent increases in N and P, indicating growers may get an additional benefit from more efficient use of nutrients in Quick-Sol treated plots, Speros contends.

EDITOR’S NOTE: All of Dr. Heiniger’s reports from tests he conducted on Quick-Sol, plus a final report on the work with Bobby Edwards can be found on the website.