Crop Nutrition & Biology: Where (and When) to Start?

Colin Pennington

Apr 03, 2023

Every season crops are planted with hopes of reaching their full genetic yield potential. Nearly every year, plants struggle to reach this potential due to many external factors outside of a grower’s control.

Growers do, however, have control of supplementing their crops with products to help support plant health that ultimately can help minimize these yield robbing events. FBN® has a quality lineup of crop nutrition products from the FARMERS FIRST™ brand that are made to help support plants throughout the growing season. 

When selecting what products to use and when, it’s important to understand what factors you are trying to impact. All biological products are rooted in one common purpose: protecting yield potential. Within a plant's yield potential, there are two core functions biology can help achieve: 

  • Enhanced nutrient availability & efficiency

  • Mitigating abiotic stress

There are seemingly endless options to choose from when entering the world of biology, but here are a few recommendations on where to start:

In-Furrow Fertilizer Applications

Nutrients and fertilizers applied alone can be tied up in the soil and unavailable to be utilized by plants. There are several options available to help increase nutrient efficiency, storage and availability in the beginning stages of the season.  

Starter Replacement

Inhabit P™ is a high-efficiency liquid starter replacement to help improve phosphorus availability & reduce tie-up. Inhabit P keeps phosphate highly soluble and resistant to tie up in conditions with clay, metal ions, calcium, high pH, waterlogging, cold soil, and other difficult conditions. The product should be applied at 2-4 qts/acre and be mixed 10:1 with water.

In 2022, Inhabit P showed ROI-positive results in 90% of Innovators Research League trials across 11 states, 1,600 acres and 7,200 subplots.* Inhabit P used at a rate of 2 quarts/acre performs equally to the standard 5 gallon/acre rate of most competitive starters helping growers save more time, money and storage space while maintaining yield and increasing ROI.* 

[Not sure how to perform a jar test? Start here]

Starter and Sidedress Enhancement

Already purchased your starter fertilizer and want to make it more efficient? Inhabit Boost™ is a low rate, high efficiency micro-humate derived from a unique source of leonardite that buffers soils and improves water holding capacity and nutrient efficiency in soils and fertilizers.  Inhabit Boost tank mixes well with most fertilizers (a jar test is recommended) and can also be applied at sidedress if preferred. Inhabit Boost should be applied at 16-32 oz/acre or 1 qt/40 gal.

Soil Probiotics such as Inject-Myco ADV™ that can increase root mass in low phosphorus environments, and Inject-N ADV™ that can fix nitrogen in low nitrate soils are additional options as live microbe add-ons. 

[Download the FBN Crop Nutrition Guide]

Watch Now: The Value of Biology

See more of the science behind the FARMERS FIRST™ brand of biological and crop nutrition products by watching this video about the value of biology.

Shop for Crop Nutrition Products 

Find the products you need at FBN Direct®. We have a diverse crop nutrition product portfolio to provide product options for growers like you to support plant health.

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FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LLC is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. If applicable, please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Nothing contained on this page, including the prices listed should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. All products and prices are subject to change at any time and without notice. Terms and conditions apply.

ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state law to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of federal and/or state law and is strictly prohibited. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided on this page or which is provided by us in any form. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix and that the usage of a product is otherwise consistent with federal, state and local laws. We reserve the right to restrict sales on a geographic basis in our sole discretion. You must have a valid applicator license to use restricted use pesticides. Please consult your state department of agriculture for complete rules and regulations on the use of restricted use pesticides, as some products require specific record-keeping requirements.

All product recommendations and other information provided is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for consulting the product label or for specific agronomic, business, or professional advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified advisor. Neither Farmer's Business Network Inc. nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed.

*Based on 2022 Innovators Research League Trials results; data on file. Individual results from use of biological products may vary and are dependent upon additional factors, including but not limited to weather, agronomic conditions and practices, crop selection, soil type and condition, time, method and manner of application, application rate, and geography. Consult an agronomist before any use not addressed on the product label.

Colin Pennington

Apr 03, 2023