HyprGrow is a liquid biological amendment (LBA) made by Elevate Ag. It is applied at a rate of 1.5 gallons per acre as either an in-furrow product or as a foliar. Since Green Cover is a part owner of Elevate Ag, we wanted to answer some of the questions that people commonly ask about HyprGrow and other LBA’s.
Q: Isn’t this just another “snake oil”?
A: Well, if it is, it must be from some pretty high-quality snakes. It actually contains no oil from snakes at all! But it does have several other plant and animal derived ingredients, all scientifically documented to have plant growth and health benefits, and the field results have been quite favorable.
Q: What is in HyprGrow?
A: Compost extract, chitosan, micronized kelp, molasses, humates and humic acid, worm castings, and yucca extract. Below is an explanation of what each ingredient does. For a more detailed version of this article, including references and scientific sources visit www.greencoverseed.com and search for Hyprgrow.
Compost extract is made from leaching compost through a sieve to create a liquid which is rich in microbes and microbial byproducts. The specific organisms in the extract will depends on the raw materials and the composting process used. Composts which are turned frequently and oxygenated will be full of aerobic bacteria, which provide a certain range of benefits. Composts made in an anaerobic process similar to silage (Bokashi) will produce a compost very high in lactic acid, which has a range of benefits different from the anaerobic process and is particularly helpful in stimulating seed germination. A compost made by the Johnson-Su process will be very high in fungal spores, which is very beneficial in creating a beneficial soil structure. The benefits of compost extract are more than just the live microbes found in compost extract, a great deal of the benefit comes from microbial metabolites, which can have numerous beneficial effects on plant growth, including protection from pathogenic fungi. Most microbes produce chemical defenses against other microbes, and those chemicals will still be present in a compost extract long after the microbes that produced them have died, explaining the protection against pathogenic fungi achieved from foliar applications of HyprGrow.
Chitosan is an enzymatically digested chitin derived from crab and shrimp shells. Chitin also makes up the cell walls of insects and fungi. Chitosan applied either on seed or as a foliar elicits an immune response in plants, triggering production of chemicals (chitinase, jasmonic acid and salicylic acid) that fight off attacks from both insects and fungi. Chitinase is an enzyme that the plant produces that simply eats fungal tissue away. Chitosan been shown to prevent fungal diseases of plants, including Botrytis mold of grapes and strawberries. Chitosan has also been shown to improve heat tolerance and drought tolerance in crops.
Kelp (Ascophyllum nodosum) is a seaweed that contains over 70 trace minerals as well as vitamins, amino acids and the plant sugar mannitol which stimulates microbial growth. But most importantly, kelp contains phytohormones that increase plant growth, including gibberellins, auxins and cytokinins.
Molasses contains sugars that nourish microbes, as well as many important trace minerals. The sticky nature of molasses also gives Hyprgrow its ability to adhere to leaf surfaces as a foliar. Molasses has been used to promote plant growth for a century or more.
Worm castings are the feces of earthworms (also referred to as vermicompost) which are proven as a fertilizer amendment, being rich in both plant nutrients and microbial activity. As vermicomposting has become more commonplace, more and more people are realizing the value of worm castings for increasing seed germination, plant growth, and food quality.
Yucca extract is a natural surfactant, active even at very low concentrations. It increases water infiltration when soil applied and acts to lower surface tension of water when applied as a foliar, which prevents droplets from running off the leaf surface. Yucca extract also is a known microbial stimulant, due to its content of steroidal saponins, plus resveratrol, larixinol, and yuccaols. Yucca extract also offers protection against seed pathogens.
Humates are ancient decayed plants that have not formed completely into coal. They behave similarly to humus in the soil in that they hold water and sequester mineral nutrients in a form that is more available to plants, thus enabling top yields with less fertilizer, particularly with phosphorus fertilizer which is notoriously unavailable in soil. Humic acid, which is made from humates, is a natural soil conditioner that acts as an organic chelator (a binding agent) and microbial stimulator. It has a unique carbon matrix which includes a high concentration of trace minerals and organic acids. Humic acid enhances the plant’s ability to take in essential nutrients and improves soil structure. Think of it as the pantry
to the soil kitchen.
Q: What kind of results have you seen from HyprGrow?
A: As with any product used to enhance yield, it will give a yield response if it provides a boost to an otherwise limiting growth factor, or if it reduces yield losses from disease or insects. There are no magic yield enhancers. Anyone who pitches a product saying “this product will give you an extra 10 bushels an acre every time you use it” is lying; there is no such product. Look at two of the most highly regarded agronomic inputs: nitrogen fertilizer and irrigation. Nitrogen fertilizer is of no benefit to a corn crop if the corn is planted into a freshly terminated alfalfa stand where there is abundant available nitrogen, because nitrogen fertility is not limiting. Irrigation is of no benefit in the Amazon rainforest where it rains over 100 inches a year, and moisture is not limiting. Yet we never question the value of nitrogen fertilizer or irrigation as yield enhancers, because we understand the conditions in which they increase yield and apply those inputs to those conditions. Likewise, HyprGrow will increase yield under conditions in which it can supply limiting growth factors.
HyprGrow as a soil application can enhance soil microbial activity which can make some plant nutrients more available, provide phytohormones that increase root elongation and reduce root-attacking plant diseases, so plants are better able to take up both water and nutrients. If either water or nutrients are lacking during the growing season, then HyprGrow applied in-furrow can provide a definite help. As a foliar, HyprGrow can supply a limited quantity of foliar absorbed nutrients, as well as provide protection from many foliar diseases, including from bacterial diseases like Goss wilt for which fungicides are completely ineffective. If foliar plant diseases or mineral nutrient deficiencies are limiting yield, then chances are HyprGrow applied as a foliar can help increase yield.
We have had some customers see some excellent results, while a few have seen very limited results, but in almost all cases the application of HyprGrow has been quite economical. In-furrow applications seem to provide excellent benefit in dry regions, while foliar seems most effective in areas with foliar diseases like leaf rust on wheat or grey leaf spot on corn.
Here is what others have said:
I used Hypertherm on the seed for malting barley. The crop had a more even emergence and a different, darker color than usual and was a little earlier in maturity, with about 5 bushel better yield than normal. Our protein was also a percentage point higher than usual. Todd Olander, Colorado
I used HyprGerm (another Elevate Ag product) on my crops and had quicker and more uniform emergence. I would like to get set up to use HyprGrow in furrow for more effect. I sprayed HyprGrow on bermudagrass in strips and the cattle definitely preferred the treated areas to the untreated. There is something positive going on with this product and I plan to continue using it. Jimmy Emmons, Oklahoma
Q: What other products does Elevate Ag offer?
HyprGerm is used as a biological seed treatment at a rate of 6 oz/100# of seed and contains high concentrations of humic acid, kelp, chitosan, and worm castings. Any cover crop seed mix from Green Cover can easily have HyprGerm applied to it.
SoilStim contains HyprGrow plus fulvic acid and is applied at 1 gallon per acre and is designed to make herbicides, fertilizers, insecticides and other nutritional sprays more effective. Mixing with other inputs allows you to co-apply and reduce application
Anchor-N contains humic acid, molasses and molybdenum and is designed to increase the efficiency of nitrogen applications
ARTICLE FROM THE SOIL HEALTH RESOURCE GUIDE: VERSION 8