Heliae Agriculture, an algal tech company specializing in regenerative agriculture solutions, announced that its flagship product, PhycoTerra soil microbial food, has received a label expansion in the U.S. for post-harvest residue management use. PhycoTerra is an intricately balanced, nature-sourced formula, specifically produced to feed both active and dormant microbes in soil. These microbes are not only essential for improving overall soil structure, they serve as a key factor in effectively breaking down crop residue to prepare fields for future crops.

“Farmers continue to search for advanced technologies to effectively maximize their yield potential, whether that’s at pre-plant or post-harvest,” said Dr. Karl Wyant, Vice President of Ag Science for Heliae® Agriculture. “With the expanded label application of PhycoTerra we can be part of the solution for maximizing crop trash decomposition in the fall, despite less-than-ideal conditions. Our latest post-harvest trials show PhycoTerra delivers farmers a 36% mass reduction of crop residue between October application and spring planting. Additionally, we’ve seen a significant spring topsoil temperature increase of up to 6 degrees Fahrenheit. Combined, these benefits can help create an ideal spring seedbed and optimize crop establishment in the next growing season.” 

PhycoTerra post-harvest application also promotes nutrient release and mineralization. Crop residue has a very specific carbon-to-nitrogen ratio and is made up of a complex combination of tough-to-break down components, such as lignin and cellulose. These components lock in nutrients and make them unavailable to future crops. Applying PhycoTerra to this residue provides an ideal carbon source to the microbes in the soil, which helps keep the nutrient balance optimized. This creates the largest impact on residue degradation and trapped nutrient release – about $11 of NPK an acre.

“One of the most important goals of residue management is returning nutrients to the soil in an efficient, sustainable and cost-effective way,” said Norm Davy, CRO at Heliae Agriculture. “Farmers have already invested dollars in their fertilizer and nutrient programs – and a large percentage of that investment is still present in the crop residue after harvest. So even though we call it “crop trash” this residue has a lot of value. PhycoTerra helps recycle those valuable nutrients into the next crop.” 

PhycoTerra is an effective crop residue management solution across all tilling practices. Conventional farmers can see a savings of up to $10 per acre by utilizing a sprayer application method rather than tillage or tractor work. Farmers utilizing production practices such as no-till, reduced-till, or cover crops can realize even greater returns on their regenerative efforts by adding PhycoTerra to existing post-harvest herbicidal burndown programs with its exceptional mixing compatibility.

This label expansion of PhycoTerra shows great potential for all farmers looking to improve the biological and chemical compositions of their fields through residue management practices. The inert formulation of PhycoTerra is not temperature-dependent, so it is better able to meet the challenges of crop residue decomposition in late harvest. The improved spring soil conditions promoted by maximum residue break-down positively affect planting, uniform stand and emergence – all of which lead to better yield potential.