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“Tissue sampling is one of those in-season tools that we can use to address small problems in the plant, but it also tells us what problems we're having in the soil. Foliar Scripts takes technology that Transparency Wise has put together to make a recommended rate based on tissue sampling.” 

— Russell Hedrick, No-Tiller, Hickory, N.C.

The problem with traditional tissue testing for crops is the lack of information about how much of a nutrient is needed to correct a problem, according to Hickory, N.C., no-tiller Russell Hedrick.

Hedrick, who made headlines in 2022 for breaking the world dryland corn yield record in 2022, worked with Transparency Wise Technologies to create a program that provides specific nutrient recommendations based on the results of tissue tests. He’s been using Foliar Scripts for 5 years, and it’s now available for all no-tillers. 

 In today’s episode of the podcast, brought to you by The Andersons’ Over Pass Lineup, Hedrick and Sarah Martello, CEO and co-founder of Transparency Wise Technologies, talk about Foliar Scripts and the benefits it brings for farmers.

Try Foliar Scripts here

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   Full Transcript

Michaela Paukner:

Welcome to the No-Till Farmer Podcast, brought to you by The OverPass Lineup from The Andersons. I'm Michaela Paukner, managing editor at No-Till Farmer. In today's episode of the podcast, Hickory, North Carolina No-Tiller Russell Hedrick and Sarah Martello, CEO and co-founder of Transparency Wise Technologies, join me to talk about Foliar Scripts, a new program that helps farmers make management decisions based on tissue test results.

Russell Hedrick:

Hey, I'm Russell Hedrick. I farm here in Hickory, North Carolina. This year's really been the tail of two extremes. The western side of the state, we've had 14 plus inches over the last two weeks, so planting has really fallen behind. And in the eastern part of the state, they've been so dry that they've had to stop planting. So it's been pretty interesting.

Sarah Martello:

My name's Sarah Martello, and I'm the CEO and Co-founder of Transparency Wise Technologies. I came from four generations of farmers. Farming is in my blood. My dad was the first generation, though it's no longer profitable for it to be his profession. And so I went on to college, first person in my family to graduate college, went to law school. And the pandemic, when everything shut down, we came up with this idea of showing consumers more about the food they eat at the point of purchase.

And so we developed a consumer facing application at that time and it transitioned into we really wanted to show real verifiable information that the consumer could trust is real. And so we went down this route of blockchain traceability and that opened up a lot of variables that we didn't know we were dealing with at the time. We had to figure out how to digitize these farmers and how to get the data flow across the supply chain and standardized.

That led us to start developing our data management platform, AgWise, which we launched about a year ago. And since then, we've been building out tools, working with awesome people like Liz and Russell to build tools for farmers where they could get more precise recommendations on the nutrients they need instead of the over application that our country's so used to and really help them make that progress to better practices.

Michaela Paukner:

And that's the theme of our conversation today is a new product for farmers that you guys are working on releasing. So tell us a little bit about what's coming out soon.

Russell Hedrick:

One of the big things that farmers do every year is they typically go out, they'll pull a soil sample, see what their soil fertility is, and then we make amendments. The problem is is even if we do what the soil tests call for perfectly, there are environmental factors. There are also chemistry factors where we see certain nutrients tie up other nutrients if they're out of balance. And so then farmers started doing tissue sampling. Well, tissue sampling looks at the plant, gives you a sufficiency range, and then you're either at it, you're deficient, or you're high.

The problem is is when a farmer got a tissue sample, they had no real management decisions that they could make off of that like they do a soil test. You pull a soil test. You have X number of PPM, of potassium phosphorus. It tells you whether you're adequate. If you're low, then you need to add X number of pounds to the acre. And it's as easy as picking what type of product you want to put out there. We didn't have that with tissue sampling.

And tissue sampling is one of those in-season tools that we can use as farmers to address small problems in the plant, but it also tells us what problems we're having in the soil. Specifically what Foliar Scripts looks at is a fertilizer company would sell a liquid potassium product and their label may be one quart to a gallon, some of them are even one quart to two gallons. Well, a quart's going to cost $2 an acre to the farmer and two gallons is going to cost 18 to $20 an acre. So there's a huge margin there.

You're talking $16 an acre that the farmer has to just randomly come up and say, "Well, maybe I should apply this, maybe I should apply that." Foliar Script actually takes and using technology that Transparency has put together with Soil Regen that we're able to actually make a recommended rate that farmers need to use. One of the ones that we've utilized this year so far. We just had the drone out flying this last week. On the potassium, it called for 18 ounces, called for four ounces of boron and two ounces of molybdenum.

Well, if I would've taken just those three products and applied at the recommended rate from the companies we bought it from, we would've probably had $32 an acre into that application cost just in the product, versus where we utilize Foliar Scripts, we brought that price down to about $8 an acre. So that's a massive savings. And over applying nutrients, one, can be bad for the environment. And two, if you over apply nutrients and you get those levels too high in the plant, that's just as bad as being too low.

And so there's a range there that we need to maintain those plants at to optimize return on investment and yield. Foliar Scripts really helps farmers have a management decision to where they can actually feel confident to say, "I need one, two, three products. I need this many ounces of this product that we're going to apply it this week,." And then they can go back and tissue sample again and make sure that that correction actually is verifiable. I'm first generation. Sarah comes from a farming family that did struggle a little bit.

We didn't want this to be a burdensome cost to farmers. So when we set this up, it's actually the cheapest way that we could do it for farmers. If they're pulling this on a 20 acre composite, it's 25 cents an acre to the farmer. There's not many things in agriculture that I can spend 25 cents on and get an agronomic management decision that easily, like I said before, can save you 15 or $20 on one single pass. That's where we work in the field. Sarah comes from the field and understands the struggles that we have as farmers.

And it was a way that our two companies could collaborate and take new technologies and bring them to farmers. You take a farmer in the Midwest that's probably 80 acre fields. They're probably pulling two composite samples, so now you're at a 40 acre sample. Now you're down to 13 cents an acre. So it's not hard for farmers to do any of this. It's standard tissue sampling protocol. They send their sample into the laboratory. We're currently talking to over a dozen commercial laboratories in the United States.

We're not charging the laboratories anything to run this, to add this to their program. It's just, hey, if you're already running tissue sampling, the laboratories, I guess it's called API, can then send it over to Transparency Wise. I don't really talk that computer language as a farmer. And then our computer software generates the report, sends it back to the laboratory, or if the laboratory wants us to, we can send it directly to the grower and then the grower has that management decision.

And another big factor in Foliar Scripts is there are companies that I use on my farm and that friends of mine, I know they use different products than me, and we have a lot of trust in those products, but we didn't want to exclude any company out there. And so we don't actually have a specific brand in this program. You can use any brand you want to. Just know that all fertilizers are not made the same and some are made more pure than others. But if a farmer is using a 10% zinc instead of a 9% zinc, they can go to the website.

They can log in. They can actually have a drop box where they can change it from a 10% zinc to a 9% zinc, which is what they have on hand, and it just regenerates for that number. And so it's not like we're telling farmers they have to buy one specific brand of fertilizer. They can use what's local to them, which also helps cut down on shipping costs and other factors that increase the cost to the farmer. And so we've tried to put this in a way that farmers can now have a management tool that we can address these problems in season.

And then Transparency Wise is hopefully in the future going to come out with something that's even going to help us correct some of the soil testing issues that we're seeing where we are correcting the soil. We're not seeing it show up in the plant. Well, what can we do to the next year to make it even better with what we're doing with these soil tests? That's the farmer side of it. It's very cost-effective. It's cheap. It saves farmers money.

It helps us look at balancing that plant, which ultimately should increase our yields, but also increase our return on investment because we're cutting back on the amount of nutrients that we're applying because we just don't know, and we're seeing that increase. And then I'll let Sarah talk what Transparency Wise does, because like I said, I don't speak that technology talk.

Sarah Martello:

Yeah, thanks, Russell. Our ag platform AgWise is pretty comprehensive. We could track all the management practices, inputs, regenerative progress across the supply chain, but we're really implementing a lot of AI and machine learning tools to help farmers get better information quicker and pulling in soil topography, weather, all that so we can bottle out for better outcomes and to save the farmer money, but also to avoid the environmental impacts with over application out there.

So it's really cool working with people like Russell and Liz. They know their stuff and they give us such great insight into building this out. But also with that, they have a great program in themselves. And being a verification certification company, it fits in great with what we're doing with some other projects. We have a CI score that we're rolling out in the next month or so. And we're on the belief that blockchain, everything traceable, transparent because there's so much crap going on in the ag world and nobody really knows what's real anymore.

And we're really putting our foot out there and saying, "Okay, this is what we're doing and who we are, and we're building processes that's completely transparent to the supply chain."

Michaela Paukner:

So there's a number of things I want to follow up on with both of you, first starting with step-by-step, what does it look like? A farmer says, "This sounds great. I want to start doing this." What does the process look like in terms of what information they need to provide to get started with this, and then what they'll be doing throughout the season using Foliar Scripts?

Russell Hedrick:

So adding Foliar Scripts to your tissue sampling as a farmer is not hard. It should be as easy as checking one extra box. Typically, if a farmer wanted to pull a tissue sample right now, doesn't matter what laboratory they use, you have to fill out that intake form for the laboratory check on there. Some run a basic, a comprehensive, and then an advanced tissue test. Essentially working with the commercial laboratories, they're just going to have to add one extra box to their intake form where a farmer can check on there and say, "I want Foliar Scripts to be with my tissue sample."

So they're going to pull tissue samples the same. The one thing I would say to farmers is it's hard for us to be able to reach out to every commercial laboratory that's out there. We've been on the phone for weeks now working with a bunch of different ones and explaining to them what it is, and everybody seems very excited about it. As a farmer, if you listen to the podcast, you read the magazine article that comes out, call your laboratory, ask them if they've even heard about Foliar Scripts yet.

If they haven't, have them contact either Transparency Wise or contact me with Soil Regen or Liz so that we can then talk to that laboratory and get them set up. It's not hard to get the laboratory set up on being able to share the API data. Once your laboratory set up where they do have the capability of running it, you send in your tissue sample. The laboratory runs that tissue sample. They'll have your analysis. Their computer system will send it over to Transparency. They'll run the analysis on it, and then send back what our Foliar Scripts would be for that farmer.

And then once again, if a farmer doesn't have the exact same products that are on there, Taylor that works with Transparency with Sarah, he's done an amazing job to where it's just a drop box. The farmer can go to the website. They can log in. There'll be a login on their Foliar Scripts so that they can log in and that their data is secured. Once they log in, they just change that drop box to the percentage of whatever product is that they're using. And then it just regenerates that again.

The farmer has it now, and he can actually take that to the field and know exactly down to the ounce what he needs to mix in that tank to maximize his return on investment. And that whole process there, once again, if it's a 40 acre composite, it's 13 cents an acre. If it's a 20 acre, it's 25 cents an acre. There's no additional work for the farmer. There's no additional work for the laboratory. But it's a way that a farmer can make a very, very small investment and see a huge return.

Michaela Paukner:

Yeah, it's hard to think of anything else that you can do for 13 cents an acre that can provide such a massive return.

Russell Hedrick:

And this is what we've been using for the last five years, Michaela. I mean, I had it on my computer on an Excel program that we were able to use on our farm. It was ugly to say the least. And Sarah and Taylor were able to make this very, very nice and user-friendly and accessible for farmers to use.

So I mean, when you look at the yields that we've been putting out for the last five years, when you look at the Foliar programs that we've been using and the products we've been using, it's been based off of this program. So I mean, there's a fairly large group of producers that have been using this, collecting the data, seeing the results, and that's why we feel confident in putting this out for other farmers to utilize as well.

Michaela Paukner:

So what did exactly the testing process look like? I know you said you were using it. How many other farmers tried it out or have tried it out and are currently using it?

Russell Hedrick:

I mean, honestly, there's probably been well over a couple thousand producers in the United States. I mean, there's people that call... I mean, I probably get 50 phone calls a day during the growing season and farmers email me their tissue samples and their results. There's growers that text me their tissue samples and results, and we would run it through our computer.

We would say, "Hey, you need to apply this, this, and this. And hey, if you don't mind, when you pull your tissue samples again, will you send us those results back as well so that we can see and make sure that this is working in your area as well as ours?" That's what I'm saying.

It's not been available on a commercial level, but in our consulting with Soil Regen, it's one of the tools that I've used to help growers across the United States the last couple of years, especially on the Foliar applications. Just like last fall when we talked about affecting soybean size and having those beans and looking at what those later season nutrients are, say R3, R4 or R5 in soybeans, this is that same program that we've been using.

Michaela Paukner:

And then how often are you recommending doing tissue samples in the growing season?

Russell Hedrick:

If farmers want a true representation of what's going on in their field between what's in the soil, what we're seeing through microbial activation, what's actually getting into the plant, it really does take at least three samples during the season to get a really clear picture. Typically, on our production acres, we're doing four tissues. We'll pull one or two during the V stages. We'll pull a R1, and then we pull a R3. And that's typically what we do on beans. On corn, we'll pull a V3, we'll pull a V6, and we'll typically pull at a minimum an R1 and once again an R3.

And those are times that we can make those small corrections in those plants when we're determining ear size. We're starting to go into ear feel and we're starting to see grain fill and making sure that even those very small nutrients, boron, molybdenums, zinc, on the later season on beans, just small little applications of something as small as six to eight ounces can have a huge impact on return on investment.

Michaela Paukner:

I'd like to take a moment to thank our sponsor, The Andersons. Prolonged nutrient availability is essential for crops, ensuring they get the nutrients needed for growth and development throughout the season. The Andersons' OverPass products are slow release and designed to deliver nitrogen over an extended period, reducing leaf interaction and meeting plants' nutritional needs effectively.

Contact your territory manager today to learn more about the OverPass line from The Andersons. When you're getting that report with the recommendations, what micronutrients are going to be listed on there for farmers?

Russell Hedrick:

So typically when farmers pull a tissue sample in the US, they get back 14 nutrients. Some farmers do test for nickel in their tissue sampling. There's very few laboratories that generally offer nickel testing, but we're going to have your NPK, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, boron, your molybdenum. Essentially what your typical tissue sample looks like, it'll be the same ones. Like I said, that nickel one kind of throws it off there.

Most of your tissue samples also include sodium and aluminum, but a majority of farmers are fighting too high of sodium or too high of aluminum. So there's no prescription for us to ever say that you're going to add aluminum or sodium to a plant. It's just it'll have a NA side of it, but it'll be standard tissue test.

Michaela Paukner:

Okay, got it. And then I know you mentioned that the farmer can change the type of product based on what they have available, and there is some variability between what different type or brands of products can actually have content-wise. Are you making any kind of recommendations within Foliar Wise about what is the most effective in terms of products?

Russell Hedrick:

So we do have some effectiveness in there. Point in case, we use a lot of Concept AgriTek products. We also use Win. We use Redox, Win Biologics. And to give you an example, on one of the efficiencies would be potassium acetate typically 23, 24% in the solution. If you're using a potassium acetate, that is the most effective as far as plant uptake comes in Foliar packages. If a farmer wants to use an 0012, which is a potassium chloride that's been liquefied down, it takes about five to six times more potassium chloride to get the same response in a plant.

So potassium chloride might cost $2.50 a gallon, and potassium acetate typically runs eight to $9 a gallon. But when you start looking at we have to do a five or 6X rate with that 0012, you're now more costly per gallon than using an effective potassium acetate. Now, we're not doing Bram specific where we're saying Concept AgriTek's potassium acetate is more efficient than say a Win Biologics' potassium acetate. Because they're both a potassium acetate, we haven't really been able to work within different products.

We just say that potassium acetate is working more effectively in the plant than what we're seeing in potassium chloride. And so those are the parts there. We've had some talks with companies in the last few weeks where they're even interested in testing their products across the country versus competitors to see what Foliar Scripts is actually seeing. Like Sarah said earlier, the more data, the more input that we get into this system, even the better that it'll be now. And it's really good now, so we can make it even better.

And so maybe it comes up to where we're taking three or four competitors, different calcium products, and we're spraying them on a hundred fields across the US and seeing, hey, maybe we're seeing a better response out of a calcium acetate instead of a calcium carbonate. And then the program will be able to recognize that through Foliar Scripts and the farmers running the program, and then we may be able to make minor adjustments in the future off of that. We've already done some of them with Soil Regen.

If you want a quick reference, if you Foliar spray potassium chloride on a plant, it has to be 93% relative humidity or higher for that plant to be able to uptake that potassium chloride that's been liquefied into an 0012. Then we looked at potassium hydroxide and potassium acetate and even a potassium sulfate. So potassium sulfate, it's still required the plant to have 70% or greater relative humidity. Potassium hydroxide got you down to about 50%. And then by the time you got to potassium acetate, we were running about 22 to 23% relative humidity to see maximum uptake.

And here in the South, we do get some really humid days in the summertime. We could could get away with it more often spraying those cheaper potassium sources than say... You start looking in the Midwest, the Dakotas all the way down through Nebraska and Kansas, the Panhandle of Oklahoma, they're so dry out there during the summertime. If they're going to Foliar spray of potassium source and they're going to use a potassium chloride of 0012, it's essentially a waste of money.

It's going to get on the plant, but there's not enough moisture in the air for it to actually get absorbed by the plant. We have looked at some of those. We've even looked at calcium acetates. Miller Chemical makes a calcium acetate, and then there's a bunch of companies that make a calcium carbonate. And then we've also even looked at different particle sizes. There's a couple different ones out there that use different particle sizes. So we have a lot of that information already, and some of that information is actually already built in to Foliar Scripts.

But absolutely, that may be something that over the next year or two that we'll be able to look at. Producers are using different technologies across the country and Foliar Scripts can bring that in and make it even better than the information we already currently have.

Michaela Paukner:

Yeah, it's like a large scale R&D, but actually on real working production farms. So that's really exciting to think about what you could gain from all that data.

Russell Hedrick:

And that's been the biggest frustration. I mean, even though I'm a first generation farmer, that's been a huge frustration for me is a lot of the times when we see university data or we see published data from a third party that doesn't farm, it's on such a small scale that they don't have to take in environmental considerations, soil type changes, even chemistry within the soil. You can change a half of a point of pH across the field and you can see a wide variation in how some of this chemistry works in the soil and the plant.

And they don't take that into consideration. And then they're making recommendations off of that that can be detrimental to me as a farmer because they don't take it into consideration. And that's what I see on a farm that's 2,000 feet long and a half a mile wide field. There's so much variation even within that soil that we're not seeing the same results in the plants. So that's why working over 20 and 40 acres with this program is really taking in all of those variables that we see across our farms in real life.

Michaela Paukner:

Definitely. When will this be available to whoever's listening who's interested in this? And then two, where do they go to get more information?

Russell Hedrick:

So availability should be rolling out here within the next seven to 14 days. Once again, we've got laboratories that we're working with. One of the things that we're also working on is because we know we can't make it to every commercial laboratory is potentially having it where they can come to the website and be able to actually manually input it, and then just run it on the website if the laboratory doesn't currently run it.

And that way a grower doesn't necessarily have to move from one laboratory to another if they have a good relationship and a good trust with that lab. And they can just buy a yearly subscription. I'll let Sarah talk a little bit about their website and where the growers can go and how they can get access to it.

Sarah Martello:

The program will be housed on and growers who go there, like Russell said, independent of the lab as well. And the other thing I want to point out because you were asking how many tests and sample size, the more that farmers... And this is not mandatory that farmers share their data. That is scrubbed for anything that's confidential. But the more tests that we are able to model with our AI, the better and more precise this will get.

And again, I want to make it very clear, we scrub any personal information from the farmer, but we also want to make this model keep improving it. And you do that with data. So I think it's a huge opportunity. And then if the farmer wants to sign up for our platform, we're able to pull in a lot of additional data layers that they could derive value to from that as well.

Michaela Paukner:

Yeah, that was something I wanted to ask you about too because you mentioned carbon intensity scoring and some of the other capabilities that AgWise has. So what does the process look like if somebody is interested and they start with Foliar Scripts and they're like, "Now I want to try out some of these other tools," What does that look like to get set up?

Sarah Martello:

So the carbon intensity is a little bit more intense, if you will, because there's a lot of data points behind it. And there's a lot of talk about it right now, the 45Z, and I'm really excited about it. My background, I'm a tax attorney, and so this is the tax code, the federal tax code. That's where 45Z, 40B is coming from. This is something that really nobody's talking about.

The fact that as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, they basically allowed these ethanol plants to transfer these credits on an open market, which yeah, that's going to drive a lot of value to those tax credits, but there needs be an audit trail. Because what if a corporation over here buys the tax credits from ethanol plant and later it gets audited? What happens then?

So in order for that tax credit to really achieve the value that it can, there needs to be an absolute audit trail all the way through tracking all of the impacts that affect the carbon intensity score, all the way through the supply chain and keeping that intact. And we're doing that through blockchain.

Russell Hedrick:

And I think that's been a big part of the CI scoring that has been missed so far is yes, we can generate these credits on 45Z at the ethanol plant that they can then transfer over to other companies. And like Sarah said, if you don't have it on a blockchain where you're taking into accountability I would say at least, what, 95% of all the variables, Sarah, that a commercial company is not going to feel comfortable, then purchasing that 45Z credit.

Because at the end, if they do and they do get an audit, then ultimately the buck's going to stop on them and they're going to be held liable for that being a bad credit. I think when you look at the AgWise platform and all of the information that they're able to put together essentially in I'm going to call it a grower folder, it gives confidence for people to be able to say, "Listen, this has already been through a verification. This has already been looked at," and gives the corporations the confidence to be able to say, "We would like to buy that."

Sarah Martello:

And ultimately, that drives the value back to the producer. Because if they have that data intact that can be transferred from one supply chain to the next supply chain participant, it's going to drive the value of what that ethanol plant is going to pay that producer. This is a huge opportunity for producers to get a premium payment. It's built into the mechanism of it. So we're really trying to build the functionality to leverage that for the producer.

Michaela Paukner:

Definitely. That's one thing that I'm... I guess my biggest question hearing all of the what's coming with 45C, how much money is the producer going to end up with out of that credit and how do we make it fair? Because essentially the producer, they're doing all of the work of reducing the carbon score.

Sarah Martello:

I think the farm impacts go into I think 39% of the overall CI score for the ethanol plant. And so there's been a lot of talk. I've heard people say, "Oh, they're going to share the credit 50-50," all that. I personally don't think that it would be that high because you're dealing with the ethanol plant who has the liability on him for that tax credit. So that's a variable. I don't know how that's going to play out, but I think that the ethanol plants, in my opinion, are going to be a little hesitant, at least the first year that this is up and going, to throw a ton of money at...

I mean, they're going to get paid a premium, but it's not going to be 50% at this point. I think it's going to take this market to mature a little bit for people to have trust and understand what's going on. But I think there's a huge opportunity for producers and ethanol plants to have that conversation. And if the ethanol plants could say, "Hey, we want you to do X, Y and Z, this audit trail," I think it could add value, and I think they're going to get paid more.

I've heard some of that going on, but I think the ethanol plants, a lot of them are taking a step back and waiting to see how everything pans out. But it's a huge opportunity. The farmer is going to get paid on a point by point reduction from his CI score. How much that is? I don't know yet, and I don't think anybody knows, but it is a huge opportunity because there's a lot of money tied to this.

Russell Hedrick:

So many farmers I see out there on Twitter and Facebook, Instagram, heck, even TikTok, I think they're all excited for the 45Z. But one of the things talking with Sarah about it that I never thought about as a producer is I naturally assume that if I'm going to take some of my corn to an ethanol plant and they're going to pay me let's just say $25 an acre, let's be conservative, I understood in my mind, hey, I'm going to get that right now.

I'm going to get that 25 bucks with my corn check. Well, no, this is a tax credit. And how long does a tax year run? 12 months. You're looking at you're hauling corn to the elevator. And depending on your delivery date, it could be three months before they have a tax filing and your CI may be in there, or it may be 15 months before your corn is in their tax filings and going through this tax credit.

And that was my understanding. And Sarah, correct me if I'm wrong, but those are two of the options that I think farmers aren't looking at is depending on that delivery date, you may be in one tax year, you may be in the next tax year, and that may affect even when your corn, your CI corn is actually going to go through that 45Z.

Sarah Martello:

Yeah, there's a lot of variables that need to be determined. I mean, we really don't even have a final model. The last release of the Greek model that came out end of April, I mean, it really dumbed things down a lot for the farmers. It was kind of like it just checked the box, like no-till cover crops and enhanced efficiency fertilizer for this climate-smart program instead of actually having it run through the Greek model that was done before.

And so my question is, and that's tied to 40B, which 40B expires at December 31st and then Sustainable Aviation Fuel then gets moved into 45Z. And so the big question is, are they going to pull over that model into 45Z? What are they going to do? Because it's going to have a big bearing on how much that farmer could potentially benefit. If the max amount is 10 points that they could benefit like a corn producer and five points per soybeans, I don't know. There's a lot to be determined.

Michaela Paukner:

What do you think they're going to do in terms of going from 40B to 45Z?

Sarah Martello:

Geez, I mean, and this is just I have no good reason to say this, but the Sustainable Aviation Fuel, it's on an international standard, so they have more at stake to have the standardization around it in a higher level. So I don't know how that is going to go down. I think that the 45Z non-aviation is probably going to be done on a Greek model. I don't know if this climate-smart pilot is going to resurface or not. I mean, it's funny because it's like, okay, this is a pilot program, but the thing expires end of this year. I mean, nobody would be able to benefit from it essentially.

I mean, it's just silly. So I don't know if somebody is throwing some farmers a bone like, "Oh, see? We gave you this good thing." I mean, it's kind of silly if you ask me. I hope the Greek model revives itself so farmers could get more credit for their good practices. I mean, in our system what we're doing, we're running multiple models. That way farmers could see where they're at with the different models. And then however that plays out in the end, they at least know what they're dealing with.

Michaela Paukner:

And do you think that it's going to turn into... Is it going to be standardized, the ethanol plants will offer this percentage for every certain amount of points or whatever it might be? Or is it going to be individual ethanol plants get to choose what goes where?

Sarah Martello:

Yeah, I think it's going to be the individual ethanol plants, but I think it does create market competition. If one ethanol plant is paying an additional premium for lower CI scores, that's going to drive business their way. So I hope that it will become more standardized as this market matures.

Michaela Paukner:

All right. Anything else that either of you wanted to mention that I haven't asked you about?

Russell Hedrick:

I mean, I would say if farmers are interested in it, go to the website, reach out to us. You can check and see if your lab is currently signed up to run them. If they're not, we'll be more than happy to reach out to them. Or you can reach out to your lab and say that you're interested in having this program, and we would be glad to set it up for them to be able to do it.

And then once again, if it's just a laboratory that doesn't maybe have the API capabilities to share that information back and forth with us, once again, they can sign up on the website. It's 14 numbers. So you would simply have to type in your own numbers in there, but you can sign up online and be able to run it yourself as well.

Sarah Martello:

Yeah, from a data perspective, this is one of the easiest things that farmers will ever do, because I know they get overwhelmed with trying to get all their data in. These next couple years are going to be really cool to see how everything plays out. But just the possibilities out there, it's really cool and it's really cool to be on the forefront of it right now.

Michaela Paukner:

Thanks to Russell Hedrick and Sarah Martello for today's conversation. If you're interested in learning more about Foliar Scripts and Transparency Wise, we have a link to both companies on the webpage for this podcast at You'll find a video and transcript for this episode there as well. Many thanks to the OverPass lineup by The Andersons for helping to make this No-Till Podcast series possible. From all of us here at No-Till Farmer, I'm Michaela Paukner. Thanks for listening.