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“When you kill all of the bacteria, you're releasing a lot of micronutrients back into that strip that the bacteria are otherwise consuming as food. When you pair this up with nitrogen and nitrogen timing…that really lends itself to improving the nutrient availability during that V3-V5 stage in corn…” – Bryan Tomm, no-tiller, Carmi, Ill.

Having grown up on a farm, no-tiller Bryan Tomm of Carmi, Illinois, got interested in nitrogen when he was in high school, where he did a science fair project that involved using electricity to kill nitrifying bacteria. He went on to become a mechanical engineer and later combined his mechanical know-how with a mission to keep nitrogen in the soil with the invention of the Bolt, a production ag machine that sterilizes a 3-inch band between coulters where fertilizer can then be applied.

For this episode of the No-Till Farmer podcast, I caught up with Bryan by phone to talk about nitrogen and his efforts to preserve this costly input. Besides using the Bolt, he’s also been doing trials with the nitrogen-fixing microbes developed by Pivot Bio. Join us as he talks about running the Bolt in the Tulane Nitrate Reduction Challenge, the yield bumps he’s seen from both the Bolt and Pivot Bio Proven, why microbes are not all created equal, how a wet 2019 led to an unexpected yield increase in corn, and more!







No-Till Farmer podcast series is brought to you by Pivot Bio.

More from this series

It’s time to re-think nitrogen. Pivot Bio PROVEN™ replaces nitrogen fertilizer with microbes that adhere to the crop’s root system and apply nitrogen each day. 2019 performance report data shows Pivot Bio PROVEN™ consistently outperforms synthetic nitrogen fertilizer year-over-year, providing corn growers improved yields and a more dependable nitrogen supply that isn’t lost to the environment. To read the performance report, go to For more information on Pivot Bio PROVEN, text PROVEN to 31313.

Intro Music: Adam Selzer - True North

Interlude Music: Alialujah Choir - Little Picture (Instrumental)