Kansas Conservation Series: Microbes Producing Fertilizer on Roots

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. is continuing his conservation series highlighting Kansans’ voluntary efforts to take better care of the environment. Stories will be released throughout the 2023 Farm Bill legislative process.

“While we hold hearings for the 2023 Farm Bill, I want to highlight how hard Kansans work every day to protect our environment and conserve precious resources that our Ag economy needs to thrive. Kansas farmers, ranchers, growers, and producers are finding unique and practical ways to preserve our land and protect our water and air. Their efforts are worthy of everyone’s praise,” said Senator Marshall.

This week, I’m highlighting Brian Schwartz and Greg Bruna of Washington County, who use cutting-edge biologics on their corn crops. They use a microbe that is applied to the seed, allowing farmers to replace up to 40 lbs of synthetic nitrogen. Seed treating this microbe means it is applied at planting with no additional equipment or passes and is 100% efficient, meaning the plant uses 100% of the nitrogen produced by the microbe. The microbe produces nitrogen in the form of ammonia right on the roots instead of storing it in soil like synthetic nitrogen, where it can be lost to the environment. The Pivot Bio product was tested in 2022 on 50,000 acres, and in the 2023 growing season, we had a full-scale launch across the U.S.

Pictured is Brian and Greg in front of the equipment used to coat the seed at Midwest Seed Farms in Washington County, Kansas.