For the most part, these products don’t just come about overnight, they require years – sometimes decades – of research and study. Koch Agronomic Services (Koch) has a team of people around the world who are dedicated to improving crop production for the next generation and working to find tomorrow’s solutions today.
That type of long-term thinking has led Koch to create, study and introduce vital solutions that are being used in 55 countries around the world to assist growers in feeding our ever-increasing population.
“When a lot of people think about Koch Agronomic Services, they think of nutrients,” said Steve Coulter, senior vice president with Koch. “One thing that we're trying to do is make sure that people view us a solutions provider for all of agriculture, no matter what that provides. What we want to do is just be able to bring things that create value for society.”
Research and More Research
If you close your eyes and imagine what a research study looks like, you probably only have half of the picture. Research isn’t just done in a lab. Koch works with third-party research institutions, including colleges and universities, to test and develop the right product formulation, application rate and best practice recommendations in order to meet the needs of growers.
“At the heart of all that, you’ll find our team of agronomists that are focused on conducting third-party research in fields around the world,” said Michael Berry, director of brand expansion, Koch. “That research is really focused on making sure that the recommendations we make and the products that we bring to the market are proven and are the right product for the application that the grower is using. Wherever they may be in the world.”
Berry says with that knowledge, growers are empowered to make an educated decision on what solutions they want to use, knowing that the product is backed by science and credible research.
“I think about how that relates to the decisions we make on our own family farm,” he said. “We're not just taking any company's word for the claims that they're making. We're really looking at the information and the science behind the product.”
Products ANd Solutions
If you look at Koch’s portfolio of agronomic solutions, you can begin with AGROTAIN® nitrogen stabilizer. As the building block for future products, AGROTAIN has performed its role efficiently for more than 25 years, becoming an industry standard to slow down nitrogen volatilization.
But then Koch took a great stabilizer and made it better. From the proven protection of AGROTAIN comes the next generation – ANVOL® nitrogen stabilizer. Combining NBPT, the same active ingredient found in AGROTAIN, with the patented active ingredient Duromide, ANVOL delivers the longest-lasting protection against ammonia volatilization and improves performance across a range of soil conditions.
“With ANVOL, we took a great stabilizer in AGROTAIN, and made it better,” said Berry. “The key benefits of ANVOL is that it lasts longer,” said Berry. “Duromide, in combination with NBPT in ANVOL, allows the urease inhibitor to provide superior performance compared to products that contain NBPT alone.”
Providing protection against all three forms of nitrogen loss, SUPERU® premium fertilizer works both above and below ground. Offering the highest concentration of nitrogen available in a stabilized, urea-based granule, SUPERU guards nitrogen from denitrification, leaching and volatilization.
Brad Bray, a grower in Missouri, started using SUPERU in 2018. He says he doesn’t think some growers could comprehend just how much nitrogen they’re losing until they experience the level of protection that SUPERU provides.
“I think growers still have a lot to learn about SUPERU and that's one of the benefits,” said Bray. “Using SUPERU can help you fully understand how much you can lose or how much you’re over-applying and that we can cut back and still get the same benefit. So, I still think there's a lot to learn.”
In August 2018, Koch launched CENTURO® – the nitrogen stabilizer featuring the active ingredient Pronitridine that holds nitrogen in the ammonium form three times longer than without an inhibitor.
Retailers agree, along with improved nitrogen use efficiency (NUE), CENTURO is also easy to use with its unmatched operational benefits: a low freeze point, flexible storage options, noncorrosive formula and tank-mix compatibility.
“The temperature doesn't really affect CENTURO a whole lot,” said Seth Holland, plant nutrition sales agronomist for Asmus Farm Supply. “We were running last year when it was really cold and we just never had any issues with it, so that's one of the big selling points for us.”
Greg O’Toole, owner and manager of O’Toole Inc., highlights other user benefits that makes CENTURO his company’s nitrogen stabilizer choice. According to him, he was not only impressed with the long shelf life of the product, but also the non-combustible formula with virtually no odor.
Knowing that agriculture is always changing, Koch is not content to just maintain their product portfolio. Coulter says they are actively looking for the next big breakthrough to help growers achieve higher yields and increase return on their nitrogen investment.
“We continue to look at new innovation in this space, because the needs and the values of our customers are continually changing,” said Coulter. “It's always going to be important for us to continue to look forward, to understand what's important, what's valuable for our customers, and work to create solutions for them for the long-term.”