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University of Kentucky Study Finds 11 Bushel Higher Corn Yield with Pivot Bio Microbial Nitrogen

AMES, Iowa (March 7, 2024) — The University of Kentucky Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, a leading land-grant institution, recently found that replacing 40 pounds of synthetic nitrogen with Pivot Bio PROVEN® 40 can increase corn yields while reducing reliance on synthetic fertilizer. This recent study contributes to an esteemed collection of over 400 university-led and on-farm trial locations in 2023, making it one of the most significant research endeavors focused on microbial nitrogen to date.

Higher yields also suggest that applying microbial nitrogen in furrow can help bridge the nitrogen gap that can occur in fields with cover crop rotations. This occurs because the nitrogen is delivered directly to the roots, avoiding competition with cover crop residue.

“Despite limited rainfall during critical growing stages, the in-furrow application of PROVEN 40 stood out as a game-changer on my farm this year,” said Richard Preston, a Kentucky farmer who collaborated with the University of Kentucky Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment on the study. “Like all farmers, I care about protecting and preserving our natural resources for generations to come. In addition to no-till and cover crop practices, PROVEN 40 has helped me lower my environmental impact and increase yield — two key factors for meeting my sustainability goals.”

Preston employs both no-till and cover crop practices in addition to Pivot Bio’s microbial nitrogen. The study showed an average corn yield of 195 bushels per acre across nitrogen rates, and plots treated with PROVEN 40 yielded an average of 11 bushels per acre more than the control plots.

The increase is particularly noteworthy given the use of cereal rye cover crops and the lack of rainfall during various parts of the growing season. Under normal conditions, cereal rye competes with corn for available nitrogen.

For the study, corn was planted at a rate of 32,000 seeds per acre under no-till and cover crop conditions with PROVEN 40 applied in furrow, along with additional nitrogen treatments of 140 and 180 pounds per acre. Corn yields were similar across both nitrogen fertilizer rates; however, PROVEN 40 applied in furrow increased corn yields across both nitrogen rates.

Similarly, studies at North Carolina State University found that replacing 40 pounds of synthetic nitrogen with PROVEN 40 resulted in increased nitrogen and potassium uptake, resulting in greater biomass. Other results from the studies indicated higher corn yields.

“The study’s findings underscore the potential of microbial nitrogen fertilizer to maintain and even increase crop yields while reducing dependency on synthetic fertilizers,” said Clayton Nevins, senior agronomic scientist for Pivot Bio. “Not only are you replacing 40 pounds of synthetic nitrogen, but you are also delivering nitrogen straight to the roots, boosting plant health earlier in the season.”

About Pivot Bio: Pivot Bio is a leading sustainable agriculture company delivering farmers patented crop nutrition technologies that harness the power of nature to reliably and productively grow the food the world needs in the face of increasing volatility. Currently available in North America and soon in Brazil, the company’s products are a breakthrough innovation. They are among the industry’s most promising climate solutions because they deliver nitrogen to plants without the negative impacts of synthetic fertilizer. The company’s nitrogen is weatherproof, safer to handle, and does not leach or contribute to nitrous oxide pollution. By making this possible for the first time at scale, Pivot Bio is upending the 190 billion USD nitrogen market. Pivot Bio has been recognized twice by Time magazine on its annual list of best inventions, by Fast Company on its World Changing Ideas and World’s Most Innovative Companies lists, by CNBC on its Disruptor 50 list of private companies and by Fortune on its Impact 20 list of startups driving social good. The company recently announced its fourth consecutive year of growth. For more information, visit

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