If you are an organic farmer and looking for a source of organically certified nitrogen, a soy-based fertilizer is available.

Soybeans have many unique uses beyond crude protein for livestock, vegetable oil and biodiesel. They have food and industrial uses as well, and recently a company started marketing Dust, a seed box lubricant made from soybean protein isolate to replace talc.

There is also a nitrogen fertilizer made from soybean meal. Grower’s Secret manufactures two products, one with an analysis of 14-0-0 and one with 16-0-0. They purchase organically produced soybeans and mechanically extrude the oil with an impeller. They can’t extract with hexane which would prevent getting an OMRI certification. The meal is then enzymatically digested to create a nitrogen rich micronized product derived from soy protein that is dried and packaged as a powder. I took a sample to Midwest Laboratories in Omaha and they reported 15.79% nitrogen.

According to their label: “Grower’s Secret Nitrogen 16 (GSN16) is a vegetable protein that can be applied by ground or air application to plants, through drench, drip or flood irrigation on soil to prevent or correct nitrogen deficiencies that could limit growth and yields. GSN16 is nontoxic to plants when applied as directed. For best results, apply GSN16 according to recommendations based on plant tissue or soil analysis for a given crop.”

Dr. Charles Schiller, vice president of product management at Grower’s Secret, explained that 16-0-0 is a micronized, soluble power containing amino nitrogen and is not intended for dry ground applications. A solution will carry 14 to 15 lbs. per gallon before becoming a slurry. “This is a nitrogen product designed for the organic market, but will fit very well in non-organic commercial markets as well.”

It is always nice to see more novel products created from either soybean meal or oil. And with demand for non-synthetic nitrogen increasing, a soy-based nitrogen can help fill that need and create more demand for soybeans.

The Grower’s Secret product is available through numerous distributors including Helena, Nutrien and others. I might give it a go this year and include it in a foliar application because as an amino nitrogen, there is no risk of burning foliage.

To learn more visit Grower’s Secret.

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About the Author: Dan Davidson

Soybean agronomist Daniel Davidson, Ph.D., posts blogs on topics related to soybean agronomy. Feel free to contact him at djdavidson@agwrite.com or ring him at 402-649-5919.