Tried and true: TerraMax boasts four Beck’s Practical Farm Research Proven products

Oct 28, 2022 | How it works

Agriculture is a booming industry in terms of innovation. Companies constantly create new technologies, products and practices to help farmers do their job. With an ever-increasing number of products on the market, it’s tough for time-strapped farmers to know what to buy for their operations.

Beck’s Superior Hybrids Inc. developed a concept in 2016 to put farming products and practices to the test in the field. A company of farmers, Beck’s created the Practical Farm Research, or PFR ProvenTM  to answer a crucial question for farmers: “How do I know which product or practice will work best on my own acres?”


Field Testing

Beck’s conducts testing in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. A product or practice can earn the PFR Proven designation if it has provided a positive yield increase during three or more years of testing and averages a positive return on investment (for products only) during that time.

Each year, Beck’s publishes hundreds of pages of its findings in a searchable book that farmers can access for free on the company’s website. In the 2021 Beck’s PFR Proven book, you can find four products made by TerraMax Inc., an innovative agtech company that creates and produces natural microbial products that benefit growers and the environment.

treated and untreated soybean plants

Treated soybean plants at the test center in Geneva, Nebraska, are a healthy, deep green color.
Photo provided by TerraMax

Using research for real results

TerraMax has a decades-long history of using research to harness nature’s processes and define targeted microbial products for farmers. It only made sense when they approached Beck’s with a handful of their long-standing successful microbial inoculants to put them to the test of earning the Beck’s PFR Proven designation.

CEO and scientist Doug Kremer explains, “Beck’s wants to help farmers pick out technologies that work. Their Practical Farm Research is targeted to set up in the locality for farmers to evaluate products so they can perform their jobs better.”

Beck’s PFR Proven TerraMax products

The four TerraMax products in the PFR book — Micro AZIF and Vertex IF for corn, and the TerraMax liquid IF and dry products for soybeans — earned and have maintained the Beck’s PFR Proven designation.

TerraMax director of research Molly Tillman says, “It’s very valuable data for us to have because it was done by a third party. Beck’s has high standards that they’re holding our products against. It’s not open to loose interpretations; they have a solid bar that we have to jump over, which is that three-year positive ROI.”

Kremer agrees with Tillman’s assessment. “We’re very happy with the designation. We’ve designed some pretty good products with pretty good formulations, and this is a validation of product performance in the hands of farmers, in an organized fashion.”

Over their many years of research, TerraMax has homed in on Azospirillum for their corn inoculant products. Both their MicroAZ-IF and their Vertex-IF use Azospirillum in their industry-first proprietary stabilization formula, which gives their products a shelf life of up to two years and extended effectiveness when applied to seeds.

TerraMax MicroAZ-IF is an in-furrow inoculant for corn that can easily be tank mixed with starter fertilizers. The Azospirillum in this inoculant harvests nitrogen from the atmosphere and fixes it in the soil so it can be used by the plant. It also stimulates root development by releasing plant-like compounds. These plants can better take in nutrients, have more nitrogen available to them, and have more robust root systems. One of the tricks with microbial inoculants is bacterial colony survival once growers apply the product to seeds. This is part of TerraMax’s key to success. Their special stabilization formula prolongs the life of bacterial colonies so that their products will be effective once the seeds germinate. At that point, the Azospirillum bacteria attach to the roots and begin their work for encouraging healthy root development and nitrogen fixation. The result is increased crop yields and healthier soils. The second Beck’s PFR Proven product for corn, Vertex-IF, combines MicroAZ-IF with another successful TerraMax product for greater yield potential. Vertex-IF pairs with most starters for ease of use and releases phosphorous from soil particles, in addition to providing nitrogen fixation and stimulating root growth.

soybean bushel chart

Chart showing higher bushels per acre for each site using TerraMax Maximize™ Soybean Inoculant
Graphic provided by TerraMax

TerraMax uses the bacteria Bradyrhizobium for their soybean products. TerraMax Liquid-IF is an in-furrow soybean inoculant that can be tank mixed with most starters. It’s one of the easiest ways for farmers to inoculate soybeans or double inoculate if soybeans haven’t been planted in three to four years, or if the grower is working with virgin soils. The Bradyrhizobium encourages nodulation in the roots, and like the Azospirillum products, is stabilized for survival. TerraMax Dry Soybean Inoculant has two strains of Bradyrhizobium, which are stabilized in their proprietary media. This product will remain stable “on-seed” for 30 days. Like the corn products, TerraMax soybean inoculants fix nitrogen for the soybean plants, provide a nutritional advantage for the germinating seeds and increase crop yields.

These four TerraMax products are tried and true. First and foremost, TerraMax’s objective is to make products that work. If a farmer wants proof before they try one of TerraMax’s products, they can see that product success and positive ROI over a three-year period by perusing Beck’s PFR 2021 Book.