Thank you to everyone for their business over the past year. It has been just a little bit over a year since Andrea and I bought SOIL Service, Inc. We very much appreciate all of the kind words and encouragement that we have heard over the last 13 months. They are more helpful than many of you know. We all appreciate our customers sticking with SOIL Service through the transition.
CropChoice® Starter fertilizer has come down substantially for 2016 when compared to its pricing for 2015. Obviously, grain prices have done the same, and the overall economics for 2016 are not looking as good as we have become accustomed to over the past four or five years. Years of research have shown that the best, most efficient bang for your phosphorus dollar is in-furrow starter fertilizer. At our warehouse research farm, we test many things. Over the past few years, we have been fortunate enough to work with Pioneer on four pack field trials. This year, we had a set of four different hybrids planted side by side, each with and without our CropChoice fertilizer. While we unfortunately placed this trial in a pretty wet part of our plots and didn’t get the overall high yields we have come to expect, the starter fertilizer differences were quite obvious over the course of the entire year. These differences showed up in both visible plant differences during the growing season and at the year-end yield. The average advantage to starter fertilizer over the four plots was an amazing 25 bushels per acre. Below is a graph that maps the results of this trial.
We saw this kind of result in many places last year, and while we would not usually expect to see a 25 bushel advantage every year, it does show you the potential benefit of starter fertilizer. Year in and year out, we see a definite, profitable advantage to using CropChoice starter fertilizer.
Last year, we also saw a very nice advantage to fungicide in corn applied at VT (tassel). If you are one of our existing customers for fungicide, you will be hearing from your salesmen over the next month about booking and the pre-pay advantages for aerial application. If you are not currently one of our customers, feel free to call us. We would love to visit with you about everything we have to offer.
One new product that we are happy to announce is the Sugar E-Boost®. It is a liquid sugar product that has the highest sugar concentration available in a liquid form, and it stores very well. We have tested this product in our nutrient recycling program. We have also tested it as an additive to the Foliar Opp®, Slow Release Nitrogen and other foliar products. We have seen a very good response from the Sugar E-Boost. Our plan is to test it extensively this spring in-furrow. If any of you are interested in helping us test Sugar E-Boost, please let one of us know.
As we have closed the book on our first year as owners, it has been nice to take a few minutes and reflect on the year. Again, we would like to thank the customers who have made our transition possible. Andrea and I would also like to take a minute to thank our employees. They are the ones who have had to put up with us as new owners and work through some of the hiccups that we have created along the way. Thank you for working with us to make this a success, and we look forward to many more years of success with all of you.