INSTINCT™: optimising crop yield with innovative technologies

Nitrogen (N) is the most important and expensive input for optimal yield. At the same time, an excess of N poses a problem for water contamination. To achieve full production potential while minimising environmental risk, new management practices are required.

Nitrapyrin, the active ingredient in Optinyte™ technology, works by stabilising N at the crop root zone. This process optimises crop yield by safeguarding the farmer’s nitrogen investment and minimising environmental contamination. Nitrapyrin has undergone extensive testing for over 40 years in 25 countries across various crops, including corn and wheat. Corteva Agriscience, in collaboration with the NOVATERRA consortium, is actively exploring the application of this technology, formulated as INSTINCT™, in Mediterranean Vine Grapes and Olives.

In this study, six different grapevine and four olive grove farms were utilised, some for two consecutive years. The objective was to compare the effects of 100% usual nitrogen (N) fertilisation with two alternative approaches: 70% N fertilisation + INSTINCT™ and 60% N fertilisation + INSTINCT™ + biostimulants.

Two specific biostimulants were selected based on their perceived value as complementary partners to INSTINCT™ in low nitrogen situations.

– UtrishaTM N (BlueN®) contains bacteria with the ability to provide atmospheric N directly to the crop.

– UtrishaTM Rhizo, based on two different Lactobacillus species, enhances nutrient soil availability and uptake by acidifying the rhizosphere and stimulating the root system growth.

In general terms, the results suggest that reducing N fertilisation is possible without sacrificing yield when stabilising N with INSTINCT™ and utilising biostimulants. However, a deeper understanding of the factors influencing the success or failure of this practice, as well as its implications for yield quality, is needed. Further data will be generated in 2023 to contribute to this understanding.