On-Farm Research Results: Impact of Torque on Corn Yield

A row of corn

On-Farm Research Results: Impact of Torque on Corn Yield

This report synthesizes the results of seven Torque™ studies in Nebraska between 2010 and 2015. According to product information published by the manufacturer Monsanto BioAg, Torque  is a growth promoter designed to improve soil microbial activity and enhance nutrient availability.  In these studies Torque was applied as an in-furrow application.

Table 1. Site characteristics and production practices for Torque™ research sites where available*
YearLocationSoil TexturePrevious CropPlanting DatePlanting Rate (seeds/ac)Row Spacing
2010 Dodge 4/26/2010 Pivot
2011 Dodge Corn 5/3/2011 Pivot
2013 Clay

Silt Loam

Corn 5/10/2013 34,000 30 Conventional Pivot
2014 Clay Silt Loam Soybean 5/1/2014 33,000 30 No-Till Pivot
2014 York Silt Loam Soybean 4/29/2014 34,000 30 Ridge Pivot
2014 Saunders Silty Clay Loam CRP 5/18/2014 26,000 15 No-Till None
2015 Saunders Silty Clay Loam Soybean 5/22/2015 28,000 15 No-Till None
* Detailed site characteristics and production practices are not available for all sites. In these cases, a dash is used to indicate the data is not available.

The product was applied at a rate of 8 oz/acre in all studies except the two Saunders County studies, where it was applied at a rate of 16 oz/acre. Site-specific data is included in Table 1. Most studies reported data for yield and grain moisture; this data is presented in Table 2. Torque's active ingredient of 2 x 10-7 percent lipo-chiooligosaccharide (LCO) is formulated for corn applications in an aqueous carrier accounting for more than 99% of the product.

Table 2. Corn yield and moisture data for Torque™ applied to corn organized by year and study location.
Study InformationMoisture (%)Yield (bu/ac)
Year County Reps* Torque Check P-Value Torque  Check Diff. P-Value
2010 Dodge 15.2 15.3 0.052 178 180 -2 0.357
2011 Dodge 16.3 16.3 184 188 -4 0.055
2013 Clay 8 18.4 18.4 0.632 255.3 254.8 0.5 0.764
2014 Clay 6 16.9 16.8 0.175 284 283 1 0.216
2014 York 6 17 16.9 0.102 204 205 -1 0.382
2014 SaundersA 5 16.9 16.4 0.18 181 164 17 0.014
2015 SaundersA 8 14.64 14.58 0.045 215 213 2 0.149
* Number of replications is not available for all sites, however Nebraska On-Farm Research Network standards require a minimum of three replications for inclusion.
All data except for the 2010 data is corrected to 15.5% moisture.
A Indicates that Torque was applied at a rate of 16 oz/acre at the site. At all other sites, Torque was applied at 8 oz/acre.
Indicates yield is significantly lower for the Torque treatment at alpha = 0.1.
Indicates yield is significantly higher for the Torque treatment at alpha = 0.1.

Summary In one of seven studies applying Torque resulted in a 17 bu/acre yield increase. At another site, Torque resulted in a 4 bu/acre yield decrease. The remaining five sites saw no statistical yield difference for using Torque.

This report has been posted to the Compendium of Research Reports on Use of Non-Traditional Materials for Crop Production, a searchable compilation of university research reports on non-traditional soil amendments and growth stimulants.

Nebraska On-Farm Research Network

For more information about the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network and to view other study results, visit https://cropwatch.unl.edu/on-farm-research.

Growers are currently working with Extension educators and specialists to establish protocols for 2018 studies. If you're interested, contact your local extension educator soon.

Map of on-farm research sites

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