Meristem Launches EXCAVATOR AMS: First All-in-One Surfactant, Water Conditioner, Residue Breakdown and Nutrient Release Product

Published online: Jun 29, 2024 New Products
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Columbus, Ohio – Meristem Crop Performance announced EXCAVATOR AMS, a new, more convenient formulation of EXCAVATOR powered by patented MICROBILIZE designed to break down residue and cover crops faster, speed nutrient release, reduce labor and improve the efficacy of herbicide applications.

The new formulation includes ammonium sulfate (AMS), making it the first all-in-one surfactant, water conditioner, residue breakdown and nutrient release product.

“We just put our MICROBILIZE Technology on steroids when we put the AMS with it,” explained Joe Gednalske, Meristem’s Product Development Lead. “And this formulation has a duplicate of our best AQUADRAFT formula, so you are truly getting it all: the best surfactant, water conditioner and the nitrogen to speed decomposition.” 

Gednalske led Meristem’s development of MICROBILIZE Technology, and is credited with 41 U.S. and international patents for adjuvants, spray application technology and other crop inputs. He’s spent his lifetime helping farmers and applicators hit their target with exactly the right surfactant, drift control and water conditioner and says this new product has three key improvements:

  • A more aggressive biological consortium to break down crop residue faster than any other similar product,
  • AMS and a non-ionic surfactant to make burndown of weeds and cover crops more effective and more convenient, and
  • EXCAVATOR and AQUADRAFT PREMIUM in one tote or jug, reducing mixing hassles and opening more space on the spray trailer.

“It’s time to fight back and take cost out of your synthetic fertilizer spend by unlocking the plant nutrition you already own,” said Mitch Eviston, Meristem Founder and CEO in announcing the new formulation. “Additionally,we are giving the farmer a best-in-class water condition and surfactant system for free and a nitrogen kicker making EXCAVATOR AMS the best residue breakdown product on the market.”

In the past five years, one of the fastest growing practices farmers have adopted is residue management with biologicals that pay out in plant nutrition, reduced tillage, improved stands. “Many farmers we work with are seeing $60 to $80 of value an acre by spending less than $15 per acre,” Eviston says. “EXCAVATOR AMS is another step-change, allowing all those benefits, plus saving another $2 per acre on adjuvant and nitrogen with this all-in-one product. It’s what we’re all about—more bushels for less.”
Better plant nutrition is why Iowa farmer Kelly Garrett says he has made EXCAVATOR a standard practice in his crop production systems. “After 230 bushel per acre corn, there’s over 200 pounds of potassium in that residue and that potassium is so much better than potash you would apply,” Garrett, an XtremeAg farmer says. “And the phosphorus you get from that residue is so much better than what you get out of 11-52-0. That’s the kind of nutrition that we want for our crops.”

Peter Rousonelos, Senior VP of Business Development for Meristem, who coined the phrase “Biology Is Fertility,” wants farmers to understand that investing in EXCAVATOR AMS is investing in better plant nutrition. “It’s really a fertilizer spend,” he says. “Independent research shows that EXCAVATOR releases 40 to 60 pounds of NPK from residue 45 to 60 days after application.” He adds that the formulation with AMS will work even better and be even more convenient to use. “We know our farmer customers want to go fast,” he smiles. “With EXCAVATOR AMS, they can go even faster.”

Josh McClain, farmer and owner/operator of Firebolt Ag near Norton, Kansas, is an example. He sees Meristem's products going hand in hand with sequestering carbon and bringing farmers a win-win: improved ROI and a better carbon score. “Reducing tillage is a quick way to qualify every acre, and it pays out extremely well in the carbon industry,” says McClain. “So, if a farmer uses EXCAVATOR AMS and cuts out a tillage pass, that offsets the cost of that product plus amps up their bottom line.” WATCH Josh McClain here

“Take $30 to $50 out of your fertilizer budget and use it to ignite this ‘biology-is-fertility’ system,” urges Rousonelos. “You will improve your ROI (return on investment), and an added benefit is how it meshes with the regenerative agriculture approach already approved by many who are buying carbon credits from farmers.” Rousonelos offers a step-by-step plan for “more bushels for less:”

1. Take Out Cost And Make The Most of Nutrients You Already Own

“Timely unlock and make available to the growing crop valuable pounds of NPK bound up in crop residue and cover crops with EXCAVATOR AMS, powered by MICROBILIZE. You can save fuel and labor with one less tillage pass. This stuff works.”

2. Manage Nitrogen For Just-In-Time Delivery

“Meristem’s MAINTAIN ELITE captures and maintains more nitrogen in the upper root zone, increasing nitrogen uptake and utilization by the plant and N-GEAR DUAL-ACTION provides the same benefits paired with the additional protection of nitrogen from volatility loss.”

3. Boost the Plant’s Focus On Building Massive Root Systems 

“At planting, use REVLINE HOPPER THROTTLE, powered by ETHER Enzyme Technology, to deliver active, lively microbes to build massive root structures and boost nutrient availability. Growers that have liquid systems on the planter should use UPSHIFT C liquid fertilizer concentrate to dramatically reduce the cost compared to traditional starters and jumpstart biologicals that make nutrients available.”

While Meristem’s “Biology Is Fertility” approach is drawing favor from many who are boosting their carbon sequestration and adopting more regenerative agriculture concepts at field level, Eviston says the mission remains clear: helping farmers raise more bushels for less.

“We know our high-yield farmers are facing headwinds in the coming year and we’re doing everything we can to help them take out costs and still swing for the fences,” he says.

For more information, visit www.MeristemAg.com.