Grow maize for money: Kynoch makes a difference to the bottom line

An effective fertiliser programme ensures that a mature cob develops on a healthy maize plant.

Successes achieved in the Winterton / Bergville / Ladysmith district 2016/17 season by HRH Smith Senior Agricultural Advisor, Kynoch (Acknowledgements: N Labuschagne and G Peddie)

Albert Einstein defined insanity as: “Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.” The same can be applied to farming. By changing our thinking and fertilising a bit differently, the Kynoch approach is able to enhance fertiliser use efficiency and possibly increase both yields and profitability.

One such product where huge advances are being made, is the use of nitrogen enhanced fertilisers. The uses of enhanced nitrogen fertilisers have been globally embraced in more than 70 countries, and have been extensively researched by thousands of different research institutions and organisations.

KynoPlus® is treated with Agrotain® which reduces nitrogen (N) losses through volatilisation to negligible levels. Agrotain® is an urease inhibitor, or enzyme, which regulates the chemical conversion from urea to plant available nitrogen (N) in the ammonium (NH₄) form. In so doing, it significantly reduces nitrogen (N) losses through volatilisation. This reduction in nitrogen losses enables more effective nitrogen to become available and taken up by the maize plants, with subsequent improvement in grain yields and financial benefits.

Another big advantage of using KynoPlus® is that it one need not apply topdressing just prior to rain. It allows a wider window of up to 2 – 3 weeks before there is a noticeable increase in nitrogen being lost through volatilisation.

KynoPlus® is ideally suited for use under no-till conditions, where crop residues are more abundant. The naturally occurring urease enzyme tends to be more prolific with higher levels of crop residues and decomposing organic matter. In the USA, the No-till Club farmers have voted for more than 10 consecutive years that Agrotain® or KynoPlus® was the best product that has made the biggest contribution towards the success of their farming business.

There is an abundance of compelling research data around the globe showing the benefits of Agrotain® or KynoPlus® to a wide range of crops and pastures both under dryland and irrigated production practices. For maize, yield increases range between 500 and 900 kg/ha over situations than where only urea was applied.

The benefits of using KynoPlus® have been observed on many farms in the Winterton / Bergville areas of Northern Natal. Two such examples are shown in Table 1.

In both studies, the farmers decided to see for themselves whether the benefits of using KynoPlus® lived up to the claims made. In both case studies were done under irrigation, with the only variable being that half of the 31 ha pivot circle were top-dressed with either urea or KynoPlus®. In both cases (Table 1) the maize crop was planted no-till.

In Case Study 1, the yield increases ranged between 500 and 750 kg/ha of maize harvested over areas where only urea was applied.

Finally, a Bergville maize farmer took Einstein’s advice and did something different. His new approach was to compare the comprehensive Kynoch fertiliser programme to that of his old standard practices. The comparison was done on two pivots adjacent to each other.

He used the special Kynoch planting mix containing NPK, secondary and micro nutrients. He top-dressed with KynoPlus® at V4 leaf stage and again with KynoPlus® + K&S blend, at V8 leaf stage. A foliar programme using Maize Oemff® was also used. Table 2 shows that the grain yield difference between the two programmes was 3,6 t/ha more grain using the Kynoch programme, giving a 28,4% increase in the margin above fertiliser cost, proving that just by changing our thinking and doing things differently, it is possible to improve the bottom line.


Changing your way of thinking about fertiliser practices can enhance the efficiency of both the fertiliser and the crop, which can result in higher yields and improved profitability with Kynoch fertiliser products. These results support Kynoch’s motto: Enhanced efficiency through innovation.

Table1: Marginal cost difference between fertilising maize with urea or KynoPlus®

Table 2: Yield and profitability difference between two different approaches to fertilising maize.

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