ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — “Slow as molasses in January,” the saying goes.

Quality Liquid Feeds — and Hefty Seeds in Princeton — begs to differ.

“You hear ‘molasses,’ you think it’s going to stick,” said Matt Denton of Hefty Seeds in Princeton.

The Yetter row unit with nozzles shooting out a dark, coffee-colored liquid the consistency of coffee drew attention at the Quad Cities Farm Equipment Show.

It wasn’t coffee, but a molasses-based starter fertilizer that Hefty Seeds was showing off at their booth.

“It’s been on the market for a while but it’s brand new to us. We tried it on our farm this past year and saw tremendous results,” Denton said.

Darren Danke, the Illinois regional agronomy sales manager for Quality Liquid Feeds, based in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, said the product, properly called L-CBF 7-21-3 MKP Starter, is a combination of beneficial products.

“The foundation is sugarcane molasses, and we’ve added (monopotassium phosphate) to make it a great starter fertilizer. MKP is a low-salt, plant soluble fertilizer,” Danke said.

Denton said he was impressed by the benefits not just for the seed but the soil around it.

“The main ingredient we like about it is sugarcane molasses. It’s sugar and that’s feeding organisms and adding to the nutrient value we already have in our soil,” Denton said.

For north-central Illinois farmers, the product has an added benefit. While the molasses comes from the southern United States, the product itself is made in La Salle, at QLF’s Plant 1.

“We have this Yetter row unit set up to demonstrate. You think it’s not going to flow well. We can prove that wrong here today. It’s flowing like you would expect water to flow,” Denton said.

QLF also makes L-CBF Boost, which can be used throughout the growing season to supplement the MKP Starter.

“Throughout the season you can use Boost to feed the soil,” Denton said.

Jeannine Otto can be reached at 815-223-2558, ext. 211, or jotto@agrinews-pubs.com. Follow her on Twitter at: @AgNews_Otto.

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