As we explain on our company background page, James Miller first heard about these products from a friend in the mid 1970’s. At that time, biological products were very new, and the claims about product performance were hard to believe. So, he first tested the products on the family farm for four years (1977-1980), and the results were so favorable that he and Carole founded Midwest Bio-Tech to market these products in 1981. Our marketing efforts were initially focused on Iowa and Illinois, and we have now expanded to cover most of the continental US.
No, the liquid products are produced by Chandler, Inc., of Vineyard, Utah, and we are distributor for Chandler.
Unlike many other biological companies, we do not have an optimal program or system that we sell to our customers. We recognize that farming practices vary a lot across the country, so a program or system that might work on one farm may not be appropriate for another farm. We are very willing to answer questions and offer recommendations, but we are not in the business of telling you how to farm — we prefer to find cost-effective ways to fit our products with the way you farm.
No, the Chandler products contain enzymes and other biostimulants, but they do not contain any live cultures. Although enzymes can break down under extreme temperatures, they are generally less sensitive to acidity (pH), temperature, and other environmental conditions than bacteria or other live cultures. So, enzyme products tend to work more consistently and across a broader range of field conditions than other types of biological products. Also, enzymes stimulate chemical reactions without being altered or depleted, so enzyme products are very cost effective because they are only required in small quantities.
All of the Chandler products are natural and do not contain synthetic or toxic ingredients. Also, most of the ingredients for the Chandler crop products are organic compounds, and the only inorganic ingredients are the mixing agents that suspend the micronutrients in the liquid products (Biocat 1000, Foliar, Liquid Seed Treat, and Soil) and the talc-based carrier for Dry Seed Treat. For organic producers, we offer our liquid Chandler Organic, which is a combination of Chandler Foliar and Soil that replaces the inorganic mixing agents with organic compounds. Chandler Organic is registered with the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) Organic Food Program and the OMRI program, and it may be applied as a foliar or soil treatment at the same rates we recommend for Chandler Foliar and Soil.
Yes, you can usually store the products for several month without diminishing the product performance. The main steps are to make sure that any open containers are well sealed and that all containers are not exposed to extreme temperatures. Most enzymes break down under extreme temperatures, so the product may become less effective if it gets too hot or too cold. We recommend that the liquid products should not freeze, and all of the liquid and dry products should not be exposed to temperatures that exceed 120 degrees. If the products are stored under suitable conditions, we have found that they can remain to be fully effective for at least 2-3 years.
The liquid products contain micronutrients and other soluble ingredients that are held in suspension, and these ingredients can settle out over time. Before you use liquid product that has been stored for a while, you should vigorously agitate the container to mix these ingredients back into the solution. For the gallon or 2.5 gallon jugs, you can shake the container for several seconds to mix the product. For the 30-gallon drums, you can roll the drum on the ground or tilt the drum on edge and shake the drum. In our warehouse, we use a long stir attached to an electric drill to agitate the liquid in the drums. If possible, you should always agitate the liquid products before they are added to spray tanks or other applicators in order to keep any sediment from clogging the screens, filters, or spray nozzles.
The liquid Chandler crop products may be combined in a tank-mix with most liquid fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, and other pesticides. However, some of these chemicals can react with micronutrients in suspensions, so we recommend that you completely dilute all other products with water and then add the liquid Chandler products to the tank last.
All of the Chandler crop products provide a cost effective return, but the best return is typically found with Dry Seed Treat. For corn, an investment of about $1 per acre often yields a return that exceeds $30 per acre. For example, the long-term average yield increase on corn is about 6 BPA. At a corn price of $6 per bushel, the expected net return is about $35 per acre for a $1 investment. Also, the talc carrier in Dry Seed Treat is the same grade of talc that is sold to lubricate planting equipment, so you can use the product in place of talc (or reduce the amount of graphite) and fully offset the cost of the product while getting all of the benefits.
Chandler Biocat 1000, Foliar, and Soil work with Dry Seed Treat to make more effective use of crop inputs and to build yields. However, each product is designed to work on a different part of the cropping system, and the product ingredients are different because of their distinct roles in crop farming. Chandler Foliar continues the work of Dry Seed Treat by helping the plant to absorb more nutrients and enhance photosynthesis in order to build higher yields. Chandler Soil multiplies the beneficial microbes in the soil to make sure that water and other nutrients are availble to support plant growth, and it provides a long-term impact on the soil structure. Finally, Biocat 1000 breaks down crop residue to complete the nutrient cycle and prepare for the next crop. We explain these relationships in our papers on the main benefits of the crop products and the benefits of a foliar feeding program.