When he was approached to put in some on-farm tests with a new soil amendment product, Ben Knox was skeptical to say the least.

He’s seen plenty of snake oil and snake oil sales personnel come and go, and a product made primarily from sand didn’t seem to be what his farmers would need to boost crop yield and quality.

Knox  has helped farmers as an agronomist for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture (NCDA) for the past 27 years — when he talks about crop production, growers in his area tend to listen.

“I’ve been involved with agriculture all my life, and I don’t recall many products that I’ve seen that work so well over so many different soil types and on so many crops as did Quick-Sol this past crop year. I know it’s just one year, but the results are surprising,” Knox says.

Price of the product varies from crop to crop, depending on use rate. On corn, the product costs $18 per acre. “When adding the extra yield on corn from test plots and comparing it to the cost of the product and the cost of applying it, we saw net yield advantages of $150 per acre using Quick-Sol, Knox says. 

Perhaps the biggest eye opener for Knox was a test conducted by former colleague and recently retired NCDA Agronomist Lynn Howard with Hiddenite, N.C. farmer Lawrence Branton.

Branton is a long-time tobacco grower and by all accounts a very good one and a very conservative one. When a 12 acre field sprayed with Quick-Sol came in at more than 4,900 pounds per acre, Knox had to see it for himself.

“Mr. Branton’s entire tobacco crop was good. I think he averaged well over 3,000 pounds per acre on his entire farm, but this one test block was amazing,” Knox recalls. 

Lynn Howard who conducted and oversaw the trials on Branton’s farm said, “Right after topping during the second application of Quick-Sol this 12 acre field had the potential to yield over 4,000 pounds per acre, after the third and final application of Quick-Sol the tips on this field were the largest I had ever seen and were more mature than any of the tobacco on Branton’s entire tobacco crop”.

“Overall, Howard says, all the trials I have worked on with Quick-Sol if applied properly and on time the product did everything the product says it will do.”

The product, Steve Speros, vice-president of marketing for Quick-Sol USA says, came about in a typically serendipitous way. “It was developed in a little town near San Antonio, Texas to remediate oil wells. An unforeseen effect was the greening of grass and mesquite around the well. As a result of this unexpected outcome, a new product for agricultural use was developed.