[highlight]By Amelia Williams (Published in The Land, Thursday May 1, 2014)[/highlight]
Putting extra effort into balancing the nutrients in his soils has been worthwhile for Jarred Doyle.
Mr Doyle lives at “Coventry”, via Nundle, with his wife Susan and his parents Peter and Sally.
The 1620- Hectare property is a beef enterprise with Angus/ Charolais cattle and some crossbred lambs.
The property also grows oats and barley for grazing purposes and incorporates biological farming practices for the pasture management.
Mr Doyle’s father, Peter, has been aware of the importance of balancing nutrients in the soil for forty years and during the past four years the Doyle’s have been using biological products on their property.
Mr Doyle’s biological practices are based on the BioAg program, using the soil inoculant product called Soil and Seed and a solid product called BioAgPhos, which increases the phosphorus in soils, a substance Mr Doyle’s soils were low in.
Mr Doyle applies BioAg Phos to his soil with a belt spreader and said spraying the product didn’t make significant amounts of extra work and could act as a substitute for other commercial products.
“You can use it as your primary phosphorus source” he said.
“It’s a slight change in practices but it’s no more difficult than other conventional programs.”
The Soil and Seed is applied with the boom sprayer to Mr Doyle’s soils before sowing and can be mixed with other products such as Roundup.
Mr Doyle said the prices of phosphorus products were reasonable and comparable to the price of other conventional phosphorus sources, and he believed the phosphorus stayed in the soil longer.
“The phosphorus in their (BioAg) product comes in a different form which means it doesn’t leech out of the soil and  doesn’t wash away” he said.
“Our observation is we’ve had longer phosphorus viability whilst using the product, which has been a real plus for us.”
Implementing biological practices into his pasture fits in with Mr Doyle’s usual spraying routine and acts as a substitute for other products such as single super.
Mr Doyle said since implementing biological practices on his farm, his crops and pastures had performed better compared to other years when we hadn’t used the program.
“The soil inoculant is an extra cost but we have found it has paid off,” he said.
Mr Doyles said he was also pleased with how his cattle had responded to the program.
“Our observation is the weight gains have been slightly better”.
“They graze for shorter times, meaning they’re reaching their feed requirement in a shorter period of time,” he said.
Mr Doyle doesn’t consider himself a biological farmer as he still uses conventional products on his property, which is why he found a reliable program within BioAg.
“That’s what I really like about BioAg’s approach, it’s a mixture of using a biological approach but also incorporating some conventional products when they’re required,” he said.
By combining conventional and biological products, Mr Doyle hoped to achieve a complete balance of nutrients to maximise plant growth.
Mr Doyle found the BioAg program best suited his enterprise as it had a proper balance from a soil health perspective and the plant performance perspective.
“It’s an approach that fits in with my father’s long standing practices.”