30 Apr 2013
Mundoora farmer Craig Stringer reports increased yields in a trial barley crop by adding BioAg’s Soil & Seed and Balance & Grow to his normal fertilisation program, reports Miranda Kenny in the Stock Journal (SA) of 30th April.
Undertaking trials of new products and seed varieties are two ways in which consistently improves yields on his 1214-hectare mixed farm at Mundoora, in the State’s Mid North.
Craig, who farms the property with his wife Jacinta, son Nicholas, and father Lex, said BioAg products were the most recent he had trialled on-farm.
“Our agronomist, Mid North Ag Services’ Ben Hook, suggested we use it last year,” he said.
“We’d also had a bit of literature about it come through in the post with a bit of a spiel on it, so we decided to have a look at it.
“We were very pleased with the results – going by the yield monitor, we reaped 400 to 450 kilograms/ha more in the section we trialled the BioAg products on.
“Altogether, the paddock averaged 2.6 tonnes/ha.”
While most of the property is a mix of undulating hills and sandy loam soils, Craig decided to trial the BioAg products on a section of heavier ground, a sandy clay.
“It’s our worst patch of ground,” he said. “We wanted to try and promote root growth.”
The trial was run on 60ha of a 120ha paddock, cropped to scout wheat, after a wheat-on-wheat rotation. The wheat variety grown the previous year was gladius.
“Ben came down halfway through the growing season and we pulled up a few plants to have a look,” Craig said.
“The plants that had BioAg products applied had 20 per cent better root growth and much better vigour, with more leaf growth up top.”
The products were applied in addition to the Stringers’ usual fertiliser program.
The first product, BioAg Soil & Seed, was applied at 2 litres/ha at the same time as the spraying program, which used 1 litre per hectare of Trifluralin and 1 litre per hectare of Roundup.
Another 2l/ha of BioAg Balance & Grow was applied at mid-tiller, again mixed in and applied at the same time as the spraying program.
“We could have done one more application when the crop was coming to head but at that stage things were starting to dry off so we decided not to,” Craig said.
Fertiliser applications included 50kg/ha of urea “down the tube” at seeding, then 100kg/ha of single super broadcast with a spreader.
Still a week or two out from starting seeding, Craig said he was still deciding what he would be doing, in conjunction with Ben’s advice, but if he used BioAg products again this year, he would “probably” do a full paddock, rather than another trial.
“We usually don’t start seeding until the first week of May,” he said.
“But during one of our best years, in 2001, we didn’t actually start seeding until the first week of June.”
The Stringers had excellent yields in 2012, with 368 millimetres of rain at Mundoora compared to their usual 342mm rainfall average.
“Six inches (152.4mm) did fall outside of the growing season, in December to January, but we did have pretty good yields,” Craig said.
“From 161ha of barley we got 3.4t/ha or 20.5 bags/acre, when the normal average is 15 bags/acre.”
Craig said a next-door neighbour also used BioAg products on his barley crop and was happy with the resulting yields.
Reprinted from Stock Journal www.stockjournal.com.au with permission.
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