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The experiences of a BioAg cropping customer in the Riverina show that our liquid products Soil & Seed, Balance & Grow, and Fruit & Balance offer significant improvements in yield and grain quality.

Andrew Dalglish and his father Charlie have been BioAg customers for around 10 years at their Eurongilly (NSW) farm Bradford Park, which they sold at the end of 2011. During this time Andrew also ran a mango harvesting business across both the Northern Territory and North Queensland (and still does).

To keep himself even busier, Andrew bought a 3,000 acre property Panama, between West Wyalong (NSW) and Ungarie, in 2007. When he bought Panama it was a run down grazing property with poor fencing and a history of inadequate fertilisation. Andrew got busy, removed the fences, filled in the melon holes, and started continuous cropping under soil and plant nutrition guidance from BioAg’s MD, Anton Barton. A couple of applications, several years apart, of poultry manure mixed with BioAgPhos and gypsum, raised the underlying soil fertility and provided a nutritional platform from which the 2012 harvest yield results were achieved.

In 2011 Andrew spread the blend of poultry manure, BioAgPhos and gypsum across much of the property, and used Soil & Seed with MAP as a starter fertiliser. The crop yields were high, and most of the soil nitrogen was used up growing this second consecutive big crop.

For the 2012 season Andrew decided to sow with 50 kg/ha MAP and 4kg/ha zinc sulphate. Sulphate of Ammonia was spread after sowing (because of the availability of the spreading contractor) at rates of 80 kg/ha for barley, 150 kg/ha for canola and 120 kg/ha for wheat. Andrew was keen to do everything possible to maximise yield and quality in 2012, as the planting profile was full and, during the winter, grain prices were rising due to the worsening US drought. The crops included 210 ha Garnet canola, 120 ha Eaglehawk wheat, 210 ha of Janz Clearfield wheat, 245 ha Hindmarsh barley, and 95 ha Albus Lupins.

In late July, when the cereals were at the late tillering stage, and prior to the commencement of canola flowering, the vegetative foliar fertiliser treatments were applied as shown below.

 

Balance & Grow

l/ha

Calcium Nitrate

kg/ha

UAN

l/ha

Canola

1.6

6.5

18

Wheat

1.6

7.0

14

Barley

1.2

4.5

12

From mid to August to early September, the following fruiting foliar treatments were applied to the canola at the early flowering stage and to the cereal crops from 2nd node to pre-head emergence.

 

Fruit & Balance

l/ha

Copper Sulphate

g/ha

Zinc Sulphate

g/ha

UAN

l/ha

Canola

1.6

150

 

14

Wheat

1.6

150

200

15

Barley

1.7

150

 

12

Lupins

2

 

150

 

Having given the crops every chance to maximise yield and quality by rigorously following the prescribed program, Andrew was a little disappointed that the spring failed, and his yield potential was compromised to some extent. He was, however, delighted with the yields and grades of grain that he produced.

All of the wheat was graded APW with a value of $265 per tonne. The canola produced 43 to 45% oil with a value of $515 per tonne, and all of the barley was graded F1 and sold for $215 per tonne. All of the prices were achieved on a delivered West Wyalong basis.

Once Andrew’s crops were harvested and sold, his greatest excitement came from the analysis of his potential yield and water use efficiency.

 

Yield

t/ha

Potential Yield

%

Water Use Efficiency

kg/ha/mm

Canola

1.86

174

13.92

Wheat

2.52

118

18.87

Barley

2.56

120

19.18

So, realising that despite owning and operating Panama in the Riverina along with his mango contracting businesses up north, that he still had capacity to spare, last year Andrew bought a mango and horticulture farm at Katherine (NT) where he is now growing rock melons in addition to managing his mango trees.

In Andrew Dalglish the old adage certainly applies – “if you want something done well, give the job to a busy person.”

Products used in this example

BioAgPhos

Balance & Grow

Fruit & Balance