The condition of the soil is to a large extent determined by the health of the biological systems it contains. This will determine how effective the soil is at acting as a nutrient reservoir, and how effectively nutrients are supplied to the crop.
Over the colder winter months, the biological systems in both the soil and the plant are exposed to the same negative conditions.
Within the soil, the biological systems are attempting to cycle nutrients, harness energy to produce carbohydrates, and convert resources such as carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and root exudates into usable forms for the plant.
Winter stresses slow these biological actions, leading to less growth. The options to the grower at this time are to wait until environmental conditions improve, or attempt to stimulate growth by feeding the crop additional nutrients.
Taking steps to condition the soil prior to/at sowing feeds and develops the biological systems that will ultimately support and determine winter growth.
Soil conditioning improves water infiltration, root depth, the crops access to nutrients and water use efficiency.
Waiting too long into the season to condition your soil can mean it occurs too late.
Working from soil tests taken before sowing, BioAg consultants recommend those products required (be it BioAgPhos, lime, gypsum or others) to build long-term improvements in soil condition for both winter and summer crops.
Once the crop is sown and the weather turns cold, the improved soil condition can then support improved plant growth.
Throughout the growth stages of a crop, and during colder months, consider feeding foliar nutrients and other complexed food sources.
BioAg’s Balance & Grow provides both the plant and the soil with the appropriate nutrients to stimulate and support the biological systems that deliver growth including calcium, phosphate, a range of enzymes, and microbial foods.
When applied as a foliar application in conjunction with a nitrogen product (such as UAN or calcium nitrate) the plant has improved access to the nutrients it requires, delivering improved growth and helping to fight stresses that may reduce yield.
Winter Cropping Summary
Supporting your crop’s early growth during the stresses of winter is an important factor in delivering improved yields.
Soil condition plays an important early role, while nutrient supply and sustaining the biological systems in both the plant and soil will improve winter growth and the plants ability to combat stresses.
Improved vegetative growth through winter will set your cereal or canola crop up for improved yields at harvest.