Not having the backing of a multi-national parent company to market our products means relying on other strategies to get product and program benefits accepted in the Australian agricultural market. For BioAg, this means undergoing a range of trials and tests in order to prove our products efficacy.
After a raft of positive responses in Australia and the sub-continent, in 2013 we shipped our liquid products Soil & Seed, Balance & Grow, and Fruit & Balance to the US so that they could be trialled in the birthplace of modern agriculture. Currently the US have around 40% of the country under farmland and are the largest soybean and corn, and third-largest cotton producers in the world.
The US trials were conducted by AgriCenter International which has headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee. The middle and south of the continent are key growing areas for a range of crops (including cotton, corn and soybean) and the standard fertiliser practices in those areas have undergone extensive research and experimentation in order to deliver optimum results.
Under the supervision of Dr. K. Bruce Kirksey the Director of Research at AgriCenter, BioAg products were subjected to replicated and strip trials of corn, soybean and cotton.
Each trial used the standard practice for the area as the control treatment, and then used three different combinations of BioAg products to make a total of four treatment combinations for each trial.
A typical standard practice delivered by AgriCenter International for the trials consisted of the following:
General fertiliser applied in March (N-20, P-80, K-80).
150 units of 32%N knifed in. The ‘15% less’ treatment went out at 125 units knifed in.
All trials, no matter what the proportion of BioAg products resulted in increases of both yield and return on investment however it was the district practice combined with the full rate of BioAg liquids that resulted in the highest yields and ROI.
All amounts have been calculated based on the Australian dollar cost of materials. Further details on all trial results are freely available by calling us directly.
Cotton lint yield increase 17.9%
Cotton seed yield increase 16.1%
Return on Investment (ROI)
Going into the trials and based on the past performance of our products we expected the results would be good, however as the existing practices in the US were already so well scrutinised, just how good an effect our products would make was an unknown to us.
High yields and high ROI’s are expected outcomes of any fertiliser regime but especially regimes that include inputs on top of fertiliser such as soil conditioners and yield enhancers.
Talking to a customer recently, such increases would have to be in the range of 10-15% to make any addition to a more traditional fertiliser regime worthwhile.
In the 1980’s and 90’s when our products were being developed we understood that the key to a crop’s yield and ROI going from good to great relied not just on looking at what could be delivered to the plant to produce a crop. It relied also upon what could be given to improve the soil’s health, and see the benefits of those improvements flow on to the crop. Essentially it was less about short-term band aid answers to growing a crop and more of a proactive long-term one.
Now-days there is an increasing amount of research by organisations such as the CSIRO and GRDC that support our methodology of healthy soils leading to healthy crops, yield and ROI.
BioAg has never shied away from trials as a way to prove that the BioAg method was superior. We have a lot of trial data that we make freely available to any who are interested. In a future edition of the newsletter, we will however look at the results we are achieving outside the scope of trial work. Our customers continue to offer amazing and useful insights and anecdotal evidence gathered from ongoing use of our products.
For the moment however, I think you can safely assume we are pleased with our US experience.