Evaluation year: 2011
Location: Boxford Fruit Farm, Hill Farm, Boxford, Suffolk UK
Representative soil samples were taken from Control and Treated blocks (i) prior to application, and (ii) post application.
Samples were analysed for extractable (available) levels of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and calcium.
Mean soil available levels for all nutrients measured in the study increased above the control as per the following:
This farm evaluation of BioAg Soil & Seed has demonstrated the effectiveness of this microbial liquid culture to substantially improve the level of soil available nutrients, particularly Phosphorus, Magnesium and Calcium, and to a lesser extent Potassium.
It is well recognised that biological activity is important to facilitate the release of Phosphorus from soil reserves. Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for energy utilisation in crops to drive vegetative growth and fruiting. Of all the major nutrients Potassium supply from soil reserves into the soil solution is the least sensitive to microbial action. It is interesting to note that Soil & Seed was less effective in increasing the available level of Potassium than for the other nutrients.
In terms of soil structure biological activity is important to the development of stable aggregates. Soil fungi ,with their thread like mycelia , help to bind soil particles together. Bacteria secrete a polysaccharide glue which holds soil particles thereby improving soil structure. Air penetration to soils and drainage is very dependent on the establishment of a stable soil structure which enables soil life to flourish and soil fertility to build.
This farm evaluation has demonstrated the benefits of Soil & Seed to improving soil available nutrient levels and soil structure. Future work will focus on the effect of Soil & Seed on crop health and production, as mediated through the positive improvements in soil fertility reported here.