• $220/ha yield increase
  • $18.50/ha less spent on inputs
  • Resulting in the grower being $238.50/ha better off

The 2014/15 year saw BioAg’s Soil & Seed undergoing trials by Rice Research Australia’s research farm at Jerilderie NSW, where it produced a response in terms of yield, and especially in nitrogen use efficiency.

The replicated trial compared standard fertiliser practice with a rice nutrition program that included Soil & Seed.

The trial found that the treatments using Soil & Seed were able to take up larger quantities of nitrogen, to the extent that, at panicle initiation there was no need for top dressing of urea.

For deep-water rice crops, this means a 44% reduction in nitrogen use, and for shallow-water crops, a 34% reduction.

In dollar terms, the Soil & Seed treatment cost $60/ha compared to the control top dressing application that cost $78.50/ha. A saving using the Soil & Seed program of $18.50/ha.

In addition, the Soil & Seed treatment resulted in an additional 500 kg/ha yield increase. At todays prices, that is an additional $220 in yield increases for each hectare of rice grown.

In total, the grower would be $238.50/ha better off using the Soil & Seed based program.

John Hill, Technical Sales Manager, BioAg said that “while the yield response was not statistically significant, it was great to see more grain grown 

“It is exciting to see the increase in nitrogen use efficiency from this trial and that this technology has the ability to span across a number of intensive irrigation cropping industries”, said Hill.

Nitrogen use efficiencies-a recurring theme

The Rice Research Australia trial is not the first where BioAg programs have delivered reductions in inputs such as nitrogen.

Trials conducted by AgriCenter International using BioAg’s liquid microbial fermented cultures on corn, cotton and soybean over two years averaged 22% yield increases. These results included replications using 15% less nitrogen than the standard district practice.

A case study on a NZ Dairy monitor farm resulted in a 90% reduction over 3-years in applied nitrogen following the introduction of a BioAg program.

How is this being achieved?

Anton Barton, Managing Director of BioAg said, “Most of the work we are doing is about improving the efficiency and sustainability of conventional farmers.

“This is achieved through improving the soil health and by increasing the microbial population and diversity in the soil. This then allows the applied nutrients to become more plant available, and the excess to be stored in a plant available form”.

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