Trial aim: to evaluate the impacts on cotton yield when using BioAg fermented microbial liquids over the top of standard fertiliser applications

Updated March 2019 to include 2018 data

Background

In-field use and on-farm demonstrations in Australia’s southern cotton valleys have identified positive yield responses when applying BioAg’s fermented liquid cultures on cotton crops.

To support these anecdotal successes, BioAg has run a series of independent, small plot replicated trials to gather reliable, repeatable, year on year results. Given the trial controls required, they were undertaken by the globally renowned Agricenter International in Memphis, Tennessee, USA.

Fertiliser rates were based on standard practice in the area.

  • Balance & Grow was applied as a foliar at first bloom (5 to 7 weeks after planting).
  • Fruit & Balance was applied as a foliar at peak bloom (2 to 4 weeks after applying Balance & Grow).

Products trialled

Treated plots received applications of BioAg’s Fermented Microbial Fertilisers – Soil & Seed (S&S), Balance & Grow (B&G) and Fruit & Balance (F&B). Soil & Seed was applied on the soil at planting.

In 2013, 2016 and 2017, growing conditions for cotton were better than average meaning cotton crops suffered fewer stresses.

The 2014 trial was conducted in a poor growing year; while in 2015 and 2018 growing conditions were average.

Irrespective of the conditions experienced the BioAg treatments increased cotton yields. The largest response was achieved when growing conditions were average.

Method

Site characteristics

Yield increase

The graph below shows yield responses with the overlay of BioAg liquids. Displayed here are & yield increase in treated cotton and an indication of how that is translated to bales.

Graph 1. US Cotton Trial 2013 – 2018 increase in bales/ha and % yield increase with overlay of microbial stimulants on standard grower practice.

Conclusion

The USA trials have shown that the use of BioAg liquids over the top of a fertiliser program increases yields. While yield in each season varied, each year provided a beneficial return. In tougher years, the observed yield responses are higher.

Summary of results

In year 1 (2013), trials were more extensive so as to identify the optimal rate of use for Soil and Seed. Having completed the 2013 trials all subsequent years used a constant full program of BioAg liquids.