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


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.



Site characteristics

US Cotton Trials 2018 site characterisitcs

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.

2016 results

The 2016 trial results saw a +24.5% yield increase using 15% less nitrogen than the district standard practice (control plots). 

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


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.

This picture and the header on this article are images of cotton crops in the Riverina district in May 2019, during harvest. Both crops show yield increases in crop treated with BioAg liquids (left hand side of both pictures) compared to untreated controls, supporting the US findings. Harvest in May 2019 saw increases of 0.4 to 1.4 bales /ha over the control in treated crop.

Independent Trials

At BioAg we take Independent trials very seriously. Sorting and charting tables of data may not be the most exciting way to spend a working day, but for the team here, we’re pleased every time we see the benefit of our programs and products backed up by hard facts. And seriously, who doesn’t like a chart showing yield increases resulting from an effective nutrient program?

Alongside multi-year, replicated independent trials, we also have a number of demonstration plots on the go at any one time. If you are a grower who uses BioAg, or have been considering implementing a BioAg program, why not talk to your BioAg area manager and find out whether a demo on your farm is an option. It’s a great way to see results.

One of our BioAg agronomists would be delighted to take your call.