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Biostimulants Increase Yield

Act now for better winter crop results.

For the past four years, BioAg Agronomist and Area Manager Pete Emerson has been conducting a large-scale biostimulants demonstration with a grower near Brocklesby, southern NSW. The innovative grower is keen to explore ways to combat soil constraints and improve crop yield.

The demonstration is being carried out in three different paddocks on the property, all with a different soil type, within the grower’s crop rotation. BioAg’s biostimulant program is applied in 10ha blocks within each of the nominated control paddocks, where best farming practice fertilisation and chemical treatments for the region are applied. Biostimulants improve crop performance and soil health naturally by enhancing the soil and plant microbiome, and providing beneficial metabolites to increase nutrient uptake by crops. They stimulate plant growth and resilience to abiotic factors, improve plant physiological processes, feed and enhance soil biology, and improve crop interactions. BioAg offers a range of biostimulants, each specifically formulated using a combination of fermented culture technology and other natural inputs to target the crop’s specific growth stage.

For the first two years of the demonstration, BioAg’s Soil & Seed® (S&S) was injected at sowing into both wheat, canola, and pulse crop dryland rotations. S&S is a proven natural soil inoculant that supports germination, emergence, and early root growth in cropping. It is also beneficial in offsetting the impacts of stress and enhancing early seasonal growth and nutrient supply. S&S can be injected at sowing as well as applied by boom either pre or post-sowing.

• AT SOWING: Soil & Seed® injected at 4L/ha;
• VEGETATIVE: Balance & Grow® at 2L/ha with weed spray or foliar nutrients; and
• PRE/EARLY FLOWERING: Fruit & Balance® at 2L/ha with foliar fungicides.

Slobodan Vujovic BioAg Area Manager

Photos taken from one paddock in 2020, show a significant increase in the root biomass at the third to fourth node stage from plant samples taken from the S&S treated section of the paddock, compared to the untreated control (UTC) root sample.

Over the past two years, 2022 and 2023, a full biostimulant program was applied to the 10ha sites within the grower’s normal crop program.

Balance & Grow® (B&G) provides plants and soils with a range of nutrients, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and proteins. These components improve the supply of key nutrients and bioactive compounds enhancing plant uptake. As the components are in a biological form, they are readily absorbed supporting crops and pastures against abiotic stresses.

Fruit & Balance® (F&B) is a fermented microbial culture that contains a rich source of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, and carbohydrates that support fruiting and are beneficial for fruit quality improvement and increase resilience to abiotic stresses such as heat, salinity, and water stresses. It is a natural bio-chelator of water-soluble nutrients and trace element salts. It also delivers a readily available source of phosphorus at a time when permanent plantings and crops have a peak demand.

F&B also enhances the nutritional value and quality of fruit by supporting plant functions that increase sugar levels, improve fruit firmness and storage quality, and reduce fruit splitting.

The yield map from the summer 2023 harvest clearly shows the positive impact of BioAg’s biostimulant program on the harvested crop yield. The outlined black area in the map represents the 10ha biostimulant treated site and the green shading represents a higher yield t/ha result.

Given the strong yield response, the demonstration will continue in 2024. The grower is also keen to trial reducing urea rates to test if the BioAg treatments still deliver similar yields with lower nitrogen inputs.

Slobodan Vujovic BioAg Area Manager