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Winter cereal crops

Winter cereals include wheat, barley, oats, canary, and triticale and are some of the most cultivated crops in the world. While yield and quality is determined by the combination of environment and farm management, winter cereals, in general, have a much higher yield than spring cereals, due to the ability to use winter moisture for growth.

Specific considerations for cereal crops

Key for high grade cereals is grain set and fill.  Nitrogen plays a critical role in grain fill and nitrogen fertilisers are a core part of conventional grower practice. A BioAg program will target improvement in soils that will enhance nitrogen fixation, cycling and uptake, reducing nitrogen loss pathways providing improved utilisation and plant uptake at lower rates of N fertilisation. For organic systems improving nitrogen fixation from atmosphere, cycling and plant uptake are key aspects of successful crops.

The BioAg approach

BioAg nutrition programs are incorporated into a growers current nutrition program. Our objective is to make fertiliser and other inputs work better and build and support healthy and balanced soils and plants. Programs are custom-made for each block, using advanced soil and tissue analysis. These integrated programs typically incorporate a range of BioAg solid and liquid nutrients, often associated with conventional inputs. BioAg fertility programs can be developed to meet organic certification requirements.

Soil test

An experienced and Fertcare accredited BioAg agronomist works with you and provides technical expertise on your crop. If you don’t already have recent soil test data, we arrange a soil test for you. The results provide essential information about the soil fertility and soil structure for better performance.

A tailored program

Based on the results of soil tests, crop requirements and other factors such as soil structure, climate, history of the block, and targets that you are trying to achieve, we provide a tailored program that aims to improve soil fertility and maximise yield response. We support you through the program to ensure that inputs are applied at the right time, in the right way.

Leaf and tissue testing

Any nutritional program cannot foresee the changes in weather, disease, or pests, that may impact a crop.  During the season, growers may observe issues or evidence of stress in their crop. This may be due to greater growth or yields than planned, a trace element shortage or abiotic stresses. An on-farm inspection and associated leaf or tissue tests will promptly identify any issues, which can quickly be addressed by applying the appropriate inputs.

High yielding crops require fertile balanced soils

Key to highly productive crops is the function of soils. Soil structure, chemistry and biology are critical in supporting crops throughout the growing season. By improving all aspects of the soil, crops will benefit from improved access to moisture, due to improved infiltration and water holding capacity, improved access to nutrition through improved nutrient cycling, fixation (for N) and a reduction in loss pathways, improved resilience to abiotic stresses and disease, improved root growth providing access to additional moisture and nutrients as well as improved carbon sequestration and a range of other benefits (link to resources - soil health).

Beneficial microorganisms stimulate the plant’s root growth and help protect it from abiotic stresses. This is made possible through mutually beneficial relationships that microbes develop with plants, for example mycorrhizal associations.   BioAg products programs supply essential macronutrients (N, P, K, S, Ca), trace elements (B, Zn, Cu etc.),  microbial food and metabolites beneficial microorganisms that colonise root systems, improving soil function, plant health and productivity.

stalk of oat pods on a white background

Winter cereal crops – key features of a BioAg program

The following table illustrates the cropping process and potential solutions depending on soil test results and other contributing factors. Call your BioAg Area Manager to discuss your individual needs.

Planning
Objective
Growers to have a plan in place for the cropping season, that takes into account the specific nature of their soils while meeting the needs of budget, planned future rotations, crop yield and quality and long term objectives on soil quality.
Activity
Book a soil test and consultation with your local BioAg Representative
BioAg Product
Prior to sowing
Objective
Provide optimal soil conditions and nutrition to support crops. Prepare soils for the period of the rotation addressing soil structure, chemistry (eg pH) and nutrition.
Activity
When applying ameliorants support crops through the entire season by including sustained release phosphate , at a rate based on soil phosphate levels and depending on the needs of your crop and future amelioration plans.
BioAg Product
BioAgPhos: 100 – 500kg/ha
At sowing
Objective
Provide the essential nutrition and food sources to promote emergence and early plant growth and vigour, critical in the development of stronger more resilient crops.
Activity
Incorporate a soil biostimulant to incease soil organic carbon and important microbial food sources and metabolites to improve nutrient access and minimise nutrient losses during seed emergence and early growth.
BioAg Product
Soil & Seed: 2 – 5L/ha as a seed inoculant or preferably diluted and applied to soil.
Key growth stages
Objective
Stimulate crop growth at critical growth stages, respond to abiotic stresses and optimise the uptake and use of foliar nutrients
Activity
Foliar application - diluted through a boom spray and in conjunction with planned applications of chemicals or fertilisers.
BioAg Product
Balance & Grow: 1 – 4L/ha possibly more than once per season.
Maturing crop
Objective
Improve fruiting, seed set and seed fill by stimulating plant physiology and poviding important micronutirents for this stage of the crops development
Activity
Foliar application - diluted through a boom spray and in conjunction with planned applications of chemicals or fertilisers.
BioAg Product
Fruit & Balance: 1 – 4L/ha

Winter cereal resources

  • Pasture and hay case study, Dunkeld VIC

    A biological soil nutrition program is enabling Victorian farmers, Gavin and Vikki Bensch, to shrug off the effects of the drought and produce some of the best clover hay they have ever grown. Gavin and Vikki grow about 180 hectares of clover hay, wheat, linseed, field ...

    Read more
  • Wool and grain case study, Deniliquin NSW

    Southern NSW wool and grain growers, Alan and Ruth Wragge, have dramatically improved the health, yield and quality of their crops since they adopted biological farming techniques six years ago. The Wragges grow up to 600 hectares of oats, wheat, barley and rice on thei...

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  • No-till cropping case study, Ganmain NSW

    While other farmers are struggling to cope with soaring fertiliser prices, Riverina grain grower, Peter Eisenhauer, has cut costs and lifted grain yields and quality after switching to a no-till biological farming system. A sixth generation farmer, Peter and his wife, G...

    Read more
  • Pasture case study, Corobimilla NSW

    Riverina farmer, Andrew Forrest, has transformed a tired farm into a highly productive property, yielding as well as any in the district after adopting a minimum till biological farming system. Andrew, his wife, Sue, and his sister and brother-in-law, Kate and Kevin Hal...

    Read more

Recommended products

bag of BioAg Phos solid fertiliser

BioAgPhos

Solid Fertiliser

Highly reactive phosphate fertiliser made from high-grade reactive phosphate rock combined with BioAg’s microbial digesting agent.

BioAg Biostimulant product Soil & Seed

Soil & Seed

Biostimulant

Formulated to improve soil microbial activity, natural soil fertility and moisture and nutrient utilisation.

BioAg Biostimulant product Balance & Grow

Balance & Grow

Biostimulant

Formulated to increase vegetative growth, root development and soil microbial activity. Ideal for broadacre, pastures and horticulture.

BioAg Biostimulant product Fruit & Balance

Fruit & Balance

Biostimulant

Formulated to increase flowering, fruit set and soil microbial activity. Fruit & Balance enhances the nutritional value and quality of fruit or grain by increasing plant sugar levels.

bag of BioAg Phos solid fertiliser

Committed to organics

With a core range of natural fertilisers and biostimulants, BioAg can offer an extensive range of products certified by Australian Organics, suitable for use in organic systems.