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Berries

The Australian berry industry includes strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries and has a combined value of around AUD$850 million dollars per annum. It has now become one of the largest sectors within horticulture with a committment to producing quality fruit while remaining profitable and environmentally sustainable.

Specific considerations for berries

Preparing soils prior to planting and building soil carbon levels is an important aspect of high yielding crops. While nutrition is typically supplied as fertigated or foliar applied fertilisers, options do exist to incorporate sustained release fertiliser during soil preparation.

Soil carbon plays a vital role in nutrient capture, cycling and delivery to plants and supporting microbial populations that help agglomerate soils, enhance water infiltration and holding capacity; hence, improving water use efficiency and building a buffer for plants to heat stress.

A BioAg program can offer sustained release phosphorus and micronutrient fertilisers, as well as a range of soil and foliar biostimulants that supply soil carbon, food sources for crops and soil biology and natural chelators that aid the binding of nutrients to soils and uptake to plants, thus minimising nutrient loss pathways.

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.

blueberries scattered on white background

Berries – 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.

Prepare soils (and raised beds in heavy clay soils) for planting.
Objective
Prepare soils for planting.
Activity
Incorporate ameliorants, compost, and sustained release fertiliser to build soil fertility.
BioAg Product
Compost, BioAgPhos, BioAgSoP, BioAgBor: rates depend on soil and crop requrements and are based on soil test analysis.
Before transplanting or on the established plantation after harvest or at the beginning of next cycle.
Objective
Improve soil characteristics by increasing soil nutrient retention, soil carbon maintanance and bufffer capabilities.
Activity
Soil application of soil conditioners and biostimulants.
BioAg Product
HydraHume: 15 – 20L/ha.
After transplanting or on the established plantation at new cycle to support new growth.
Objective
Stimulate root growth and plant establishment, building shoot biomass, encourage soil microbiota to grow, including Mycorrhiza spp.
Activity
Soil application of BioAg biostimulants.
BioAg Product
Soil & Seed (+ N or trace elements): 8 – 10L/ha fertigated application.
After transplanting or on the established plantation at new cycle to support new growth.
Objective
Increase tolerance to stresses and bioavailability of applied nutrients.
Activity
Foliar application of BioAg biostimulants.
BioAg Product
HydraSea 50: 0.5 – 1L/ha foliar application.
Floral bud
Objective
Enhance nutrient use efficiency and crop growth.
Activity
Soil application of BioAg biostimulants.
BioAg Product
Soil & Seed (+ N): 2 – 3L/ha
Floral bud
Objective
Supply crop with bioactive substances for normal growth.
Activity
Foliar application of BioAg biostimulants.
BioAg Product
Balance & Grow (+ B or other traces): 2 – 3L/ha
Flowering
Objective
Enhance nutrient use efficiency and crop growth.
Activity
Soil application of BioAg biostimulants.
BioAg Product
Soil & Seed (+ N): 2 – 3L/ha
Fruit growth
Objective
Supply crop with bioactive substances for normal fruit set and growth.
Activity
Foliar application of BioAg biostimulants.
BioAg Product
Balance & Grow (+ K): 2 – 3L/ha
Fructification
Objective
Enhance nutrient use efficiency and fruit growth.
Activity
Soil application of BioAg biostimulants.
BioAg Product
Soil & Seed: 2 – 3L/ha fertigated application.
Fructification
Objective
Supply crop with bioactive substances for normal fruit set and growth.
Activity
Foliar application of BioAg biostimulants.
BioAg Product
Fruit & Balance (+ K): 2 – 3L/ha foliar application.
Early Maturation
Objective
Improve colour and Brix level.
Activity
Foliar application of BioAg biostimulants.
BioAg Product
Fruit & Balance (+ K): 2 – 3L/ha foliar application.

Berry resources

  • Leaf and tissue testing

    Your BioAg Area Manager may recommend a leaf or tissue test in addition to a soil test. In some cases, your BioAg Area Manager will do the leaf or tissue testing with you or for you. Use this procedure if you are doing the sampling without a BioAg expert present.

    Read more
  • Regenerative agriculture

    The term regenerative agriculture has become aligned, or associated hand in hand, with the improvement of soils, improved soil fertility, and the benefits this provides to farms and rural communities. The approach typically promoted is a holistic one, taking into accoun...

    Read more
  • How to fortify compost with BioAg

    Compost benefits crops and pastures by adding stabilised carbon to the soil. This provides a rich food source for the microbial system, feeding and expanding this system with greater nutrient cycling by the microbial system, and increased nutrient uptake to the crop or ...

    Read more
  • BioAg proprietary products escorting nutrients for better crop performance

    Micronutrients play a critical role in fruit set and fruit development. In viticulture or horticulture – now is the time to consider your needs for micronutrients and how to best deliver them to your crop. Micronutrients play an important role in a plant’s development, ...

    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.

BioAg product shot of BioAg SoP

BioAgSoP

Solid Fertiliser

Organically certified granular form of fertiliser containing potassium and sulphur. Immediately available to crops and plants. Ideal for crops with a high potassium demand and sensitive to chloride.

BioAg product shot of BioAgBor

BioAgBor

Trace Element

A sustained-release form of boron suited to a range of enterprises such as horticulture, vegetables, pastures and field crops.

BioAg Biostimulant product HydraHume

HydraHume

Biostimulant

A liquid solution of Potassium Humate providing a product suited to building soil humus and increasing soil fertility.

BioAg Biostimulant product HydraSea 50

HydraSea 50

Biostimulant

A natural seaweed extract that delivers a number of beneficial organic compounds and minerals to crops and pastures.

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.