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Vegetable crops

The Australian vegetable-growing sector is an important source of food. It supplies most of the fresh vegetables consumed in Australia and provides inputs for the processed vegetable products consumed in Australia or exported. Around 4% of all Australian farms grow vegetables for human consumption. Vegetable production is the sixth-highest value agricultural industry in Australia, accounting for around 7% of the gross value of agricultural production.

Specific considerations for vegetables

There is a broad range of annual and short-season vegetable crops. Underpinning quality and yields is the need for balanced fertile soils with the appropriate nutrition and organic carbon levels.

A common issue with vegetables is the overuse of nitrogen fertiliser due to poor soil properties and poor soil structure or composition. Performing soil tests ahead of planting and planning your applications of fertiliser and ameliorants, including compost, will ensure fields are prepared prior to planting.

In soils with low fertility or a level of soil antagonists, soil biostimulants will support the retention, cycling, and supply of nutrients to crops. The use of foliar biostimulants in the application of liquid fertilisers or chemicals will support crop physiological functions including the translocation of nutrients with 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.

Green cabbage isolated on white

Vegetables (that form heads) – 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 raise beds in heavy clay soils) for planting.
Objective
Balance soil nutrient profile N, P, K, Ca, S, trace elements, and organic C.
Activity
Incorporate ameliorants, compost, and sustained release fertiliser and trace elements to build soil fertility.
BioAg Product
BioAgPhos: Rates depend on soil and crop requirements and the soil test results.
Prepare soils (and raise beds in heavy clay soils) for planting.
Objective
Balance soil nutrient profile N, P, K, Ca, S, trace elements, and organic C.
Activity
Incorporate ameliorants, compost, and sustained release fertiliser and trace elements to build soil fertility.
BioAg Product
BioAgSoP: Rates depend on soil and crop requirements and the soil test results.
Prepare soils (and raise beds in heavy clay soils) for planting.
Objective
Balance soil nutrient profile N, P, K, Ca, S, trace elements, and organic C.
Activity
Incorporate ameliorants, compost, and sustained release fertiliser and trace elements to build soil fertility.
BioAg Product
BioAgBor: Rates depend on soil and crop requirements and the soil test results.
Prepare soils (and raise beds in heavy clay soils) for planting.
Objective
Balance soil nutrient profile N, P, K, Ca, S, trace elements, and organic C.
Activity
Incorporate ameliorants, compost, and sustained release fertiliser and trace elements to build soil fertility.
BioAg Product
and other required fertilisers, ameliorants and compost
Seed germination
Objective
Enhance seed germination and seedling growth to encourage early growth and reduce stress at transplanting.
Activity
Tray soil drench at sowing and after germination or at two weeks.
BioAg Product
Soil & Seed: soil drench 20:1
Before transplanting (or sowing)
Objective
Improve soil properties nutrient retention, soil carbon levels, buffering capacity, and reduce salt stress.
Activity
Soil application of soil conditioners and biostimulants.
BioAg Product
HydraHume: 15 – 20L/ha
After transplanting (or sowing)
Objective
Stimulate root growth and plant establishment, building shoot biomass, stimulate soil microbiota to support crop growth.
Activity
Soil application of a soil biostimulant; apply diluted through an irrigation system or boom spray, in conjunction with liquid N fertiliser.
BioAg Product
Soil & Seed: 8 – 10L/ha
9 or more true leaves unfolded
Objective
Stimulate root growth and plant establishment, building shoot biomass, stimulate soil microbiota to support crop growth.
Activity
Soil application of a soil biostimulant; apply diluted through an irrigation system or boom spray, in conjunction with liquid N fertiliser.
BioAg Product
Soil & Seed: 2 – 4L/ha
9 or more true leaves unfolded
Objective
Stimulate vegetative growth, rectify identified micronutrient deficiencies.
Activity
Foliar application of BioAg biostimulants with or without trace elements.
BioAg Product
Balance & Grow with required micronutrients: 2 – 4L/ha
Development of harvestable vegetative plant parts
Objective
Enhance nutrient use efficiency and crop growth.
Activity
Soil application of a soil biostimulant; apply diluted through an irrigation system or boom spray, in conjunction with liquid N fertiliser and/or micronutrients.
BioAg Product
Soil & Seed: 2 – 4L/ha
Development of harvestable vegetative plant parts
Objective
Stimulate vegetative growth, rectify identified micronutrient deficiencies.
Activity
Foliar application of BioAg biostimulants with or without trace elements.
BioAg Product
Balance & Grow (+ B or other trace elements Zn, Mn, Mo): 2 – 4L/ha
50% of the expected head size reached
Objective
Enhance nutrient use efficiency and crop growth.
Activity
Soil application of BioAg biostimulants. Apply diluted through irrigation system or boom spray.
BioAg Product
Soil & Seed: 2 – 4L/ha
50% of the expected head size reached
Objective
Stimulate head or fruit growth.
Activity
Foliar application of BioAg biostimulants to enhance growth and yield during the reproductive phase (growth of harvestable portion of crop).
BioAg Product
Fruit & Balance: 2 – 4L/ha

Vegetable resources

  • Organic produce case study, Coleambally NSW

    Former rice growers, Neill and Gina Wiseman, have transformed a block of worn-out station country into a thriving large-scale organic vegetable farm by using biological farming techniques. Neill and Gina and their sons, Ryan and Luke, are now earning premiums from the s...

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  • Onion case study, Keith SA

    Ciampa Produce annually grows more than 12,000 tonnes of onions and has increased average yields from 80 to 111 tonnes per hectare over the past three years. The Ciampa’s believe an important contributor has been an improved fertiliser strategy. This included the introd...

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  • Echuca Tomato demonstration 2014 – 2017

    Based in Echuca Victoria, Kagome Australia is the country’s largest tomato processing company, supplying many supermarkets in Australia and internationally with high quality, Australian grown product, which they have done since 1996. Kagome Australia conducted a number ...

    Read more
  • Sri Lanka brinjal demonstration 2011

    Investigating the economic benefits of BioAg technology in Sri Lankan vegetable cultivation. This trial demonstrates that the BioAg fertiliser applications offer multiple benefits in vegetable cultivation, such as a) increased yield, b) increased revenue and c) improved...

    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.

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.