Build Soil & Crop Health for Tomorrow – Today
We have been traveling across much of the East Coast and South Australia the last few weeks and viewing an array of crops at various growth stages. There have been some areas that have experienced a considerable amount of rain and the soils remain very damp and others that would love to just get any. There are still positive forecasts for February and through winter for much of Australia, so let’s hope they are right.
When we talk about wet and dry conditions the question is – when is the best time to manage crops and soils for long term benefits? Some perennial growers share their belief that crops need “extra” help in drought years and not so much help in the non-drought seasons, but are they missing opportunities. With Seasonal crop growers for example, if dryland don’t have a lot of choice if the season is dry, does that then make it even more important to do soil work when the season is wet or when you have irrigation water?
If anything, we need to feed our crops more in good seasons, whether perennials or seasonal cropping to give them both every chance for crops to grow, strengthen and soils to rebound. We need to take the time and the focus to undertake soil and plant health work in good times, especially if crops & soils have endured some hard times.
So what’s some of the options for “bulking up,” of perennial crops and soils or getting ready for pre-plant, planting and in season for seasonal crops? There are several ways to approach it.
1. Compost: Composting is a great way to improve soil health, albeit they take some time before crops get the full benefit, but the wait is worth it. In broadacre compost is often not a viable option, but if you’re close to a feedlot, manure is not a bad substitute.
2. Liquid Soil Conditioners: Organic acids are a great option for soil conditioning. A combination of bio-catalysts including technical organic acids, plant growth hormones, digestive enzymes and bio-surfactants promote soil structure, disease resistance an water holding capacity.
3. Load up on Nutrients: Foliar sprays combined with broad spectrum bio-stimulants have a synergistic impact on crops, allowing them to absorb nutrients more expeditiously and promoting root exudation. Beneficial bacteria and fungi living in the soil grow and expand the rhizosphere. This synergistic process pushes nutrients back to the plant, contributing to leaf growth, size and plant energy.
4. Introduce Bio stimulants: Plant bio-stimulants contain substances that when applied to plants or the rhizosphere stimulate natural processes to enhance/benefit nutrient uptake, nutrient efficiency, tolerance to abiotic stress, and crop quality. Bio stimulants and organic acids are the key to amplifying plant yields and quality to new levels.
Use of Bio-Stimulants and organic acids etc. is not new, it is actually growing substantially around the globe, we just have to be conscious of quality and ensure growers are selecting and paying for the right product for what they need. Too often the Bio-Stimulants, organic acids, bio organic and mineral fertiliser are of poor quality with little or no industry regulation to monitor quality. The result can often be a slick salesman doing a good sales job, the product/s perform poorly leaving a bad taste in grower’s mouth on all such products. So be aware of quality and use the right products at the right time and for the right situation and you will get the results you’re after.
EcoCatalysts has been in the forefront of combining the best of bio-stimulants and organic acid products with the best of synthetic fertilisers in an effort to optimize plant and soil health.
Have a look at our products that we recommend to “bulk up” perennial & seasonal crops, improve soil health and start minimising input costs while maximising profits.