18 Copford Road Goulburn NSW 2580
10 Sep 2016

Finding the Best Solution for Waterlogged Crops

In a year when waterlogging has taken a toll on winter crops. A biological soil stimulant has helped cereal and pulse crops in the Wimmera avoid falling victim. Senior agronomist Jamie Ball, of Elders St Arnaud. Has worked with regional growers to biologically treat chickpeas, lentils, wheat, barley and oats with TM Agricultural. Organically certified, TM Ag uses plant extracts to stimulate indigenous soil microbes and is produced by Best Environmental Technologies. Mr Ball said the St Arnaud district had recorded 340mm to late September. With local crops affected by flooding and water logging. He said the local crops treated with TM Ag had come through the wet season well, were more robust and handled the conditions better.

“They are certainly retaining their colour, vigour and growth rate. Versus untreated crops which, if they recover, take some time to improve.’’ Mr Ball said. “This differential in growth usually translates directly into yield. “We haven’t lost any treated crop to waterlogging but untreated crops have been lost. “It’s early days but we are pretty impressed.’’ Mr Ball has collected paddock data on TM Ag in both dry and wet seasons. Across a range of soil types including alluvial, heavy clays and loams.READ MORE

10 Feb 2016

Soil Health Results in Increased Profits

Reduced screenings, improved grain weight along with soil moisture retention and reduced input costs has ticked all the boxes for Riverina mixed farmer Charlie Webb. Mr Webb, of Urana, has always been one for thinking outside the square and questioning the how and why of his surroundings. His aim is to achieve a healthy, balanced soil to conserve every millimetre of rainfall to lift productivity and profitability.

Mr Webb has used organic soil activation product TM Agricultural produced by Best Environmental Technologies across his cropping country for the past four years. He has noted reduced soil compaction, improved root development and increased soil biology. Soil moisture retention and better soil structure are high on his priority list. Year round ground cover is used to prevent soil erosion and maximize water infiltration. A decade ago Mr Webb was applying lime and gypsum to the red soils. At higher than the recommended rate to lift soil pH to grow dryland lucerne with a limited response. “Everyone has told us for years the soil pH is the issue, but we really need to balance the soil microbes to achieve soil health.’’ he said.
READ MORE

19 Jul 2015

Farmer finds best way to increase gross margins

Reaching a compromise between a biological and conventional farming system has resulted in increased stocking rates. Improved soil structure and reduced input costs for a Tasmanian producer. Rob Tole had been caught in a high input regime of fertilisers, fungicides and insecticides. In his cropping enterprise at Cressy when an issue with pugged soils had far reaching consequences. The waterlogged and compacted soils resulted in a yield penalty in the crops following and started Rob on a path to finding solutions.

He trialled TM Agricultural, an organic soil activation product produced by Best Environmental Technologies. On his worst paddocks with beneficial results and now uses the product across 100 per cent of his farm. Set in a 650mm rainfall zone, the 550ha property is at the foot of the Great Western Tiers with soil types comprising heavy black to lighter sandy loams.  Around 60 per cent of the farm is dedicated to irrigation with nine fixed pivots irrigation 320ha. Applications of up to 10 tonnes/ha of lime has resulted in a soil pH of 5.9-6.2 and Olsen P levels are high at 25mg/kg.

READ MORE

10 Jul 2015

David Finds a Profitable and Sustainable Farming Mix

Southern NSW grazier David Shuter has doubled his carrying capacity by achieving a balance between biological and conventional soil treatments. The planned program over the last four years has also resulted in reduced soil acidity and compaction. And increased soil aeration, boosting pasture growth and animal productivity. Mr Shuter and his son Nicholas run an aggregation of four properties (freehold and leasehold) totalling 1240ha. At Gerogery and Walla Walla. By focusing on lifting soil and pasture health. Their 2013-drop calves achieved a lifetime average daily weight gain of 1.1kg off grass.

Mr Shuter puts the productivity increase down to the use of worm juice and TM Agricultural. An organic soil activation product produced by Best Environmental Technologies. He said the improvement in soil biology had created ideal conditions for increased populations of earthworms and native dung beetles.

READ MORE

22 Jun 2015

Happy Medium in Soil Biology at Windy Station

Soils buzzing with biological activity have created a dilemma for Windy Station cropping manager Peter Winton – crop germinations are just too good. The high plant population counts in a sorghum crop sown on cotton country signified how far the soils had come in six years of biological treatment. Mr Winton uses TM Agricultural, an organic soil activation product produced by Best Environmental Technologies, across the 10,000 ha cropping enterprise on Windy Station.

As a result, nitrogen rates have been slashed by two thirds, while improved moisture infiltration has combined with reduced soil compaction, insecticide applications and fungicide use. Seeding rates have been lowered to 50kg/ha on wheat, with average yields of 5t/ha now achievable in variable seasons, and average yields for dryland triticale crop have increased to 7t/ha. This is underscored with a healthy ecosystem where more than 80 native bird species have been documented.

READ MORE

15 Dec 2014

Triticale Crop Pushes Yield on Minimal Inputs

Eastern Riverina grain grower Robert Trethowan got a pleasant surprise when he put the header into his triticale crop this week. The first paddock of a 142ha crop of Bogong triticale averaged 6.86 tonnes/ha. and peaked at 8.3 tonnes/ha on his Morven property, Morveena. The triticale had a test weight of 77.7kg/hectolitre, compared to the minimum industry standard of 65kg/hectolitre. “Going into harvest I thought the crop would yield around 5t/ha so it has been very surprising,’’ Mr Trethowan said.

This was achieved on a low input program using TM Agricultural, an organic registered bio-stimulant product produced by Best Environmental Technologies, and in a dry spring. Robert and his wife Gayle sold their property at Urana to downsize. And bought Morveena at Morven NSW in early 2014. The sandy loam soils at Morveena had been sown to both a clover based pasture and a cereal crop in 2013. The cereal crop had been frosted and cut for hay.

“I applied a pre-sowing spray of 250mls/ha of TM Ag in a tank mix with 1.5 litres/ha of Roundup in mid May for ryegrass and wild oat control.’’ Mr Trethowan said. “We direct drilled the triticale at 80kg/ha with 80kg/ha DAP into soil moisture with a John Deere 1590 single disc combine on an 18.75cm row spacing.’’ A second application of TM was applied as an in-crop spray with a herbicide for ryegrass, wild oats and broadleaf weeds. The crop was top dressed with 80kg/ha of urea in late August.

READ MORE

30 Apr 2014

Finding the best way to cut costs in cotton

Soils once plagued by water logging, compaction and crusting are now yielding 11.3 bales/hectare of cotton for one Riverina irrigated cropping enterprise. Owners Scott and Anita Hogan, have also been able to slash their fertilizer inputs by 25 per cent, improve soil structure and increase soil biology on their Coleambally farm, Wollombie, thanks to a soil rejuvenator. The family diversified into cotton four years ago with a 60ha crop and expanded to 600ha the following year. The cotton is grown on a traditional row crop layout although some paddocks have been converted to bankless channel over the past year to increase labour efficiency. A rotation of corn, wheat, rice and seed canola was modified to make way for the cotton varieties, Sicot 71BRF and 74BRF. The crop yielded an average of 11.3 bales/ha last year and was delivered to Southern Cotton’s Whitton gin. Farm manager Russell Fisher said one cotton paddock had suffered from emerging problems of compaction, water logging, crusting and poor soil structure. “We always had trouble getting the crop out of the ground so we thought this paddock would be a good one to try something different,’’ Mr Fisher said. “The predominantly clay based soil is difficult – once tilled, it will crust over, if it becomes dry it becomes hard, cloddy ground.’’

READ MORE

22 Apr 2014

Healthy soil lifts protein and profit for Rohan

Riverina grower Rohan King has bumped his Durum wheat into a higher payment grade and improved soil biology simply by using a soil activator. Mr King, of Darlington Point, increased protein in the wheat crop by 1.5 per cent last year after trialling the organically certified TM Agricultural. The irrigated crop tested at 13.5 per cent protein and yielded an average of 8t/ha, compared to the district average of 6.5t/ha. Although the market for Durum is relatively small, Mr King prefers to grow it for its stripe rust resistance. He now plans to ramp up the applications of TM Ag, which uses plant extracts to stimulate indigenous soil microbes, from 40 to 300ha. Rohan, his wife Nerissa, children Madelyn and Paige, and parents Jeff and Margaret, farm the 800ha property, “Warangesda”, fronting the Murrumbidgee River. Set in a 350mm rainfall zone, the property ranges from alluvial to sandy loam soils.

READ MORE

06 Mar 2014

Profit up and inputs down make the best mix

Northern Victorian grain grower Murray Gilby has slashed his fertiliser bill in half and increased grain yield and profit after switching to a soil rejuvenator. Mr Gilby, of Kotupna, has also been able to reduce screenings in cereal crops and cut fungicides and insecticides from the agronomic program after using the organically certified TM Agricultural. “We are on a mission to reduce inputs by as much as we can,’’ he said. “There has been a huge saving in fertiliser. Up front, the bill this year is $25,500 – down from $67,000.’’

READ MORE

28 Jan 2014

Barley treated with a soil rejuvenator proved resistant to aphid attack

Barley treated with a soil rejuvenator proved resistant to aphid attack and resulted in a $15 a hectare saving for a central NSW farming enterprise. The irrigated crop grown by Wyalong Rural Investments, between Forbes and West Wyalong, suffered minimal damage in an aphid infestation last spring. A neighboring barley crop, just metres away and treated conventionally, was impacted by the aphids and subsequently sprayed at a cost of $15/ha. The soil rejuvenator, TM Agricultural, was used as part of an independent trial by Forbes agricultural consultants, Agribusiness Plus, to test new technology and product performance in the field. TM Agricultural uses plant extracts to stimulate indigenous soil microbes. Agribusiness Plus agronomic consultant Baden Dickson said the aim was to find the products delivering growers the greatest economic benefits.

READ MORE