During the 2020 growing season, Agricen Australia's sister company in the United States, Agricen, hired a film crew to document the experiences of growers from four different farm operations. The result is Last Stand, a movie that follows some of America's top farmers as they try to grow the highest yields possible in a season full of challenges.
In 2017, a Nutrien Ag Solutions customer near Shepparton, Victoria, first tried Basis XC on his starter fertiliser. Today, all of the starter fertiliser on his farm gets treated with Basis XC, a biocatalyst technology that can be applied onto granular fertilisers to enhance nutrient efficiency.
“Our farm has good background nutrition in the soil, so I decided to compare straight DAP at our usual rate of 85kg/ha to DAP treated with Basis XC at 80kg/ha," said the grower, who is a cropper and oaten hay producer.
By slightly reducing the rate of the Basis XC-treated fertiliser in that initial trial, he felt he could better and more easily compare the two applications dollar for dollar.
Early observations of the trial showed that plants had a bigger root system, with many more finer root hairs, where Basis XC was used on the starter fertiliser. Moreover, these observations were backed up by yield results.
In this Nutrien Ag Solutions wheat trial, MAP fertiliser was treated with Basis XC to test its ability to influence nutrient availability and uptake from the granular fertiliser application. Basis XC was applied on the MAP fertiliser at 2L/tonne. The treated MAP was then applied in the paddock at the same rate as untreated MAP (30kg/ha).
At harvest, treating MAP with Basis XC led to a wheat yield increase of +108kg/ha compared to untreated fertiliser.
Our latest webinar, "Maximising Nutrient Use Efficiency in Cropping & Pasture Systems of Australia," is now available to watch online.
During this on-demand webinar, you will learn:
- How fertiliser inputs break down and cycle in the soil after application, including the role played by soil microbiology
- How efficiently fertiliser inputs are taken up by the crop
- How two technologies - Basis XC and Foundation LM - can have a positive influence on fertiliser practices and maximise yield potential in agronomic programs
- Recent results with Basis XC in cropping and pasture trials
Applying Basis XC-treated single superphosphate (SSP) in dryland pasture considerably increased phosphorus and calcium uptake, a winter 2019 trial in the mid-southeast found, leading to improvements in feed quality.
Treated and untreated SSP was applied to dryland pasture, consisting of lucerne and annual grasses established on calcareous sands, prior to the break of the season (mid-April 2019). Tissue and feed quality tests were later taken on the 27th of August.
In this wheat trial conducted last season in Murray Bridge, SA, treating MAP starter fertiliser with Basis XC improved wheat yield and showed a positive return on investment for the grower, even under dry conditions.
Growing season rainfall was under 100 mm. The three treatments that were evaluated were:
- 65kg/ha MAP
- 75kg/ha MAP
- 65kg/ha MAP + Basis XC
Growers make a significant investment in their fertiliser every year. However, some fertilisers—particularly granular phosphorus and potassium (P and K) fertilisers—are not very efficient in the first season in which they are applied. Using a technology like Basis XC to increase nutrient availability and uptake can assist growers in addressing this problem and improving their fertiliser efficiency.
In this wheat trial near Esperance, Western Australia, Basis XC is proving its value by enhancing early wheat growth. The root systems of the young wheat plants are noticeably more developed where Basis XC-treated fertiliser was applied as compared to areas where untreated fertiliser was used. NDVI imagery from the trial supports this observation, indicating greater plant health where Basis XC has been used.
Agronomists know that it's important to look at all aspects of crop growth—both above the ground and below—when checking on a trial. This trial evaluating Basis XC in forage brassica is a good example of why this is necessary.
When Nutrien Ag Solutions agronomists visited the trial site near Millicent, South Australia in April, they noted that the crop, which was sown in spring on heavy peat soil with naturally high fertility levels, looked only slightly better above ground where the grower's base granular fertiliser had been treated with Basis XC. Below ground, however, the differences were obvious.
This winter 2018 trial in barley demonstrated that adding Basis XC to starter fertiliser can have a positive impact on barley growth and yield.
The trial was conducted by Nutrien Ag Solutions Goondiwindi using MAP starter fertiliser (40kg/ha) treated with Basis XC (2L/tonne). Treated and untreated fertiliser was applied, along with 80kg/ha of urea in crop. Moisture availability was limited during the season, with only 85mm of in-crop rainfall.
Above the ground, there were few visual differences in crop between the treated and control areas of the paddock, and no distinct nutritional differences were revealed on two tissue tests taken in crop. Below the ground, however, the benefits of Basis XC were more apparent. The barley grown where Basis XC-treated fertiliser had been applied developed stronger root systems, which were first observable when the crop began to tiller.