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Guano Organic Fertilizer News

Synthetic Chemical Fertilisers; Can I Reduce My Reliance On Them?

Guano Australia offers a cost-effective solution for reducing your need for synthetic chemical fertilisers. Contact us to learn more.

Over the past two years, here at Guano Australia we have experienced a noticeable increase in enquiries that starts with “how do I move away from synthetic chemical fertilisers?”

These farmers asking the questions are aware their reliance on synthetic chemical fertilisers [SCF] is impacting on their soil health and they are also aware that the application rates for the same crop yields have been increasing over time.

However, they are also aware they need to source alternatives to SCF at an economical and timely manner whilst also being able to utilise existing plant and machinery.

Thirdly farmers have a sense of confusion as they try to change their crop input paradigm. Sellers of SCF can create a stigma attached to non SCF products while the sellers and promoters of non SCF can cause confusion in the market with the wide range of products they have available.

To help clear up some of the confusion we find that it important to match what you are replacing with what is available. Meaning that in the short term we need to produce a profitable crop and in the mid to longer term I need to improve my soil health.

This path while requiring structured planning can also be detoured by misinformation and poor recommendations that create barriers to change.

By raising the question “do I need to reduce or change my SCF use” raises many more questions. We find that people asking the questions are worried about supply, cost and application.

Our company, like many other suppliers of non SCF, has increased and improved our supply chains over the past 5 to 10 years. These changes have improved the timely delivery of product to farmers or resellers making certainty of supply far easier than in the past.

The issue of cost is a major driver in farm decision making. This is why the application of nutrients supplied by non SCF is different in many respects to that of SCF.

The use of citric soluble phosphorus verses water soluble fertiliser or elemental sulphur verses chemical sulphur require different rates and possibly different timing of application.

Usually the total number of units applied by non SCF can be lower than that supplied by SCF. This is due to how these elements are used by the plant and how they behave in the soil.

Another factor in costings is that most SCF provide two or three elements while with Non SCF they contain calcium, silica and trace minerals that all need to be taken into account when assessing a dollar/hectare cost.

In a lot of cases clients remark that the “recommendations per hectare of SCF have increased year in, year out “  and it is this increase usage to achieve the same production that is driving them to question their current fertiliser program.

Soil HealthMost people enquiring comment that they need to improve soil health to break this continual increase in SCF use per hectare.

This need may be driven by farmer groups such as those focused on reduced or no tillage, or environmental factors around nutrient run off or even the observation that product quality and taste is reducing.

Thirdly the question of application is raised, most enquiries are not aware that non SCF are granulated and can be handled and applied with standard industry spreaders and planters.

In summary the path from moving away from a 100% reliance on chemical fertilisers to more sustainable models isn’t that difficult, it’s not the physical issues that are the problem, it is the confusion in taking the first step and then planning the change by either a product substitution or product blending approach to solve short term issues while working on the longer term plan that involves change in management in soil health and crop resilience.

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WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS SAY

Being so far away from our markets, durability is critical and the Silica is really good in terms of hardening up the skin and making the melons better to transport.Ord River WA irrigator David Menzel-Barradale
The problem with many organic fertilisers is that they have very low rates of nutrients, meaning you need to put out high rates. A product like Guano Gold has 12pc P, whereas Guano Sulphur Gold has 10.5pc P, obviously with additional sulphur. These figures compare very favourably with something like a single superphosphate product. Agronomically, it’s a good product in any setting, not just for organic producers.Garry Allison, Landmark Agronomist. Mount Gambier, SA
For the broadacre croppers, Guano Gold works really well in paddocks where they have had issues with nutrient tie-up. He said the majority of synthetic P products have large rates of water soluble P. The problem with that is that you can have instances where it ends up tying up zinc in the soil so you run into problems with zinc deficiencies. Not only does the slow release nature of the Guano Gold product work well over the entire season, it also contains zinc for the crop as well as the other nutrients.Moree agronomist Rob Drewitt
We strongly recommend the Guano Gold products to fellow farmers if they are looking at improving their Calcium and Silica levels using various methods of application such as foliar and granular.James and Aimee Thomas Falkirk Macadamia Farm
I have recommended Guano Gold products for 20 years and in all cases had excellent long-term results increasing in pasture productivity.Paul Baguely - PB Ag Consulting
They are high analysis products so you get your nutrients without having to put too much fertiliser out.Anthony Beutel, Googa Farm Organics
We have known since the 1930s that phosphorus is one of the main elements required to grow a successful crop of not just the (flax) plant but the seed. It was one of those products that was first out in a granular type form and it was so much easier to get an even coverage over the ground, rather than a powder form. Later on the product became a little more refined, so we could put it through our air-seeder. We also broadcast some of it, prior to seeding, when we are cultivating ground. The products have great characteristics in relation to phosphate and silica, which is exactly what we need for flax.Waltanna Farms flax-seed farmer & Ambassador for Guano Australia, Michael Nagorcka