Can Australian farmers get better yields using organic fertilisers? Discover how to make the move to sustainable farming for better results.
The Facts About Sustainable Farming in Australia
Not so long ago, the words “Sustainable Farming” elicited images of hippies and greenies pushing policies that would likely ruin a lot of farmers. Sustainable farming in Australia became “dirty words.” It’s true. Early moves towards more sustainable farming practices didn’t take into consideration the economic factors that really matter to our community – a community impacted by drought, aggressive fluctuation in import and export policies and pressure from the big players to produce more with less.
But what we know about sustainable farming practices has changed. The science behind better yields has been refined to the point where sustainable farming produces similar and often better yields than traditional farming methods. If, and only if, you do it right. When farmers take a scientific approach to lowering their dependency on synthetic fertilisers, the benefits aren’t just environmental, they’re not just about nutritional content, they’re about bumper crops and bigger profits. Win. Win. Win.
So let’s talk about the FACTS of sustainable farming in Australia and how you can dip your toes in the sustainable pool without betting the farm!
Fact: Not everyone adopting sustainable farming is a passionate environmentalist!
It’s true. Some farmers adopting more sustainable farming practices are worried about the Great Barrier Reef. Some are concerned about climate change. But some have noticed a decline in their yields. Some are concerned about the land they’re passing on to their children. Some are just sick to death of Big Agra and don’t want to feel “at the mercy” of foreign-owned chemical companies anymore. The reasons for changing up how you farm are your reasons. We work with farmers to find the RIGHT solution to their problems – whatever the reason they come to us.
Fact: Sustainable Farming Doesn’t Mean Going FULL Organic
Organic certification is a complex process that means meeting a host of different criteria depending on your produce. It allows you to go to market with a certified organic product which commands higher prices. Sustainable farming simply means implementing changes (small or large) on your land to preserve its fertility and longevity. Sustainable farming practices are a core requirement of organic certification, so often farmers find that sustainable practices lead to better crop yields, and invest further in land conservation to get their certification.
Fact: There are a LOT of Organic and Sustainable Farmers in Australia. We boast 54% of the World’s Organic Certified Hectares
Moving to more sustainable farming practices isn’t...new. In fact, Australia has 35 million hectares of certified organic farm land – we're literally the world leader on this front. Almost one in ten Australian hectares is certified organic - chances are there’s an organic farm near you RIGHT NOW.
But you don’t need to go “full organic” to change up the way you protect your soil – you are the current custodian of your land, what you pass to the next generation can be more fertile, more environmentally sustainable – and more profitable.
Fact: There is no intrusive regulation on sustainable farms...yet
Australia’s public policy on sustainable farming is...lax. There are a lot of frameworks, guidelines and support networks to assist farmers in implementing and carrying out sustainable farming practices, but there’s no “specific” regulation. By implementing more sustainable farming practices, you will not be subject to new laws or new certifications. To use “organic” in your marketing, you will need to meet certification criteria, and they can be stringent and expensive to meet. But not for simply creating better soil. There are no forms. No audits. No proving that you’re doing it right. This is 100% up to you. How much or how little you change to preserve the quality of your land is up to you. For now.
Fact: Australia’s soil crisis is deepening. Regulation is coming
Australia’s soil is dying. Well, to be accurate, rather than quite so dramatic, Australia is facing a crisis around sulphur levels in soil, magnesium content in food and a host of issues around nutrient run off from farm land. Sooner or later, regulations will be introduced to reduce the impact of farming on Australian soil. Like all financial decisions, it’s better to invest while the solution is cheap, rather than when it’s in peak demand.
FACT: STARTING SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES IS LOW RISK
The misconception that you’ll need to sacrifice half your farm to regenerative planting has caused a lot of confusion about the risks of introducing more sustainable practices. Agronomy has come a long way in developing scientifically proven ways to improve land without ripping up your fields. The key is choosing the right sustainable practices to “trial”, from the right Australian suppliers, with the right advice.
How to choose a sustainable option to trial on your farm
From water management to land regeneration, to simply moving away from inefficient synthetic fertilisers, the options for implementing starter sustainable practices are overwhelming. Start with these key questions:
- Does it get results?
- Is it suited to my farm/crop/unique land challenges?
- Is it easy? Can I do this without too much disruption to my set practices?
- Can I do a trial area only? Can I start small?
- Is anyone in my industry doing it? What did they report?
Fact: Improving soil quality is the lowest risk approach to sustainable farming
Improving soil quality is low risk because the reward is higher yields. It can be implemented in stages, tested and tweaked to generate optimal results. Where other sustainable farming practices mean leaving land fallow or reverting it to “nature,” improving your soil simply means “better farming.”
Fact: Organic fertilisers are easy to introduce
The first steps away from synthetic fertilisers are affordable, low risk and can be done without changing up your equipment or sacrificing a single piece of arable land:
- Select a section of land to test. The best choice is your worst performing field or ideally, one that has thrown up some red flags during soil testing.
- Choose a high quality, agronomist developed organic fertiliser that suits your land’s needs. Look for fertiliser that is easy to distribute using your existing machinery and that has documented case studies for effectiveness.
- Choose a fertiliser that comes with support from an agronomist who can advise on timing your treatment (generally the first year will require a pre-season treatment followed by a “watering in” treatment, similar to many synthetic applications.
- The agronomist can advise on your specific needs so you can choose to move completely to organic fertiliser or mix and match with your existing regime. Note though, overuse of synthetic fertilisers is the usual culprit for destroying the balance in your soil. Saving the dollars usually allocated to synthetics is typically another benefit.
Fact: Guano Liquid Gold ® is the first step in sustainable soil enrichment
Guano Australia produce a selection of organic, sustainable fertilisers that address specific problems with soil. These products have been refined by a leading Australian Agronomist, Robert Drewitt, whose background isn’t just the science of better soil. Robert’s career spans 30 years of developing profitable financial structures for farmers. Unlike other Guano suppliers, the Guano Liquid Gold ® range has been developed specifically for the needs of Australian farmers. So it’s the right combination of micro and macro nutrients for our soils, it’s simple to distribute using our preferred farming gear, and it’s supplied right here in Australia to avoid global supply chain issues.
Does it get results?
Yes, in fact, it boasts up to a third higher yield than the fertiliser you’re using now.
Is it suited to my farm/crop/unique land challenges?
Guano Liquid Gold ® is our flagship product. But if you have any specific concerns about a soil test, our agronomist and product experts will talk you through the EXACT right product for your farm.
Is it easy? Can I do this without too much disruption to my set practices?
Developed specifically for the Australian farming industry, Guano Liquid Gold ® needs no special distribution equipment. It simply sprays on. It’s easy to mix. Easy to order. Easy all round. And being an Australian company, you can always call us with any questions.
Can I do a trial area only? Can I start small?
We recommend it! We supply many of Australia’s leading organic and sustainable producers, and we hear the same story over and over.
“We did that one field and couldn’t believe the results. So we’ve decided to expand this season.”
Start small, minimise your risks and reap the rewards.
Is anyone in my industry doing it? What did they report?
Across all states, across all soil deficiencies, across dozens of industries, Guano Liquid Gold ® and our specialty product range gets big results and rave reviews. We can provide verified, documented and replicated results so you can feel 100% confident that you’re making a smarter choice. Simply get in touch, we’ll provide you with all the evidence and information you need to start your very own sustainable farming experiment.