Sustainable Broadacre Solutions
The Biological Advantage
Extensive product range
20 years experience
Sustainable Broadacre Farming Approaches
Cost effective broadacre soil and crop inputs.
The Value of Experience
Sustainable Farming Solutions has over 20 years experience supporting sustainable farms in Australia. You can obtain expert assistance in sustainable options for your oilseed, cereal, pulse, sugar cane, rice and cotton cropping requirements.
Field trials help growers assess how specific crop strategies might improve crop quality and yield. Sustainable Farming Solutions provides access to a range of Australian and international trials for Oats, Cotton, Corn, Canola, Barley and Wheat.
View our Field Trials
Sustainable Advantages for Broadacre Farming
Boosting Crops in their Critical Early Stages of Growth
For broadacre crops such as wheat, canola, barley and sorghum, most of the yield is won or lost in the first two to six weeks of the crop's growth.
If you can support the crop and keep it growing as positively as possible in that first two to six weeks, you will normally produce a good yield from an irrigated crop.
For dryland broadacre crops, most of the yield is determined by rain. In a dry land system, you don't want to push the growth too much so that the plant uses all its energy and reserves into leaf growth, leaving little energy left for the head of grain.
Whatever inputs you use need to be cost-effective, and that means the cost per hectare has to be relatively low.
We can help you with:
Biological Seed Treatments
Broadacre farmers with grain crops are increasingly using seed treatments that act as biological stimulants. This boosts seedling growth, providing additional strength to cope with heat, cold or drought stresses.
Sustainable Farming Solutions works with a seed treatment that influences yield with a single treatment of the seed. Outlays of up to $5 per hectare have been averaging yield improvements of 5% and higher. An example:
- Treatment Cost: $5 per hectare
- Crop Production: 2 tonnes
- Yield Improvement: 5% = 100kg
To estimate your own potential yield improvements, you can review our trial results, or run your own trial on a single area or paddock and monitor the results.
Seed Treatment Application
Application is easy, at rates of 100 to 200ml per hectare. The treatment is applied to the seed either mixed with fungicides, or it can be applied as a a separate application as the seed goes up an auger into a truck or a bin.
Purpose of Seed Treatment
In grain production, there are key growth stages for dry land crops that establish the plant so it is strong enough to get from one rain event to the next in as good a condition as possible.
The Biodesign seed treatment has natural growth-promoting compounds that help more seeds to germinate and grow more vigorously.
There are four major observable changes that can be seen from grain crops that have seed treatment:
- Root Growth: As the grain seedling grows the focus is mainly on root growth and keeping roots accessing the available soil moisture. This means the plant can get through to the next rain event in a better condition.
- Early Development: Treated seeds are better established early on, and are better positioned to grow early in the season. This is important in a number of Australian regions where early grain crops may experience early cold spells.
- Tillering: This is about, amongst other things, moisture and making sure that we have as many viable tillers that is possible.
- Flag Leaf Development: Leaf development is where the energy for the grain fill is coming from.
The seed treatment can affect the whole life of the crop to the point that at harvest it produces more grain.
The seed treatment can be used as a foliar spray with nitrogen fertiliser to further add to the benefit. In trials observed by Sustainable Farming Solutions, the use of the foliar spray can increase yield another 5 -10 %, this is over and above the initial 5% yield improvement the seed treatment achieves without foliar spraying.
Heat & Cold Resilience
The seed treatment assists the grain through heat and cold events, and helps dry land crops manage the gaps from one rain event to the next.
Chlorophyll production and energy
The seed treatment increases chlorophyll production, in turn boosting levels of photosynthesis and energy levels in the seedling. With more energy, there is increased ability to do what the plant needs to do, whether that be growing roots or filling grain or producing tillers.
Feedback between soil and plant
The seed treatment also acts to trigger the plant's root exudate system. These are wastes produced from the root system that feed beneficial microbes in the soil. The microbes then release more nutrients and growth promoting compounds back to the plant. This is a natural, powerful feedback loop where the plant is triggered to feed the soil biology and the soil biology feeds the plant.
Disease reduces the leaf area, and this is the main issue for broad acre farmers. Sometimes, in really bad conditions it kills plants, but in more moderate circumstances, it's reducing the leaf area, so it reduces the yield potential for that crop. Usually, fungicides are used to address that. We would also recommend some more natural plant strengtheners to help it through those periods, so the disease has less impact.
This is primarily because you're both strengthening the plant, you reduce the overall impact of the disease and reduce the reliance on agricultural chemicals. This is a good thing because there is less health risk for farm workers from pesticide residue.
Approaches To Disease
Rust is probably one of the main diseases that can effect wheat. Stripe rust and various types of rust. We would normally use a potassium silicate as a spray to strengthen the plant. There's plenty of published data internationally which shows silicates help plants reduce disease and rust in particular. You effectively deposit a layer or a matrix of silicate underneath the surface of the leaf between the cells and that silicate then solidifies and physically strengthens the plant but also reduces the sites the disease can get established.