11 Aug Is Super Phosphate Still Working For You?
Many farmers tell us that Super does not give them the results that they used to get. Contrary to the belief held by some farmers that the quality of Super Phosphate has changed, we believe that the change is in the soil.
In particular, the depletion of microbe and worm activity in the soil has reduced the effectiveness of applied Fertiliser as well as having a strong impact on soil pH and subsequently, the availability of all plant nutrients.
Do you have a phosphate bank in your soil?
If you have used phosphate Fertiliser in the past, then the answer to that question is probably “YES”.
“It is thought that at best, just 20% of phosphorus applied by way of Fertiliser is available for plant uptake in the year it is applied. Successive generations of Australian farmers have applied huge quantities of phosphorus Fertiliser to combat the problem of chronic phosphorus deficiency in their soil.
This has led to a massive bank of fixed phosphorus, estimated at close to $10 billion at current Super Phosphate prices.”
“This means, that of the dollars spent applying phosphate Fertiliser at the rate of 250kg per hectare (about 22.5kg of phosphorus) often just one tenth of this phosphorus (2.25kg) is immediately available to plants.” (Source CSIRO article, Raiding the Phosphate Bank, 1997.)
In separate research carried out by Cooperative Research Centre for Soil & Land Management, it was found that the application of high levels of Fertiliser can reduce the effectiveness of soil organisms, thus further reducing nutrient availability. For example, high N inputs reduce Nitrogen fixation and high P inputs reduce beneficial effects of mycorrhizae (VAM).
How big is the phosphate bank?
“It is thought that each hectare of soil may hold up to 400kg of phosphorus, with less than 4kg immediately available to crops or pasture.” (Source CSIRO article, Raiding the Phosphate Bank, 1997.)
Time for change
Many farmers are making the change to NatraMin as a means to provide a balance in soil nutrition and to stimulate the life in the soil, assisting to increase the availability of locked up nutrients.
Minerals… Due to natural leaching and generations of farming practices, almost all soils have a mineral imbalance or are mineral deficient.
With common practice being the replacement of NPK coupled with the use of Lime for pH management, the loss of broad spectrum macro and trace elements has often been ignored.
Microbes… Because we don’t see them, harvest them or sell them, soil microbes are often forgotten. There are several tonnes of living organisms in every acre of fertile soil… they range from single celled bacteria to earth worms… and are the life in the soil.
As well as producing their own weight in humus every day, microbes convert minerals into plant available form. Soil humus can hold up to 15 tonne of Nitrogen per hectare and provides a reservoir for moisture.
The role of soil microbes…
- Fix nitrogen from the air
- Decompose raw organic matter
- Release nutrient lock up
- Produce plant growth stimulants
- Protect roots from disease pathogens and nematodes
- Improve soil structure and improve root systems
- Detoxify soil
- Neutralise pH
How Can NatraMin help?
NatraMin provides a broad spectrum of minerals and is formulated to stimulate both microbe and worm activity in your soil. Therefore, microbes are able to release the essential minerals supplied in NatraMin as well as helping to release locked up nutrients in your soil and to maximize the effectiveness of applied Fertiliser.