Cotton On To The Benefits Of Improved Soil Structure
Product Range: NatraMin Cal-S
Region: Dalby, QLD
When the worst end of our cultivation became our best performing area we knew we were getting a response to NatraMin. Then, after the second application, we were able to plant with two less cultivations and used 25% less Starter Z and we still saw an increased growth response:”
Soil structure is often the most limiting factor in cropping country. Mike and Matt Gosden grow 1000 acres of Cotton as part of their summer cropping program and they recognised that their dark soils with high Magnesium and Sodium were becoming dispersive. With increased cultivation required and poor water infiltration restricting yield potential, the increasing soil structure problems were costing them money.
The Gosdens were aware of other grain and cotton growers in the Dalby area who had used NatraMin as a soil conditioner and made the decision to trial NatraMin Cal-S @ 400kg/ha in their front cultivation.
Matt said, “We definitely saw an improvement in our summer cropping and there were less clods in the soil where we had applied NatraMin.
When ripping the paddock after corn, we were down 12 inches deep and travelling a gear faster while not wearing the points on the ripper. This same paddock has since had a 2nd application and this year it took only one pass to prepare a seed bed.
In addition to saving time, diesel and wear and tear on our machinery, water infiltration has improved. When 40mm of rain fell just after we finished irrigating one evening, rain still soaked into the trial paddock and the adjacent untreated cultivation repelled most of the rain and I watched the water run straight off the paddock.
Using a combination of Starter Z, Urea and Sulphate of Potash we spend around $150,000 on our Cotton starter fertiliser each year, but where NatraMin Cal-S was applied @ 400kg/ha we have reduced our starter inputs by 25%. The increased growth in our cotton this year is a direct link to improvement in soil structure and water infiltration.
The cotton grown with NatraMin Cal-S is twice the height of last year’s crop in that same paddock and 8-10 inches taller than the rest of our cotton, even though we used 25% less Starter Z. Yield wise, the bush was thicker, taller and healthier, filling bolls right up the plant. Previously this paddock went 4.2 bales/acre and we’re now expecting over 5 bales when this crop is ginned.
We’ve previously seen improvements after using manure but nothing like the response from Cal-S. The look and feel of our soil has improved and the crop results are enough to give us the confidence to apply Cal-S across all of our cultivation.”