NatraMin: Questions and Answers

What is NatraMin?
NatraMin is a mineral fertiliser and soil conditioner, providing broad spectrum natural minerals and formulated to stimulate biological activity in the soil… helping to improve the Nutritional, Biological and Structure aspects of soil fertility.

Will NatraMin leach from my soil?
NO. NatraMin is not water soluble. Unlike most fertilisers, NatraMin will not leach away with heavy rainfall. Microbe and worm activity is essential for the release and conversion of the macro and trace minerals supplied in NatraMin.

What if microbe and worm activity in my soil is low?
NatraMin contains a catalyst to stimulate both microbe and worm activity in your soil. This means that in addition to releasing the essential minerals supplied in NatraMin, these soil microbes will help to release locked up nutrients and maximize the effectiveness of applied fertiliser.

What crops benefit from the use of NatraMin?
All crops. NatraMin is designed to “feed your soil.” After decades of agricultural practices, humus levels and vital mineral elements have been depleted and leached from soil, resulting in an ever increasing dependence on water soluble fertiliser.

CSIRO research has shown that the use of water soluble fertiliser such as 80kg N per hectare can reduce biological activity by as much as 25%. Many farmers now report that worm activity is non existent on their property. Soil structure is subsequently affected and is evidenced by poor water infiltration and drainage, with crusting or compacted soil that is difficult and expensive to work…. the end result … lower yielding crops that require increasing levels of fertiliser and chemical sprays.

Rather than “feeding your crop” with water soluble fertiliser, NatraMin “feeds your soil” by restoring the mineral elements and stimulating microbe and worm activity. This increases the availability of nutrients for plant uptake and helps to decrease dependancy on water soluble fertiliser.

Do I need to use other fertiliser with NatraMin?
If planting crops, YES. As NatraMin does not contain Nitrogen, it is important to address this need. If legumes have been in the program previously, Nitrogen requirements can be reduced or, in some instances, eliminated. A soil test is recommended to evaluate crop needs. We can have a soil test performed for you or alternatively we can evaluate an existing soil test that you may have.

How much can I reduce other fertilisers when I use NatraMin?
This will depend on your soil and crop type. Often it is possible to reduce the amount of fertiliser by 25 to 50% in the first year of using NatraMin, with further reductions possible in the following years. By following a program of remineralisation with NatraMin, crop rotations that include a legume and returning stubble or a green manure crop to provide organic matter, many farmers have found that over the course of 2 to 3 years, they have been able to markedly reduce the use of water soluble fertiliser.

What about pH management?
Many farmers have found that NatraMin has given them better results than using Lime for pH management. Because NatraMin provides the broad spectrum of minerals and stimulates microbe activity, reduced amounts of acidifying water soluble fertiliser are required. This reduced amount of fertiliser, coupled with increased microbial activity in the soil, work together to balance soil pH and render “locked up” nutrients available and ready for plant uptake.

Can NatraMin replace Super Phosphate in my pasture management program?
YES. NatraMin has proven to be an effective alternative to Super Phosphate. A soil test is recommended to identify specific needs of your soil and pasture. Increased legume content in pasture is another benefit of using NatraMin.

Can NatraMin replace Gypsum in my soil management program?
As a soil breaker… Yes. NatraMin HI-Phos and NatraMin Cal-S provide a good supply of Calcium and Sulphur which both help to improve soil structure. In addition, NatraMin stimulates biological activity. Soil microbes product their own weight in humus every day, directly assisting soil aggregation, aeration, water infiltration and moisture holding capacity. NatraMin is particularly beneficial after laser leveling and for compacted soil.

Can NatraMin help with Salinity problems?
Yes. Soil microbes play a vital role in effectively reducing soil salinity problems and we have had many reports of improvements in both soil test results and crop performance where NatraMin has been used in affected areas.

How often do I need to apply NatraMin and when is the best time?
It is OK to apply NatraMin at any time of the year. It does require moisture to activate it however even if the application of NatraMin is made prior to a dry spell, it will not dissipate or be lost. One grazier who applied NatraMin just prior to an extended drought period, found that his pasture flourished when it rained 9 months later.

Annual applications are recommended for existing pasture, tree crops and broad acre crops and more often for intensive irrigated pasture or crops. To help to restore soil fertility, repeat applications are recommended to build up the minerals levels in your soil.

Will NatraMin burn seeds if used at plant stage?
NatraMin is safe and will not burn seeds. NatraMin can be used as a seed carrier. If NatraMin is applied at soil preparation time 4 to 6 weeks prior to planting, many farmers have reported increased germination.

Which NatraMin blend is best to use and how much?
Each blend of NatraMin provides the broad spectrum of minerals with the different blends providing extra Potassium, Calcium, Phosphorus and Sulphur. Obviously soil and crop requirements will vary. A soil test and previous crop and fertiliser history needs to be considered when making a decision about the rate and blend that is best for your needs. Using this information we can tailor a management program to help restore health and fertility to your soil.

Why should I use NatraMin? What’s in it for me?
To remain profitable under current conditions is always a challenge. Profit margins can be boosted by increasing production or reducing costs… or ideally a combination of the two. The restoration of soil fertility through the use of NatraMin can help to make this a reality.