The 4 R's of Fertiliser Choosing The Right Product
Fertilising ratoon cane for profit and sustainability.
Internationally, the fertiliser industry has been driving practice changes with fertiliser use on farms in order to enhance productivity,
profit and sustainability.
Within Australia, more than a decade of work towards improved productivity, resource sustainability and positive environmental outcomes has
seen the development of systems and guides such as the national Fertcare stewardship program, cross industry best management practice
programs and in our own sugar industry, the Six Easy Steps program.
LiquaForce Australia works across all of these programs when delivering sound agronomy and industry leading nutrient solutions to its
clients. In this bulletin, we will discuss how LiquaForce meets the international program of the “4 R’s”
The 4 R’s stands for:
The Right Product
- The Right Rate
- The Right Timing
- The Right Placement
In this first bulletin we will discuss how LiquaForce products meet the highest standard for selecting the Right Product.
So why is selecting the right product so critical to growing a successful crop?
If we do not apply what the crop actually needs then we risk either wasting money on applying excess fertiliser compared to what is
actually needed or we risk a failed crop because a critical fertiliser component was not applied.
Selecting the right product requires either soil testing or a combination of soil and plant tissue testing to gauge what nutrients are
available in the soil as compared to what is actually required by the crop or already in the crop and the balance that is still required to
finish the crop.
In agricultural science we refer to Liebigs Law which states:
“If one plant nutrient is missing then plant growth will be poor, even if all other plant nutrients are in abundance”.
Selecting the Right Product is also important for ensuring we abide by food safety standards and minimise the risk of environmental harm and
or resource depletion.
Cost cutting with crop input costs such as only applying nitrogen risks substantial yield decline if other nutrients become insufficiently
available, hence the cost of yield decline negates or exceeds the perceived savings from reducing input costs.
All LiquaForce liquid fertilisers are developed with specific crop requirements as the top consideration. Our sugar cane products are
specific to this crop and are designed in accordance to crop needs and cultural practices.
All blends are hydrolysed and produced so that every drop counts. The consistency of the formula means that every metre of cane row receives
the same nutrient values.
Granular product blends are not uniform and consist of different prill sizes and densities making it impossible to achieve uniform
applications or to prevent uneven components from settling out during transport or application. What you are applying in the morning will
differ from what you apply at lunch time or at the end of the day.
liquid products are versatile and can have a range of trace elements, organic compounds and soil amendments added to the blend all with the
surety that every drop is consistent and able to be accurately applied.
All LiquaForce BigShot blends are produced with a range of organic compounds added. As a standard there is always 9% organic carbon, calcium
and magnesium from molasses and seaweed compounds from cytokinins, gibberellic acids, amino acids and a range of trace minerals. These
compounds support a strong and diverse soil microbiology population but also provide natural plant growth hormones proven to stimulate crop
vigour and increased root and shoot growth.
Our liquid blends are customised to suit every soil and district requirement, products are tailored to suit either low or high pH soils,
sodic soils, dryland, or irrigated cropping. They can be applied as a single application or split into 2 or 3 applications to greatly
enhance the ability to meet crop growth stage requirements and to enhance the nutrient use efficiency.
On the subject of nutrient use efficiency especially with nitrogen use efficiency our LiquaForce BigShot liquid fertilisers for ratoon cane
are proven to be industry leading blends for enhanced efficiency fertilisers.
The 2018 Pittaway paper from the University of Southern Queensland demonstrates how our enhanced efficiency methodology of feeding the soils
endemic biology in order to create an organic slow release of nutrients to the crop within the root zone reduces nitrogen losses alone by
17% from leaching. Current water quality trials across major cane growing areas have also shown up to a 50% reduction in nitrogen losses
from run off.
During 2018/2019 and 2020 independent enhanced efficiency nitrogen trials across the Tully region show our BigShot blends have consistently
outperformed DMPP and Polymer Coated Urea products for cost and yield.
All of these factors added up are why we believe the BigShot range of liquid blends are the industry leading enhanced efficiency fertilisers
for sugar cane and why these blends offer far more value per hectare than anything you will ever buy in a bag.
In the next bulletin we will discuss how we guarantee the Right Rate.