Ausplow R@D trials continue

category: 
Trials
Good moisture levels have ensured a great start to Ausplow's R @ D trials program at its Quairading Research Centre this year.

Good moisture levels have ensured a great start to Ausplow's R @ D trials program at its Quairading Research Centre this year.

Trialling the hypothesis of near-row sowing is pivotal to Ausplow's BioFurrow crop establishment system.

Trialling the hypothesis of near-row sowing is pivotal to Ausplow's BioFurrow crop establishment system.

Ausplow is continuing its research and development trials at its Quairading research centre to validate its BioFurrow™ hypothesis.
A number of replicated trials established by near-row sowing aims to identify the best nutrient management for crop production aligned with the creation of the BioFurrow™ by the DBS.
Previous research trials have shown the BioFurrow™ is the ideal ‘pot plant’ to provide plants an optimum environment through the growing season.
Key to this environment is moisture and air which allows beneficial bacteria in the top soil to successfully interact with nutrients for the benefit of plants and the benefit of the soil, ie, building carbon to increase water-holding capacity.
While it won’t happen overnight, former CSIRO scientist and microbiologist Dr Margaret Roper, who is overseeing Ausplow’s R @ D trial program at Quairading, said the BioFurrow™ provided significant benefits for developing a seedling.
She makes the point that there between one and two tonnes a hectare of microbes in the top 10 centimetres, equating to more than 10 billion microbes in a kilogram of soil, with literally kilometres of fungal hyphae.
Fungal hyphae spread like a network to capture nutrients and in a highly complex symbiotic relationship, bacteria and fungi provide nutrients to plant roots while accessing food in the form of exudates from the roots.
This ‘food’ represents the building blocks of soil humus leading to an increase in organic carbon.
A classic visual of this process is the ‘dreadlock’ roots you find on healthy plants, with soil and microbes adhering to plant roots.
The concept of the BioFurrow™ is not new and is often referred to as near-row sowing, with implement steering guidance.
The difference with the BioFurrow™ is that the same row is used to seed crops every year rather than ‘nudging’ across the paddock to establish the next season’s rows.
Interestingly Dr Roper has been at the forefront of research into near-row sowing.
It started 25 years ago and she is confident the hypothesis of the BioFurrow™ is now at a stage to trial over a range of moisture and soil conditions, with DBS owners encouraged to do their own trials.
Dr Roper said the DBS sowing system, particularly, provided significant benefits for a developing seedling.
“Firstly, the provision of liquid nutrients directly below the seed provides a source of water vapour for seed germination,” Dr Roper said.
“The ‘precision seed bed’, created by the DBS closing tool to provide a firm and aerated base for the seed, contains fine capillaries through which water vapour (from the liquid nutrients) can rise to the seed and promote germination.
“Scientific research also has presented evidence that water vapour is the primary source of water for seed germination in unsaturated soils.
“This surprising result stems from the fact that although hydraulic conductivity decreases by several orders of magnitude as soil water content decreases, relative humidity within the soil remains near 100 per cent, as long as the soil water content is above wilting point.”
(Wilting point is the minimal point of soil moisture the plant requires not to wilt).
Dr Roper also said the provision of liquid nutrients directly below the seed provided an immediate source of nutrients in available forms in close proximity to newly emerged roots.
“And the soft-closing press wheel of the DBS covers the seed, creating a firm but not compacted indented surface which collects water and enables air exchange around the germinating seed,” Dr Roper said.

It’s a wrap for Ausplow 2020 trial establishment

category: 
Trials
Ausplow R&D coordinator Dr Margaret Roper (left), Quairading farmer Brayden Hayes, nutrient consultant Dave Seagreen and Ausplow engineer Cony Sumoro discuss the Ausplow 2020 trial program after Brayden assisted with the trial work earlier this month pulling the Ausplow trial planter with his Case IH FWA tractor.

Ausplow R&D coordinator Dr Margaret Roper (left), Quairading farmer Brayden Hayes, nutrient consultant Dave Seagreen and Ausplow engineer Cony Sumoro discuss the Ausplow 2020 trial program after Brayden assisted with the trial work earlier this month pulling the Ausplow trial planter with his Case IH FWA tractor.

Quairading farmer Brayden Hayes swings his tractor linked to Ausplow’s trial seeder for one of the final legs of the trial program at Ausplow research and development site at Quairading.

Quairading farmer Brayden Hayes swings his tractor linked to Ausplow’s trial seeder for one of the final legs of the trial program at Ausplow research and development site at Quairading.

Ausplow’s 2020 trial program has been successfully established at the company’s research and development site at Quairading.
The final trials were established earlier this month ahead of good soaking rains in recent weeks.
The on-going program involves liquid fertilisers with the focus this year on assessing nutrient combinations.
These will include a specially-developed Ausplow formulation, designed by the company’s R&D coordinator and microbiologist Dr Margaret Roper and nutrient consultant Dave Seagreen.
All the treatments in the trial will involve near-row sowing.
Already uniform germinations are appearing and hopes are high for a good season to evaluate the potential of treatments.

Ausplow trials enter second phase

category: 
Trials

Ausplow’s on-going research and development program involving liquid fertilisers at its Quairading research and development centre has entered its second phase.
Following last year’s trial of 10 treatments, held in a difficult season with statistically inconclusive results, this year’s trial which was established in May, will focus on assessing nutrient combinations.
These will include a specially-developed Ausplow formulation, designed by the company’s R&D coordinator and microbiologist Dr Margaret Roper (pictured above) and nutrient consultant Dave Seagreen.
All the treatments in the trial will involve near-row sowing.
According to Dr Roper, the focus of the trial is on “proving the hypothesis that the new liquid fertilisers perform better than current standard fertiliser strategies in a near-row sowing system”.
While working as a principal research scientist at CSIRO, Dr Roper was engaged in research trials that showed near-row sowing overcame the problems of establishing crops in non-wetting soils.
“This is further enhanced with the DBS system,” Dr Roper said. “Essentially the three-slot system creates an environment that improves plant germination, particularly in dry-sowing scenarios in water-repellent soils.
“We are seeing an increase in dry sowing, particularly as farmers are starting seeding programs earlier sowing canola.
“Our hypothesis is that in near-row sowing, the DBS maintains a relative humidity environment that allows dry seeding at the paddock scale by creating a wet seeding environment at the seedling scale.
“This is because, in water-repellent soils, water enters the soil via old root pathways and therefore, near-row sowing together with liquid fertilisers creates a relative humidity that is near 100 per cent, or at saturation point of water vapour surrounding the seed.
“This is a real eye-opener for us as we better understand how the DBS creates this environment allowing water vapour to be a primary source of moisture for seeds.
“If our hypothesis proves to be correct, the combination of liquid fertilisers and near-row sowing will greatly mitigate the negative impacts of dry sowing, reducing or eliminating staggered plant germinations typical of water-repellent soils.
“I am very excited by our initial trial work and I believe the new Ausplow nutrient formulation is a key to the overall success of our research.”

Harvest is over for Ausplow trials

category: 
Trials
This photo was taken of a plot harvester in action harvesting crop trials at our Quairading trial site this week, just beating the harvest ban. Trial details will be analysed next month.

This photo was taken of a plot harvester in action harvesting crop trials at our Quairading trial site this week, just beating the harvest ban. Trial details will be analysed next month.

Harvesting was in full swing this week at Ausplow's Quairading trial site and while details won't be known for a while, it re-enforces an exciting research and development program in crop establishment with liquid nutrients.
In May, at our 190ha research and development site (143 acres arable) at Quairading, 40 innovative trials were established to compare granular and liquid fertilisers.
Particular focus is on ‘new age’ liquid nutrients developed in conjunction with former Nutrian director Dave Seagreen, who is now working as a consultant for Landmark.
The trials, with controls, were planned and overseen by former CSIRO scientist Dr Margaret Roper, who is working as a researcher for Ausplow.
“Essentially we’re evaluating Ausplow’s current system of granular and liquid delivery with a range of new liquid fertilisers, nutrients and trace elements,” Dr Roper said.
“The 10 treatments were replicated four times in four randomised blocks.”
According to Ausplow general manager Chris Farmer, the trials mark the start of an on-going R&D project by Ausplow to not only evaluate products but also assess efficient product delivery and machinery design.
“We’re taking a holistic approach to crop establishment which has always been a feature of Ausplow as a manufacturer, to adapt technology to make agriculture more sustainable.
“We have consistently said that using the DBS precision seeder enables farmers to improve their soil while making money at the same time.
“And this new project at Quairading aims to re-enforce that philosophy.”
Establishment of the trials involved Ausplow’s plot seeder, configured with three separate liquid delivery tanks and two tanks for seed and compound fertiliser.
The liquid products were delivered through Friction Flow tubing with the ability to experiment with three separate placements to gauge effectiveness in assisting germinating seed.
The plot seeder was towed by a John Deere 9570RT tracked tractor supplied by Ag Implements, Quairading, with liquid and compound products supplied by Primaries, who also have established their own trials on the Ausplow-owned property, north of Quairading.
Ausplow managing director John Ryan AM said the establishment of the trials was a culmination of more than five years of planning.
“As with the development of the DBS and our liquid-delivery Multistream air seeder, this marks another phase of our growth in focusing on what is the optimum way to profitably grow crops and maintain sustainable rotations,” he said.
“We have some very capable and enthusiastic people working on this project and I am excited at where we are heading because it is truly ground-breaking and of significance to farmers throughout the world.
“I have always believed we had an unfinished jigsaw puzzle relating to crop establishment and that really was a motivation for me to develop the DBS and Multistream.
“Now we’re finding more pieces of the puzzle and I think we’re closer to discovering where they fit into the whole picture.”

Ausplow trials showing promise

category: 
Trials
Ausplow researcher and former CSIRO scientist specialising in microbiology, Dr Margaret Roper, taking plant head counts at the Ausplopw  Quairading trial site. "The plants have stood up well considering the low growing season rainfall,"she said.

Ausplow researcher and former CSIRO scientist specialising in microbiology, Dr Margaret Roper, taking plant head counts at the Ausplopw Quairading trial site. "The plants have stood up well considering the low growing season rainfall,"she said.

In-furrow nutrient management is clearly showing promising signs at Ausplow’s 190ha research and development site (143 acres arable) at Quairading.
This year the company established 40 innovative trials to compare granular and liquid fertilisers, with a long-term viewpoint to analyse the benefits of near-row sowing.
Particular focus is on ‘new age’ liquid nutrients developed in conjunction with Loveland Agri Products Research and Development Director Dave Seagreen. Loveland Agri products is a subsidiary of Landmark.
The trials, with controls, are being overseen by Dr Roper, in conjunction with Primaries trial Project Manager John Simpson.
“Essentially we’re evaluating Ausplow’s current system of granular and liquid delivery with a range of new liquid fertilisers, nutrients and trace elements,” Dr Roper said.
“The 10 treatments have been replicated four times in four randomised blocks.
“The plants have stood up well considering the low growing season rainfall,” she said.
Mr Seagreen agreed pointing to the value of in-furrow nutrient management.
“I think what we’re seeing here is the start of a revolution in broadacre crop establishment,” he said.
“The idea of near-row crop establishment essentially sets up nutrient furrows for the life of the paddock, with incremental movement away from the previous year’s crop rows without disturbing the stubble.
“It provides an ideal environment to better manage nutrient application via liquids, concentrating on achieving a balanced nutrient ration, so to speak, to plants.
“This then sets up plants, in the presence of moisture, to better withstand disease pressures and frost events while meeting yield targets.”
“We have introduced nano technology with our liquid nutrients for faster uptake by plants but also to improve delivery flow from the tank to the bar without blockages.
“Our Calbud product, for example, has a dual action in correcting pH in the furrow to allow roots to get through chemical barriers to access moisture and providing good potassium and carbon management.
“This is part of the process which elevates plant sugar content and creates a moisture-holding environment around roots which reduces plant transpiration.
“So with good nutrient management balance, moisture and microbiology, I see furrow management as the best cost effective way of growing good crops.
“I believe it’s the way of the future world-wide.”
According to Ausplow general manager Chris Farmer, the trials mark the start of an on-going R&D project by Ausplow to not only evaluate products but also assess efficient product delivery and machinery design.
“We’re taking a holistic approach to crop establishment which has always been a feature of Ausplow as a manufacturer, to adapt technology to make agriculture more sustainable,” he said.

Ausplow trailblazers with liquids

category: 
Trials
Ausplow general manager Chris Farmer (left), former CSIRO microbiologist Dr Margaret Roper and former Nutrian director Dave Seagreen, who is now working as a consultant for Landmark pictured at the Quairading trial site.

Ausplow general manager Chris Farmer (left), former CSIRO microbiologist Dr Margaret Roper and former Nutrian director Dave Seagreen, who is now working as a consultant for Landmark pictured at the Quairading trial site.

Ausplow has embarked on its most ambitious project in the company’s history.</p>
In May, at its 190ha research and development site (143 acres arable) at Quairading, 40 innovative trials were established to compare granular and liquid fertilisers.
Particular focus is on ‘new age’ liquid nutrients developed in conjunction with former Nutrian director Dave Seagreen, who is now working as a consultant for Landmark.
The trials, with controls, were planned and will be overseen by former CSIRO scientist Dr Margaret Roper, is working as a researcher for Ausplow.
“Essentially we’re evaluating Ausplow’s current system of granular and liquid delivery with a range of new liquid fertilisers, nutrients and trace elements,” Dr Roper said.
“The 10 treatments have been replicated four times in four randomised blocks.”
According to Ausplow general manager Chris Farmer, the trials mark the start of an on-going R&amp;D project by Ausplow to not only evaluate products but also assess efficient product delivery and machinery design.
"We’re taking a holistic approach to crop establishment which has always been a feature of Ausplow as a manufacturer, to adapt technology to make agriculture more sustainable.
“We have consistently said that using the DBS precision seeder enables farmers to improve their soil while making money at the same time.
“And this new project at Quairading aims to re-enforce that philosophy.”
Establishment of the trials involved Ausplow’s plot seeder, configured with three separate liquid delivery tanks and two tanks for seed and compound fertiliser.
The liquid products were delivered through Friction Flow tubing with the ability to experiment with three separate placements to gauge effectiveness in assisting germinating seed.
The plot seeder was towed by a John Deere 9570RT tracked tractor supplied by Ag Implements, Quairading, with liquid and compound products supplied by Primaries, who also have established their own trials on the Ausplow-owned property, north of Quairading.
Ausplow managing director John Ryan AM said the establishment of the trials was a culmination of more than five years of planning.
“As with the development of the DBS and our liquid-delivery Multistream air seeder, this marks another phase of our growth in focusing on what is the optimum way to profitably grow crops and maintain sustainable rotations,” he said.
“We have some very capable and enthusiastic people working on this project and I am excited at where we are heading because it is truly ground-breaking and of significance to farmers throughout the world.
“I have always believed we had an unfinished jigsaw puzzle relating to crop establishment and that really was a motivation for me to develop the DBS and Multistream.
“Now we’re finding more pieces of the puzzle and I think we’re closer to discovering where they fit into the whole picture.”

In-furrow sowing without 'snake oil'

category: 
Trials
Nutrian Liquids Fertilisers researcher Andy Webster (top) and assistant Cassidy Chambers, Primaries CRT Midland, prepare a Ausplow DBS and Multistream trial seeding rig, used to assess liquid and granular nutrients and ameliorants.

Nutrian Liquids Fertilisers researcher Andy Webster (top) and assistant Cassidy Chambers, Primaries CRT Midland, prepare a Ausplow DBS and Multistream trial seeding rig, used to assess liquid and granular nutrients and ameliorants.

Primaries CRT agronomist Tom McInernery checks a cabbing canola trial. "We are testing  range of nutrients, ameliorants and in-furrow fungicides in liquid form," he said. "That's along with wetting agents, to assess how they can assist in improving crop establishment and activating herbicides, by maintaining more moisture in-furrow, particularly in drier conditions."

Primaries CRT agronomist Tom McInernery checks a cabbing canola trial. "We are testing range of nutrients, ameliorants and in-furrow fungicides in liquid form," he said. "That's along with wetting agents, to assess how they can assist in improving crop establishment and activating herbicides, by maintaining more moisture in-furrow, particularly in drier conditions."

By KEN WILSON
THERE’S snake oil and then there’s ... well, science.
The serious question is who you believe, because snake oil still persists as advocates promise better crops, and money is being made about the benefits of a lot of dubious ‘oils’.
Sol had it right in the famous Caltex ad: Oils ‘aint oils’.
And that’s the general gist of what Gnowangerup agronomist Tom McInerney is involved in with regard to liquid nutrients.
Tom, who works for Primaries CRT, is a University of Adelaide Roseworthy College graduate, and he has been assessing the role of liquid nutrient mixes along with granular products to determine the benefits of in-furrow applications.
Since the introduction of Flexi-N more than 17 years ago, there has been plenty of determined farmers experimenting with doing everything in one pass with liquid mixes - nitrogen, phosphorous, calcium, potassium, etc, fungicides, trace elements and wetters..
The idea was to put an end to bulky granular products that arguably were more inefficient in becoming plant available (slower to break down) than liquid products.
It was an interesting proposition which didn’t get many legs, so to speak, mainly because not enough was known by farmers about the chemistry of the mixes nor the pumping and delivery systems to keep the liquid in suspension.
Blockages were a common and annoying occurrence with early attempts, which poured cold water on any hopes of major adoption as a management practice by farmers.
But all that is changing and Tom’s trial work since 2013 is ‘growing legs’.
Having the right equipment is a start and he is grateful that WA manufacturer Ausplow wanted to back his efforts by supplying a DBS/Multistream trial seeding rig.
He added Friction Flow hoses to deliver his mixes from the tank to the DBS modules, and has experimented with several delivery points at the knife point, seeding boot and at the rear of the press wheel.
Trials, which are replicated, include in-furrow fungicides, liquid limes and gypsum, liquid calcium, trace elements and liquid NPK.
Early work saw blockage issues with the calcium, lime and gypsum mixes, because of insufficient agitation in the tank to keep products in suspension.
That has been overcome and the Friction Flow liquid system has worked a treat.
Included in the trial work are comparisons between liquid and granular products and combinations of both.
“We are testing a range of nutrients, ameliorants and in-furrow fungicides in liquid form,” Tom said. “That’s along with wetting agents, to assess how they can assist in improving crop establishment and activating herbicides, by maintaining more moisture in-furrow, particularly in drier conditions.”
”We also want to identify benefits of in-furrow treatments in a dry year when moisture is lacking and therefore plant uptake of nutrients is slower.
“It will be interesting to see if liquids can trigger a quicker response and potentially provide greater early plant vigour and crop establishment in dry conditions.
“There is potentially a compromise between liquid and granular and we’ll be looking at that too.
“We’re basically not pushing any particular product or method but rather trying to think outside the square as to what might be more beneficial to plant establishment and growth.
“There is a lot of spin out there in the ag market place at the minute with a lot of suspect products, with little or no scientific backing or replicated trial work behind them, being pushed on farmers.
“I’m really keen to throw these products in my trials in conjunction with current best practice as well as some new technologies to see where we are getting the best bang for our buck and help my clients make better decisions for their business.
“It’s a complex scenario but there are some positive signs to indicate that we might be able to tweak a few one and two per centers rather than trying to totally reinvent the wheel.
“I would characterise what we’re doing as identifying another tool for the toolbox in crop establishment systems.
“It’s all about looking for options to maximise profits.”
The Ausplow trial seeder comprises a nine tine 2.7m (9ft) DBS on 30cm (12in) spacings with a three tank Multistream, with the separate pumps and three delivery lines.
Down the track variable rate applications may be introduced.
The big picture is that technology is now being better integrated with agronomy so it is not to ‘out there’ to suggest a one-pass crop establishment system, probably employing controlled traffic and edge-row sowing.
Story and pictures courtesy Farm Weekly.

Ausplow joins UWA in Future Farm research

category: 
Trials
Ausplow managing director John Ryan (left), Ausplow Engineering Manager Carl Vance and University of WA (UWA) farm Ridgefield, Pingelly, farm manager Steven Wainwright, next to the special Ausplow DBS and Multistream rig to be used for UWA trials.

Ausplow managing director John Ryan (left), Ausplow Engineering Manager Carl Vance and University of WA (UWA) farm Ridgefield, Pingelly, farm manager Steven Wainwright, next to the special Ausplow DBS and Multistream rig to be used for UWA trials.

A close-up of healthy germinating clover established by the DBS.

A close-up of healthy germinating clover established by the DBS.

Three different seeding systems have been used so far in this year’s trials – far left, standard DBS boot, then with split boot and in foreground the paired row boot. 70mm-diameter press wheels were used with the standard and split boots while the new 135mm-wide press wheel was used for paired row sowings.

Three different seeding systems have been used so far in this year’s trials – far left, standard DBS boot, then with split boot and in foreground the paired row boot. 70mm-diameter press wheels were used with the standard and split boots while the new 135mm-wide press wheel was used for paired row sowings.

The University of Western Australia (UWA) has entered a research and development partnership with Ausplow Farming Systems to improve crop yields and machine performance. Ausplow will test various configurations of its DBS D260-36 matched to a 6000 litre drawbar-mounted Multistream for seeding in the wide-ranging landscapes at UWA Farm Ridgefield, the University’s 1600 hectare farm near Pingelly. Dr Andrew Guzzomi from UWA’s School of Mechanical & Chemical Engineering and Institute of Agriculture, is leading the partnership with Ausplow Farming System’s Engineering Manager, Carl Vance. He said the partnership was a major step forward in the transformation of Ridgefield into a farm of the future, the mission of the UWA Future Farm 2050 Project. “Some of the landscape at UWA Farm Ridgefield is challenging in terms of soil type, obstacles and paddock shape so working in partnership with Ausplow will help optimise seeding practices,” Dr Guzzomi said. “The move toward smaller, more flexible tractor-machine combinations will permit UWA Farm Ridgefield to crop landscapes that at present are inaccessible.” Professor Graeme Martin from UWA’s School of Agriculture and Environment and Institute of Agriculture, who leads the Future Farm 2050 Project, said that as we head toward 2050 and need to feed 50 per cent more people than we do today, global food production would increasingly rely on cropping marginal lands. “The combination of modern seeding practices and a massive program for bringing weeds under control is critical for our vision for the 'ecological cropping' enterprise of the Future Farm 2050 Project,” Prof Martin said. UWA Farm Ridgefield will in turn, provide detailed feedback to Ausplow Farming Systems on machine performance and crop yields.

Breakthrough in lime application

category: 
Trials
Ausplow's John Ryan (left) and Nutrian director Dave Seagreen.

Ausplow's John Ryan (left) and Nutrian director Dave Seagreen.

Elevating soil pH quickly and cheaply could be the next breakthrough in agriculture, particularly in sandy soils. And it’s the reason Ausplow is collaborating with Perth-based Nutrian to trial a liquid formulation called Calbud. According to Nutrian owner and chemist Dave Seagreen trials since 2009 have shown Calbud to be highly effective in neutralising soil acidity and impacting against non-wetting soil as well as a soil nutrient contributing to increased crop yields. “In many cases, Calbud has increased yields for an approximate outlay of $12 per hectare depending on the severity of acidity,” he said. “As an added benefit Calbud contains magnesium to assist in making phosphate more available to plants and good levels of natural carbon, essential for microbial activity. “While there are other products in the market place that can elevate soil pH and therefore contribute to increased crop yields, the real point of difference with Calbud is price,” he said. “Trials have shown consistent soil pH elevations against control sites in soil layers 0-10cm, 10-20cm and 20-30cm. Compared against limesand treatments (3t/ha spread, $200/ha), Calbud, deep banded at a rate of 2L/ha, achieved comparable soil pH elevations (0-10cm) at a cost between $10-$12/ha. In the deep soil profile between 10 and 30cm, soil pH readings in the Calbud treatment were 5.6pH (10-20cm) and 6.1pH (20-30cm). Limesand treatments were 4.9pH (10-20cm) and 4.9pH (20-30cm). The control treatment produced readings of 4.6ph (10-20cm) and 4.9Ph (20-30cm). Wheat yields from last year’s trials showed a Calciprill (300kg/ha) treatment, applied as a split application, achieved the best yield of 2.899t/ha with Calbud second at 2.589t/ha. But the Calciprill treatment cost $180/ha versus Calbud at $10-$12/ha. The gross margin story saw banded Calbud (2L/ha) achieve $496.70/ha compared with the control result (nil nutrient applied) of $460.30. The next best applied nutrient was a split Calciprill treatment (300kg/ha) at $442.70. Limesand, spread at 3t/ha, produced a gross margin of 305.70. “In a lime survey held by the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) in 2011 it was concluded that the quality of lime was directly linked to its fineness or particle size,” Dave said. “The smaller the particle of lime, the more rapid the rate of reaction it has with the hydrogen ions in the soil. “In Calbud’s case this reaction is extremely rapid being that the average particle size of Calbud is approximately one to two microns with a surface area of approximately 300-400 times the size of the average lime product, which directly results in its advanced acidity neutralisation properties and mitigating effect on non-wetting sands.” According to Ausplow owner John Ryan, the evolution of liquid nutrients, which started in the early 2000s, was the reason he designed and developed the Multistream granular and liquid delivery system. “It was evident to me back then that the DBS and our Easitill gave us the ability to introduce liquids in a range of depths,” he said. John launched the Multistream in 2001 as the world's first totally integrated airseeder capable of accurately metering both granular and liquid product. John has continued to remain at the cutting edge of agricultural mechanical systems and continues to research to assess liquid nutrients to replace bulk fertilisers. “Farmers have been struggling to arrest pH decline in the subsoil and I think we have our Pro-D system and the Easitill as ready-made tools to ameliorate the soil while elevating soil pH with Calbud,” John said. “We’re also maintaining our one-pass system which adds to increased gross margin equation. “To me this is as exciting as the initial development of the DBS.” Mr Seagreen said soil acidity was caused by hydrogen ions (the term pH stands for percentage hydrogen or potential hydrogen) often as a result of the application of nitrogen. “Increased soil acidity affects both fertilizer and plant performance and, in severe cases, increases aluminium toxicity with severe results in growing crops,” he said. “Carbonates, being either the calcium or magnesium form, are grouped together and are commonly known as lime or dolomite. “Carbonates are essential in combating soil acidity and are far more effective in doing so than other forms of calcium due to their neutralizing reaction with hydrogen ions present within the soil. “With all this is mind, Nutrian has developed Calbud in a bid to assist farmers with the growing acidity problem. “In doing so it was recognized that key features included Calbud being easy to use, it had to be able to be injected down the tube with other products such as UAN, it had to be cost effective and, most of all, it had to work.” Ausplow and Nutrian have organized trial sites throughout the Wheatbelt with DBS owners. If you are interested in trialing Calbud, call John on 0419 831 904.