Ausplow’s Biofurrow ™ hypothesis could see annual crop establishments achieved in the same furrow.

Ausplow’s Biofurrow ™ hypothesis could see annual crop establishments achieved in the same furrow.

It is nearing nearly three decades since I started the concept of the Deep Blade Sowing (DBS) system.
And apart from the usual improvements that come with any new system, the basic principles have remained the same.
But now I want to introduce an hypothesis which I believe could help DBS owners move forward on a new pathway.
I call it the BioFurrow™ system of crop establishment ... a furrow for life.
Basically, it a system that enhances what my uncle Percival Yeomans achieved with the Keyline Plan and the Yeoman’s plough (See April Ausfacts).
What Percival couldn’t achieve then, we can now, thanks to technological advances.
I’m talking about in-furrow liquid nutrient management and it’s the focus of our trial work at our Quairading Research and Development Centre.
You are very aware of my pot plant analogy of how the DBS works and I regard the BioFurrow™ as the ultimate broadacre pot plant and ideally suited to in-furrow liquid management.
Essentially it is near-row sowing which encourages plant roots to seek out moisture and nutrients, in the presence of air, by following old root pathways in the same furrow.
Employing guidance technology, it is possible to establish a left-side, right-side alternating sowing pattern each year.
In effect, each crop row can become a ‘furrow for life’ as it takes on similar characteristics you would find in market gardens, where moisture and air and bacteria combine to build fertile soils.
I am convinced the BioFurrow™ system can have application in market gardens too.
We see the benefits as:
1. Re-building and aerating soils, increasing organic carbon levels and elevating moisture-holding capacity, while moderating topsoil pH.
2. Greatly reducing, and in some soil types, eliminating the symptoms of non-wetting.
3. Greatly reducing wet-dry sowing scenarios which lead to staggered plant germinations.
4. Defacto soil amelioration through in-furrow nutrient inputs, eliminating costly conventional amelioration practices such as deep ripping, mould boarding and spading.
5. Enhanced moisture penetration in structure-building furrows, through greater mycorrhizal fungi growth.
6. Retention of beneficial bacteria not destroyed by cultivation.
7. Resultant presence of beneficial bacteria in the ‘pot plant’ rows may mitigate plant root diseases.
8. Less cost through tailored liquid nutrients (no fertiliser or other product spreading necessary) and less fuel due to less horsepower requirements in pulling the DBS seeding rig.
9. Side-to-side near-row sowing will also provide sufficient sub-soil shattering via DBS blades to act as a ‘furrow renovation’ each year, preventing soil-settling that can cause hardpans.
10. Establishing a defacto Keyline system that allows moisture to stay where it falls.
11. Possible frost mitigation through increased Brix readings in healthier plants.
12. Potential for lower seeding rates.
13. Greater competition against weeds
14. A more sustainable crop establishment system.
As with any new system, the initial object is to start with trials to make your own assessments.
Good luck for the rest of the season.

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Friday, December 11, 2020