Ausplow recommends leading coulters on its DBS to remove any stubble that may affect seed germination.

Ausplow recommends leading coulters on its DBS to remove any stubble that may affect seed germination.

By JOHN RYAN AM

There’s an important context to the BioFurrow™ hypothesis of near-row sowing, which I have been discussing for many years.
And that is, soil health.
In a perfect world, to grow healthy crops with high hectolitre weight and high protein, the soil in which the plants are growing, must be aggregated with the presence of air and moisture and, most importantly, beneficial bacteria.
The starting point to achieve this, for broadacre cropping in Australia, I believe, has been the introduction of the DBS precision seeder to start the process of building healthy soils.
I designed the DBS, with the three-slot system, to create an ideal environment, initially for seed germination and then for healthy plant growth throughout the growing season. And this has been vindicated by the adoption of the DBS throughout Australia.
Ausplow is now the nation’s leading manufacturer of precision broadacre seeding bars.
In the early developmental stages of the DBS, the emphasis was on precision seed placement, while breaking hard pans, with the added benefit of water harvesting. This continues to be the case as we refine the DBS with subtle changes to improve its performance.
The key to establishing the optimum environment for the seed is the DBS three-slot system which provides the seed with moisture and air – the starting point to building soil structure.
And during the past 25 years, DBS owners report to us of positive structural changes to their soils.
So ideal soil environments are being created for growing crops but there remains limitations to the type of crop yields and quality we should be expecting from such soils.
I believe those limitations are directly correlated with soil biology, with research work done by our consultant Dr Margaret Roper opening the door to new thoughts on how to grow high-yielding and quality crops.
This has now become a major research and development focus for our company aligned with continued R&D involving the DBS and liquid-ready Multistream air seeder.
The genesis of this focus on soil is the near-row sowing BioFurrow™ hypothesis.
It is revolutionary because it focuses on soil biology as the main engine for crop growth with declining emphasis on synthetic fertilisers and chemicals.
It will be a process for farmers wanting to adopt the BioFurrow system, but the main tool already is being used, ie, the DBS.
My view is that conventional broadacre agriculture throughout the world is being challenged to a point where change must occur.
Firstly, farmers are being challenged with increasing costs not matched by increasing higher prices for their crops.
Secondly, United States farmers are perhaps the proverbial canary in the coal mine, as they battle with increasingly unhealthy soils which, ironically because of their quality, have masked the problems of dying soil biology, triggered by more than 70 years of synthetic nutrition and chemical applications and continued tillage, despite the growth of no-till and vertical till.
This subject has been an elephant in the room for agriculture for too long.
It is why I believe we all need to assess the need for change and whether to pay attention to a growing body of scientific work which in the past 10 years firmly points to soil biology as the way to go forward.

category: 
Publish Date: 
Saturday, May 21, 2022