Waltanna Farms - On Our Liquids
LANDMARK Mount Gambier sales agronomist Garry Allison says Guano Australia’s range of products have a range of advantages in his area. He said he recommended the products, such as Guano Gold, to a range of clients. “There’s obviously a fit, as a certified organic product, into organic systems, it is also good for those really interested in improving soil health,” Mr Allison said. He also said the fertilisers were a great fit in areas with difficult soils or those prone to nutrient leaching. “There are a lot of sandy, acidic soils here, with sand over clay, and with our heavy winter rainfall, you can see a lot of nutrient leaching.” “Having a product such as Guano Gold, with its split release of P, is very useful in these circumstances to allow some plant available P later in the growing season.” Mr Allison told would be customers that although the Guano Australia’s range of products were certified organic, they should not be pigeonholed as solely an organic fertiliser. “The problem with many organic fertilisers is that they have very low rates of nutrients, meaning you need to put out high rates.” “A product like Guano Gold has 12pc P, whereas Guano Sulphur Gold has 10.5pc P, obviously with additional sulphur.” “These figures compare very favourably with something like a single superphosphate product.” “Agronomically, it’s a good product in any setting, not just for organic producers.” Mr Allison said he also found the granular Guano Australia products good to deal with logistically. “It’s a good uniform size that makes for good spreading compared to a bulkier low analysis product or a really fi ne fertiliser like crushed rock phosphate.” “Being able to spread it out over 25 metres through the fertiliser spreader rather only being able to throw it 10 or 12 metres, as is the case with different products, is a real saving.” Mr Allison also said while the cover price of the Guano Gold products, at around $800 a tonne, was unfavourable compared to a single super at around $300/t, when the entire nutritional package was considered, the dynamics changed. “With Guano Gold you get calcium, silica, mg, copper, zinc, all that, it’s a well-balanced product, whereas conventional super is just acidified phosphate.”
Garry Allison, Landmark Agronomist. Mount Gambier, SA
W B Hunter
Graeme Talarico, agronomist from WB Hunter
Farmers have been extracting more value from their phosphate dollars through the use of Guano Gold- Split P products. Agronomist Graeme Talarico from WB Hunter has experienced great success selling the fertiliser products, which he said allows farmers to gain more from their soil. “The superior availability of the phosphorous component in the fertiliser, as well as the silica component and other attributes, makes it a unique fertiliser,” Mr Talarico said. “I sell the products to people in horticulture, dairy and broadacre businesses and they use it in a range of crops.” This product provides farmers with both types of phosphorous – both water soluble and non-water soluble – unlike others on the market. “A lot of fertilisers have only got water soluble phosphorous, which means for a period of time it is more likely to be unavailable to the plant,” Mr Talarico said. Without enough phosphorous, young crops will struggle to take off and existing crops will not perform as well. “Particularly for a young crop with a small root system, phosphorous is pivotal to get it going. If phosphorous is poor the crop will take a lot longer and you will suffer yield decline,” Mr Talarico said. “Products like this are integral as crops don’t perform as well without having very good quality fertilisers underneath them.”
Michael Nagorcka from Waltanna Farms, near Hamilton, Victoria.
For flax-seed farmer Michael Nagorcka, phosphorous is the key to a successful crop. This nutrient is essential for all plant growth, so it is no surprise that farmers like him are seeking to increase the amount within their crops. Mr Nagorcka uses Guano Gold-Split P products to enhance the phosphorus component of his flax plants. “We have known since the 1930s that phosphorus is one of the main elements required to grow a successful crop of not just the (flax) plant but the seed,” he said. “It gives you a very high oil content and a very high Omega 3 content.” Mr Nagorcka has used the Guano Gold-Split P products for the past 4–5 years and has been impressed with their diversity and success. “It was one of those products that was first out in a granular type form and it was so much easier to get an even coverage over the ground, rather than a powder form,” he said. “Later on the product became a little more refined, so we could put it through our air-seeder. We also broadcast some of it, prior to seeding, when we are cultivating ground.” While Mr Nagorcka grows wheat and oats too, flax seed is his primary crop - so it is essential to give it what it needs to thrive. “The products have great characteristics in relation to phosphate and silica, which is exactly what we need for flax,” he said.
ORD RIVER irrigator David Menzel has been using Guano Gold-based products for many years as part of his overall fertiliser program and says the in-paddock evidence is undisputable. “There’s no doubt the crops in paddocks where there has been a good Guano Gold history seem to grow a more solid plant,” Mr Menzel said. Mr Menzel’s operation, Barradale Farms, near Kununurra in northern Western Australia, specialises in melon production, along with a range of broadacre crops, such as chickpeas, borlotti beans and maize. Although the Guano Australia range of products have lower rates of macro nutrients such as phosphorus (P) than synthetic fertiliser options such as MAP or DAP, Mr Menzel said the crops where Guano Gold was used were often better. “On the heavy clay soils, I think the plants can access the P from the Guano Gold better than they can from the MAP or DAP,” he said. Along with that, he said the suite of micro-nutrients available in the Guano Gold had a benefit to the crop. “We’re not quite sure about which elements cause the good growth, but it’s enough to say that the evidence, in terms of crop yields, is there.” Mr Menzel also said in the crucial melon crop, the silica in the Guano Gold crop was fantastic for fruit longevity. “Being so far away from our markets, durability is critical and the silica is really good in terms of hardening up the skin and making the melons better to transport,” he said. He said the Guano Gold products showed the benefit of investigating further than the headline number. “It’s a hard sell telling the bank manager you’d rather use a product with 12 units of P that costs more than the one with 21 units, but the results are there.”
David Menzel, Barradale Farms. Kununurra, WA
MOREE agronomist Rob Drewitt, Grainland, said Guano Gold-based products can help broadacre producers transform hostile soils. “Farmers have a wide range of fertiliser options available to them, but where I really think Guano Gold comes into its own is on that tough 5pc of soils where you inevitably see synthetic phosphorus (P) tied up.” He said he had been using Guano Australia’s range of products for years and said the split availability of the P, between an upfront flush of nutrient and a slower release, drip feed system that meets plant needs during the growing season, worked well. “For the broadacre croppers, it works really well in paddocks where they have had issues with nutrient tie-up.” He said the majority of synthetic P products have large rates of water soluble P. “The problem with that is that you can have instances where it ends up tying up zinc in the soil so you run into problems with zinc deficiencies.” “Not only does the slow release nature of the Guano Gold product work well over the entire season, it also contains zinc for the crop as well as the other nutrients.”
Mr Drewitt also said there was a natural fit for the various Guano Gold products and horticulture and tree crops. “The tree crops thrive on the slower release nature of the Guano Gold products, it is a really good fi t, we use the two litre a minute drippers and it works well.” In terms of broadacre crops, he said he had noticed the best results in crops that were not efficient scavengers of P. “We’ve found it really good on legumes that don’t have the same ability to hunt around for P as some other broadacre crops like the cereals do.”
Robert Drewitt, Grainland Agronomist. Moree, NSW