Key dates:

· Wheat Harvested Mid Dec

· Stubble Mulched 25th Jan

· Digest Applied 10th Feb

· Canola planted 17th Apr on treated, 24th on untreated.

· Stubble / canola emergence Inspected 4th May

Who / Where

Ross, a first time Digest and Kicker user based in North Eastern Victoria, with a varied broadacre crop of wheat, corn and canola.

What

In mid December 2021 8t/ha of Beckham Wheat grain was harvested, and by the end of January 6t/ha of wheat stubble was mulched in paddocks both treated with and without Digest. In early February LawrieCo’s Digest Ready + Kicker applied at 30 + 6 L/ha onto the majority of paddocks (with a small control area left untreated) of wheat stubble.

On the 17th of April the Digest treated stubble area was planted with canola, the result allowing the machinery to easily plant into the now brittle stubble. The control area was planted with canola on the 24th of April into the untreated stubble. At planting multiple machinery blockages occurred. This resulted in the canola not being able to be sown at night and sowing had to be resumed during daylight.

Inspections were carried out 4th of May in the Digest treated areas and showed the soil had opened up, while visually it was also noticeably holding significantly more moisture compared to the untreated stubble. The treated stubble is brittle to the touch, while the fungi was also visually present in some areas. The canola planted into the digest treated area has displayed more vigour and vitality.

Left photo – Digest treated stubble, Right photo – Untreated Stubble.

Technical

LawrieCo’s Digest ready includes Trichoderma species that are cellulose digesters that are “endemic” (naturally found in Australian soils). Digest Kicker includes a mix of nutrition and biological stimulants to ensure when the Digest Fungi are sprayed on crop residues conditions and food sources for them to survive and proliferate.

Reintroducing Digest Fungi to residues, significantly supports building Soil Organic Carbon. It is an innovative, cost effective way of increasing beneficial microbial populations in the soil profile leading to increased nutrient exchange and utilisation.

Yields following a Digest treated crop have often shown to improve, this is due to improved conversion of carbon and nitrogen to plant available form, suitable for use in the next crop rotation. And the removal of stubble causing “nitrogen draw-down”.

For soil carbon building, the LawrieCo digest program is key. It takes advantage of an available carbon resource and aids in its conversion to SOIL carbon. Under normal conditions the stubble carbon is oxidised and released to the atmosphere. The digest program also helps to support a healthy soil microbe life. Rebuilding the beneficial fungi supports an optimum open soil structure, allowing for moisture retention and beneficial aerobic bacterial.

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