Fertiliser trials in Beaumont begin

Growth spurt: The early growth of a wheat plant with the addition of the C33 carbon fertiliser pellet (left) with another plant with normal crop nutrition. Photo: Supplied.
Growth spurt: The early growth of a wheat plant with the addition of the C33 carbon fertiliser pellet (left) with another plant with normal crop nutrition. Photo: Supplied.

An extensive trial for a new carbon fertiliser pellet direct-sown through growers' seeding systems in Esperance is officially underway.

The product, developed by Carbon Ag, is being trialled in a number of regions across the state as part of a three-year research program, including more than 50 hectares of sandplain soils at Beaumont.

The pellet contains 33 per cent carbon, 45 per cent organic matter and a number of nutrients, including nitrogen, potassium, zinc, manganese, magnesium and calcium.

Agribusiness Viridis Ag has been tasked with co-ordinating the trial, which manager Matthew Tonkin said would look at a number of aspects, including harvest results and the soil science over the trial period.

Mr Tonkin said the leaf tissue tests had shown promising nutrient availability and that there was a difference in the crop biomass.

Agricultural agronomist and adviser H.F De Wet, who is co-ordinating the trials in New Norcia, Tammin, Kulin and Pingrup, said the visual observations so far were very positive.

Mr De Wet said he believed the higher crop biomass after the application of the fertiliser was a result of the retention of moisture and nutrition around the root zone.

"It's holding on to moisture a bit longer," he said.

"In theory, it could provide a benefit in drier starts, but it could also help conserve moisture from summer rains."

The carbon fertiliser pellet is expected to be available in granule form next season.

For details, contact Carbon Ag on 0429 107 919.