A major Queensland-based primary producer has proven the benefits of using soil conditioner to improve crop productivity via a site trial with support from NuGrow.

The agricultural leader ran a 14-month trial using a 1.5ha control plot and a 1.5ha plot treated with NuGrow’s high-grade soil conditioner – applied at 50 tonnes per hectare – with the same plant variety in both.

Farming practices such as fertilising and watering were kept constant between the two plots, leaving the use of soil conditioner as the critical differentiator.

NuGrow’s Chief Strategy Officer, Peter Thompson, said the trial was an excellent showcase of the power of soil health for agricultural productivity.

“The producer’s operations team ran progress tests over the 14 months and, even when visual appearance seemed similar, those tests confirmed crops on the treated plot had healthier root systems and greater plant length and density,” Peter said.

“The real test for our team was the quality of the end result, which exceeded our initial expectations,” he said.

“After 12 months, plants weighed an average of 16% more from the treated plot and, most importantly, when the crops were harvested at 14 months, the treated plot delivered 30% more in tonnes per hectare – an outstanding productivity result.”

Based on previous agricultural trials supported by NuGrow, while soil conditioner often represents a higher upfront cost in the short term compared to solely traditional fertiliser use, quantifiable savings can be achieved with ongoing use of three or more years.

The Raglan Pasture Trial supported by NuGrow between 2015 and 2016 confirmed that soil conditioner could support increased production, with a 56% per hectare crop increase in that trial, alongside a reduced use of synthetic fertiliser and associated costs, estimated at potentially more than 50% fertiliser reduction over three years.

With fertiliser linked to environmental harm, including damaging run-off into waterways, organic solutions such as soil conditioner have benefits beyond immediate productivity.

For the agricultural sector, as soil health continues to be a vital influencer of productivity, products such as NuGrow’s soil conditioner also present proven solutions for rebuilding that health.