Petrik Soil Technology soil health bio-stimulants and fertilizer products are now in use by up to 40% of Australian banana growers.
Benefits to Banana Growers
A biological farming approach results in improvements in many areas. The combination of balanced soil chemistry and applied biology results in improved yields, more consistent quality, better plant health, improved soil health and superior disease resistance.
While we initially adjusted the soil chemistry looking to improve Sigatoka control we did notice a decline in activity of plant parasitic nematodes as well. The same cell wall integrity increases the plants resistance to pathogens attacking the foliage and the roots. While we do not have the same availability of data as for Sigatoka we have no growers using our whole soil health program who are applying any nematicide. Management of the system is robust with most clients utilising monthly soil testing and leaf testing in order to fine tune fertilizer programs.
Fertiliser programs have also reduced the use of nitrogen and phosphorus. In all farms we have reduced nitrogen use by approximately one third while at the same time improving productivity. Phosphorus applications have been eliminated on most farms. Tissue phosphorous levels are now consistently higher under a biology program than they were previously when the farm was under a full phosphorous fertilizer program. This has been documented over time and is supported by university studies. The biological release of potassium, however, is generally much slower as this depends upon the breakdown of the actual clay particles. With a crop such as banana with a high potassium extraction this will never match crop demand. Potassium application requirements have actually increased in many cases as yields have gone up. With potassium it is pretty simple. If you take it away you need to replace it. We do not consider N and P in the same manner, however, as these have much stronger biological relationships and growing also means increased root exudates and a healthier soil which can often increase P and N availability by the actions of the soil biology.
There are further, more widespread, implications to sustainable farming in the North Queensland banana industry particularly with regards to run off to the Great Barrier Reef. Using Petrik products can reduce the environmental impact of farming by reducing the usage of nitrogen, pesticides and fungicides. This will help farmers meet the run off targets set by the government for 2018.
A microbial soil inoculant
Digestor is a live biological soil inoculant. Its unique combination of multi-strained microbes, fungi and beneficial bacteria build humus, improve soil structure and boost crop performance. It contains species of biology that work in conjunction with both monocot and dicot plants. Digestor is formulated for Horticulture, Orchards and Broadleaf.
A powerful quality and health stimulant
Setbest improves flowering, aids fruit setting and boosts the overall health and sizing. It optimises nutrient availability at critical stages of plant growth and supports root system mycorrhizal colonies. Setbest builds plant resilience, helps plants recover from damage and is highly effective in all crop types.