Grant Borgward talks about
PhosphorusFarmer and National Sales Manager for RLFs
About this SeriesAn informative and insightful video series featuring Grant Borgward has been released for 2016.
It has been called FARMER TO FARMER with very good reason.
This series has been developed to enable farmers everywhere to draw knowledge and inspiration from a fellow farmer as well as to spread further the message of RLF products.
Grant Borgward talks about Phosphorus
Hello. My name is Grant Borgward, National Sales Manager for Rural Liquid Fertilisers Australia.
Today, I’d like to talk to you about phosphorus. Now every farmer that I have ever met, definitely has a love affair with phosphorus, and understands how important it is to grow his crop. To back that up, almost everyone has put-on super phosphate and will always start out the crop with a base fertiliser containing phosphorus. It is well understood that we need the phosphorus in the first 30 days of the crop’s life to get maximum yield.
But that’s basically where the story stops for phosphorus at the moment.
At RLF we’re part of the new era of foliar fertilisers which are based on phosphorus.
And what we’re able to do with our low pH is actually get the phosphorus onto the leaf, into the leaf, and then active in the plant. Now, you might be wondering why this is significant. The reason it is so significant is that once you get the phosphorus through the leaf, the plant gets ‘extra phosphorus’, or ‘free phosphorus’ if you like, over and above what it’s able to pull out of the soil. It can then use that ‘extra energy’ or net extra benefit of nutrients to put a larger root system on. That larger root system then goes down and picks up more nutrient from the soil, also more phosphorus out of the soil reserve, so we get net, more nutrients into the plant because we’ve primed the pump by putting more phosphorus into the leaf.
Now this NDS, (or nutrient delivery system), is all based around phosphorus and our low pH, and we’re using hydrogen to gather nutrients into the leaf wall. As we do that, we then also put in nutrients like copper, zinc, manganese and molybdenum – which are very hard for the plant to find in the soil. Phosphorus, by its very nature, is lazy and it just wants to tie up in the soil. So the plant has a race against time to accumulate enough phosphorus, so that when it comes time to make grain it has actually got enough phosphorus within its plant cells to fill that grain up to maximum yield.
So every time we put more phosphorus on through the leaf we’re actually helping that plant get closer towards that target yield by accumulating enough phosphorus.
Plus we’re giving the plant a larger root system to go and access more phosphorus from its soil. Now, getting extra phosphorus out of the soil is a big positive, also putting a larger root system on to pick up all the nutrients is a big positive, and driving that root system further down into the soil profile to access more moisture is also a massive improvement in that crop’s life cycle.
Aside from all the nutrition benefits, is the secondary benefit which is that larger root system.
It’s a well accepted fact that most farmers seed on what’s called ‘no till’ and preserve stubble to try and build organic matter. This is very important, but is also a very slow way to build organic matter. As we put a larger root system on a plant, we’re immediately increasing the fresh humus in the soil, and by the end of the season we’ve had a much bigger impact on the fresh humus that’s left for the next crop. So, we are actively improving soil organic matter and contributing to extra humus production in the year that we’re growing the crop.
And this leads to longer term soil fertility build-up which is lacking from a lot of conventional fertiliser programs. That’s actually the most exciting thing for me as a farmer, as every time I put a foliar fertiliser on, I know I’m not only helping that crop through any dry spells that might be coming, or any hardships that the season might be about to throw at us (which we normally get plenty of those) but I know too, that every time I foliar spray, I’m building up that root system which is giving me more organic matter, which is actually the key to driving future profits on our farms.
So, RLF’s Ultra Foliar and Rapid Foliar have been specifically designed with these key principles in mind. So that when we apply them to the leaf, we’ve got the phosphorus there to feed the plant, the delivery system to get the nutrient in through the leaf and then the plant can actually move those nutrients around to where it actually needs it most for growth.
Grant farms nearly 10,000 ha of mid-west land located southeast of Geraldton in Western Australia. A son of a farmer, Grant’s been bought-up on farm all of his life. In professional life Grant is the National Sales Manager of RLF for the last 18 years.
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