Several growers from the Riverland district of Renmark North-Cooltong have embarked on biological programs in search of improvements in yield, quality, environmental sustainability and reductions in pesticide & fungicide use on their prospective properties.
One of those growers, Jim Belehris, has greatly improved his almond yields over the last several years without the need for excessive chemical fertiliser use. Prior to this, synthetic fertiliser was standard practice for Jim, with poor results prompting him to look for alternatives. A shift to animal manure composts blended with biologically active brown coal Bio-Humate (FF50), has changed his views on synthetic NPK applied products.
Jim agrees, that by blending natural fertilisers with a humate base improves the retention of the products used, maximising their effect whilst promoting and stimulating the biological component. According to his wholesale merchant and consumers who try his almonds, Jim’s almonds have a better flavour, colour and crispness they don’t get from others.
‘There is a flavour difference and consumers have noticed it, like it and pay extra for it.’ says Jim. Jim has developed a new block and planted another 6000 trees using Ferbon ‘OF10’ high carbon fertiliser in the back fill of the planting holes. The result is that the trees are looking like clones of each other, with growth rates practically identical down every row.
Recently, Jim has tried Pyro Ag via fertigation to his home block of almonds and has noticed a resurgence of new growth on old limbs of some of his almond trees. Initially he used a small amount of Pyro Ag at the base of one of his ornamental trees along the front of his house. On the tree he applied it to he witnessed a surge of new tip growth compared to the other trees and this prompted him to try the product in his orchard.
Jim’s earlier plantings using OF10 Bio-Humate and Nutri-Life 4/20 microbes.
Jim Belehris. Uses Pyro Ag, NTS Super Active guano powder and K-Rich on his almonds.
‘Building soil microbial populations is important for a healthier orchard.’