Jeff Claydon, CEO of Claydon Drills, is hosting trials on two Olmix biostimulants this season, hoping to stay ahead on yield on his 340-hectare farm near Newmarket.
The two products used in the programmes are Neosol, a soil microbial biomass activator, and Primeo S12, a soil nutrition stimulator, both of which are applied at drilling. As well as yield, the trials will measure crop development, plant health and quality parameters.
They will run over a five-year period. One will see Neosol (150kg/hectare) as well as four foliar applications based on the Elevate product applied. The other will have Primeo S12 (150kg/hectare) and four applications of the Bioman product.
“The farm’s soil is very healthy, so if we are going to see any effect of Neosol and Primeo S12 we will see it before the third application of foliar biostimulant around mid-April,” said Guy Gibson, an agronomist at Advanced Efficacy, who is running the trial.
The trial field is currently down as winter wheat, drilled in mid-October. The fertiliser was broadcast into the 10cm growing zone thanks to the strip-till establishment regime.
Growth has been checked because of the cold temperatures and snow cover, but all plots looked good in November, said Mr Gibson. “I am hoping to see differences between the trials in tiller count in March and April, compared with the farm’s standard programme.”
By repeating the trials over a five-year period, Olmix can show a constant return on investment, according to Grant James, Olmix manager for the UK and Ireland.
“Biostimulants perform best in adverse conditions, so if you have a year where conditions are good, you may not see them performing at their maximum potential. Trialling over five years, you are less likely to have perfect conditions every year, and more likely to see their positive benefits.”
Recent trials in the Czech Republic showed that Neosol led to better soil structure and higher yields said Olmix international soil expert, Benoit Le Rumeur. “These soil structural improvements provide better conditions for plant growth, allowing improved rooting and nutrient take up, as well as water availability.”