The chief aim of Greenbelt, as a company, is to assist farmers in the economical rejuvenation their soils by the introduction of Greenbelt Bio-fertiliser into the farming system.
Restoring the health of the soil drastically reduces, eliminates or makes more efficient any other inputs in use, which in turn has major financial and environmental advantages.
Healthy rejuvenated soil have the optimum levels of beneficial microbes, fungi and nematodes to allow the crop to access all necessary nutrients for optimal health and growth.
The Financial Sustainability of Rejuvenated Soils
For a process to be adopted it must be financially viable. Either returning the same profit as current practices or, preferably, increasing them. Our aim is to lower the cost of production. Otherwise why change current practices?
Rejuvenating soil by using Greenbelt Bio-fertiliser is working with biological systems. Building up the natural beneficial biology as part of the fertilizing program. It takes much less energy to work with a system rather than against it. Therefore it is more financially lucrative to work this way.
Working with nature’s biological disease repressing systems takes much less energy than working against. It creates an upward spiral positively impacting all the cost centre’s on a farm.
The Change Process
The advantages of having rejuvenated soil on a farm cannot be looked at without considering how this state can be achieved in a financially viable manner.
initially the inorganic fertiliser inputs are reduced by 25% and replaced with the nutrients within the bio-fertiliser. This is to ensure the crop receives the same nutrients as have been determined are necessary for the present condition of the soil.
The aim is to reduce the inorganic inputs by 25% per year until the optimum level to produce the ultimate return is reached. The actual rate of inorganic input reduction will be determined by soil-testing and the results achieved. The crop must receive all the necessary nutrients as the soil is being rejuvenated. Hence the gradual reduction in inorganic inputs is necessary to ensure the same or better returns during the change process.
Financial Impacts of Rejuvenated Soils
Rejuvenated soil positively affects all cost centre’s on a farm:
Soil Preparation –
The soil structure is being continually improved with the addition of the Greenbelt Bio-fertiliser. Preparation will therefore be cut to a minimum resulting in lower expenditure in time and fuel.
Fertilisation – The use of inorganic fertilisers degrade the soils. When these are eliminated or drastically reduced, the soil is being revitalized with every application of the Bio-Fertiliser. Improved soil structure reduces the cost of man hours to prepare the soil
Fungicides/Nematicides – increases of beneficial microbial populations and diversity in the soil will keep harmful microbes in check. The application of fungicides and nematicides will, in turn, be eliminated.
Pesticides – Insect pests are nature’s garbage collectors. The healthier the crop the less it is affected by them. (Covered in detail below)
Herbicides – Weeds prefer anaerobic soils. When the soil is rejuvenated less weeds will grow so more easily managed grasses can be introduced to headlands.
Irrigation – Fungus and humus rich soil holds water better than degraded soils so irrigation can be reduced.
Harvesting – An increase in cane yield and CCS levels will make harvesting more efficient.
It’s All About Soil and Root Health
As sugar cane works on a ratoon system the healthier the soil is, the better the ratoon crops will be. With healthy soil the roots will be deeper and more robust. In turn this leads to more nutrients being absorbed by the cane and therefore more cane and increased sugar content.
With healthier soils the roots can fight disease better so the years between planting cycles can foreseeable be increased. This will be another major boost in farm productivity. One of the biggest cost in growing sugar cane is planting so the longer the time between plants the better.
Greenbelt Biofertiliser is available in both screened and granulated versions.