21 June 2002

Give crops a 15% yield boost with farm disinfectant

By Charles Abel

A NOVEL powdered disinfectant could boost crop yields by up to 15% when used as a slurry or fertiliser additive, claims Allied Grain.

Based on long-standing livestock disinfectant Stalosan it is said to act as a soil catalyst, suppressing unwanted microbes and boosting the activity of beneficial soil organisms.

"We think it helps release nutrients from the 3-6t/ha of organic matter held in soils," says Prof Finn Eiland of Danish manufacturer Stormollen Innovation.

Replicated trials conducted at Denmarks Foulum Research Centre have consistently lifted cereal yields 10-15%. Responses have also been observed in oilseed rape and glasshouse crops.

Costing £7.40/ha (£3/acre) for the 10kg/ha cereal rate it offers growers a chance to boost performance on more marginal sites, says Allieds Earl Williams.

"It probably gives the best results when crops are under-performing or under stress, rather than adding more yield to high performing crops."

Its activity was discovered when crops treated with livestock manures from units using the Stalosan F form of the disinfectant produced better than expected yields.

Now Stalosan G has been formulated to give more consistent results as a fertiliser or slurry additive.

Allied supplied enough coated fertiliser blend to treat 12,000ha (30,000 acres) this year. For next season it will be incorporated in a range of Allieds compound prill products. Work is also underway with Omex to include it in liquid fertilisers.

One 400ha (1000-acre) Lincs grower has already said he believes the additive has helped produce his best ever crop of winter oilseed rape.

"It is sink or swim for the product now, harvest results will be the proof of the pudding," says Mr Williams. &#42

Livestock building disinfectant Stalosan G could boost cereal yields by up to 15%, say Danish researcher Finn Eiland (left) and Earl Williams of UK agent Allied Grain.