The Dirty Work: Wheat Case Study

Oct 24, 2016

Wheat production has always been an important agricultural market worldwide. For the past 18 years, the European Union, China, India and the United States have been the top four wheat producing countries. Combined, they contributed an estimated 418.5 metric tons of wheat in the 2013/2014 growing season. Domestically, wheat is produced in almost every state in the US, and it is the principal cereal grain grown throughout the country.

With these large production volumes, quality sometimes becomes a secondary concern to the sheer quantity that must be produced. With this in mind, BioFlora has made it our mission to ensure that growers are able to harvest the maximum quantity and consumers have access to the highest quality wheat products on the market.

Production data is from the Food and Agriculture Orga- nization FAOSTAT database. Older figures were from the International Grains Council  “Grain Market Report”.

Case Study 1

On BioFlora’s research farm, Green Acres, an organic wheat crop was produced utilizing an exclusive BioFlora program. The trial was performed to determine if BioFlora could increase the ton per acre, protein percentage, bushel weight and value per acre over commercially grown wheat.

BioFlora applied 10 gallons/acre of our humic acid product Humega® to the soil, for four applications throughout the growing season. For the foliar program we utilized 1 qt/acre of our BioFlora Seaweed Creme® for four applications and our Fish-O-Mega® 4-1-1 at 1 gallon/acre for one application.

Our Products

Humega is an organic, biologically active humic acid, which facilitates soil tilth and boosts microbial activity. We utilize a proprietary extraction process that is unique to our business, which aids our approach in maximizing the integrity of humic acids we are able to procure.

BioFlora Seaweed Creme begins with hand- harvested, sun-dried Ascophyllum nodosum, a seaweed found in the cold waters off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. This seaweed is homogenized, processed at ambient temperatures and then enhanced with our patented ionic minerals. This procedure secures the natural, beneficial qualities of seaweed (amino acids, vitamins, auxins, gibberellins., folic and folinic acids etc.) and the addition of our ionic minerals guarantees rapid plant uptake of these components.

Fish-O-Mega® 4-1-1 is a proprietary blend of fish solubles and our enhanced Ascophyllum nodosum designed to deliver NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) values in the most plant compatible form.

Table 1* | Avg. Wheat Values 2003 – 2004

Table 1 reveals that the BioFlora program was able to increase the tons per acre, protein percentage bushel weight and value per acre from the first year to the second year. Protein values of treated wheat scored higher than commercially produced wheat, and further trials would be necessary to determine if consecutive years of an organic BioFlora program would eventually compete with commercial averages for other testing parameters.

 

Case Study 2

From 2008 – 2009 BioFlora partnered with our distributor in Saudi Arabia (NADEC) for the “Ha’il Project” [See Appendix A & B for more information].

The guidelines for this trial were that BioFlora would treat a wheat crop with Humega to determine if we could reduce the usage of urea* and DAP*, while simultaneously increasing plant growth and yield, improve soil conditions and enhance microbial activity in the soil rhizosphere.

For this particular trial, BioFlora applied 4.5 gallons/acre (38 liters/hectare) of Humega, for  a  total  of  seven  applications  through  a pivot irrigation system during the growing season, for a total of 28 gals/acre of Humega.

*Excessive use of urea can cause soils to lose their fertility, lowering yields and production values over time.

*DAP (diammonium phosphate) has been known to contribute to germination damage from the generation of free ammonia.

Results

Throughout the trial, BioFlora treated areas were recognized by trial managers for better crop stand, greener color, taller plants and faster growth. Plant height and crop density in the BioFlora treated plots contributed to excessive lodging.

The following information in Tables 1 – 4 show the results of the control and the treated areas for plant tissue, soil analysis and yield data. Final review of the data lead to the conclusion that reduced nitrogen inputs should have been implemented in this trial.

 

The rhizosphere is the zone of soil surrounding a plant root where the biology and chemistry of the soil are influenced by the root. The zone is about 1mm wide, but has no distinct edge. Rather, it is an area of intense biological and chemical activity influenced by compounds exuded by the root.

Table 1 | Plant Tissue

Table 2 | Soil Analysis

Table 1

Demonstrates that Humega was able to deliver 12% more biomass to the treated wheat crop throughout the growing season. Also worth noting is the increase in Nitrogen in the treated plot, this essential element assists in plant growth and structure.

Table 2

Shows that Humega delivered 15% more solubized sodium. Solubized sodium is more easily pushed out of the rhizosphere, leading to less crop damage from the build-up of salts around the root base, that can then be absorbed into the plant.

Table 3 | Yield Data

Table 3

BioFlora treated wheat averaged a higher number of heads and more weight per gram over the control. Yield data revealed that commercial and treated averages were very competitive. Further studies with Humega have shown that continued usage allow for improved soil recovery to enhance yields when given adequate time to reverse years of chemical damage.

Appendix A

Established in 1981, NADEC has grown to become one of the largest agricultural and food-processing share stock companies in the Middle East and North Africa. Agricultural production continues to be one of the most important activities in the company.

Appendix B

The Ha’il Project was named after the capital of the Ha’il Province where the trial took place. The city is largely agricultural, with significant grain, date and fruit production. A large percentage of the countries wheat production comes from the Ha’il Province.

About BioFlora

BioFlora was founded in 1972 with a goal to conceptualize, develop, manufacture, market, and deliver a proprietary product line to the agricultural community. Through our innovative products and programs, we provide solutions to our customers in both domestic and international markets. Today, we have over 30 unique proprietary products that benefit growers, retailers and consumers alike. Our organic and sustainable agricultural programs maximize the efficacy and efficiency of traditional agricultural inputs, while being mindful of their environmental impact.