Fertiplus trial in sugar beet - Hungary

Hypothesis, experiences and comments in regards with Fertiplus

A sugar beet growing company like Albert Agro EV in Bácsbokod, Hungary, where the amount of sugar gained from the harvested sugar beet on 10-year average is more than 12 tons, it is quite difficult to find any new methods to further increase yields without irrigation, besides intensive cultivation technology and continuously improving soil conditions applied.

Now, the seven years tillage without plow, along with a mulch unconventional technology, resulted in a 80-90 cm deep loosened, good structural and fractional soil for crops grown. As a result of cultivation method and of fertilization adjusted to harvest and yields, the humus content increased by 0.25 % in the last five years, which contributed to a significant decrease of fuel use per ha as well as to the decrease in the wear of devices.

We are situated 18 km from the river Danube and 85 km away from the river Tisza, where the ground water level - in spite of the 5 times more distance - is determined by the river Tisza. In this region, mostly affected by drought, it is very important to use the tillage facilitates in a way to allow the quick reception and preservation of the precipitation provided by the weather.

We all know that the amount of water available, largely determines the available root crop, the sugar yield, but it seems that under the same water and soil conditions, there is a new form of organic fertilization which may provide additional yield increase for sugar beet growers.

In the following sections, we, as Albert Agro EV will share the learnings of the results we went through during the trials with Fertiplus in sugar beet.

Fertiplus trial in sugar beet

In order to illustrate the different characteristics of the Fertiplus organic fertilization from the conventional fertilization methods, first we need to introduce the current practice of fertilization we have been using with high level yield results over the last years.

To have the best additional fertilization practices to mulch technologies, based on soil testing and nutrient needs of the planned yield level, we formerly used Kemira, than later Yara fertilizers subsequently enriched with microelements NPK 5:10:30 and 7:12:28 NPK in a complex water-soluble form applied directly before sowing in spring time 0.7 to 1.1 t/ha dose rate.

Incorporation is done by the seedbed compactor, followed by a minimum phase difference of sowing machine.

Fertiplus is a modern plant nutrition and soil conservation product that is puting back to the soil what the plants were taken away in a more environmentally friendly way. It is a composted, 100 % manure pellet. During the production process it has been treated with heat, as a result, harmful ammonia gases will diseppaer, the pathogenic bacteria and weed seeds will be destroyed. Due to it’s high humic, fulvol and amino acid content, the plant roots can absorb nutrients more efficiently, and the tolerance level of the plants to the stress will improve significantly.

The organic materials of Fertiplus in the soil will break down into humic and amino acids. The degradation process needs oxygen, so the soil becomes airier, more sponge structure. The presence of the air in the soil for the plants is as important as the water or nutrients. In addition, the airy structure of the soil will also prevent the plant from the suffocation of the root.

According to the importer of Fertiplus (www.fertiplus.hu), the best time for spreading Fertiplus, is either in autumn or early spring time. So, instead of early spring application just before sowing, we decided to use the following methodology.

To minimize the autumn turns and to ensure a precise application, it seemed to be logical to spread Fertiplus and Potassium fertilizer in one go, which was carried out by a Vaderstad Rapid 400 C sowing machine, so the nutrients will not only be applied in precise quantities, but it will be put in the optimum depth zone as well (Fertiplus: 5-6 cm, Potassium: 10-11 cm deep).

The nutrients applied the planned depth will get to an intensive micro-organisms growing layer by which Fertiplus substances will be launched as quickly as possible. As a result of one time joint application of Potassium fertilizer and the Fertiplus, using a shallow working field cultivator, ideal soil environment shall be created for the plants within a month.

On the standard table (43.5 ha), two, (size 2,7 ha each) plots have been inserted as control areas where according to the fertilization plan the appropriate amounts of nutrient was applied (850 kg / ha, Yara 7:12:28 NPK) in spring, while on the table where Fertiplus was also used (38.1 ha), in autumn we spread  200 kg/ha 60% Potassium, and 300 kg/ha Fertiplus NPK 4: 3: 3, then later in spring time just before sowing, 400 kg/ha NPK Yara 7: 12:28 fertilizer was incorporated.

On a 6 ha trial plot, the following dose rates and ratios have been set for the assessment of Fertiplus.

TABLE 1

The harvest of trial plots took place on 31 October 2011, yields were measured by measuring machines on the edge of the table. For Digestio, a laboratory test done at the sugar factory’s lab on November 7. From all the plots, 3-3 samples were taken and analyzed, and the results showed that no significant difference were found between fertilization methods in terms of Digestio values, that ranked between 17.98 % and 18.36 %. 

The root yield data are according to the following table:

TABLE 2

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