We have long known the existence of beneficial symbiotic relationships between certain plant species and microorganisms. Certain types of microorganisms that can confer health benefits by existing within plant tissues are known as endophytes.
Seattle, USA based company Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies (AST) has been researching, developing and commercialising fungal endophytes for use in agriculture for the past 25 years. The abiotic stress tolerance that these endophytes confer to their host plants, such as tolerance to heat, drought & salty soils, is well documented. They have been conducting commercial trials in Australian winter cereal and summer crops for the past 7 years and in 2020, embarked upon their broadest commercial trials to date. The results have once again shown impressive field results.
AST's fungal endophyte product, named BioEnsure, can be applied as a seed dressing, in-furrow at the time of planting, or over the top as a foliar application. AST garnered much interest when looking for research collaborators to test BioEnsure in 2020, and overall the results affirmed that these fungal endophytes can promote higher yields.
The application of the BioEnsure endophyte as a seed dressing increased grain yield up to 7%. A 70%-win rate was observed in Australian winter crop commercial trials in 2020. Trials were conducted in Victoria, Southern NSW, Northern NSW, and the QLD Darling Downs. The crop types treated with BioEnsure were wheat, barley and chickpeas, however positive symbiotic associations have occurred in over 20 crop species. Strong results have also been observed in pastures.
Barley – Planet (Murray Wise – Darling Downs, QLD) – “On the poorer, redder soils, there appeared to be much better vegetative growth when treated with BioEnsure. Not just in 2020, but when we trialed it the year before.”
Wheat – Lancer (Mick Hockey – Liverpool Plains, NSW) – “There was no in-crop rainfall this year to speak of, and to the eye, it was difficult to see much of a difference, but previous trials of BioEnsure have been positive, especially in terms of root architecture. The root mass was almost double. That has to have a positive effect in years to come with more carbon stored and healthier soils.”
Barley – Schooner (name withheld) – “Noticeably better in the treated area. Protein was through the roof at 16%”
One vial of BioEnsure will treat 16.67mt of planting seed (wheat / barley). That means that the cost per hectare is as low as $2.70 when planting at 30Kg/Ha and $6.30 when planting at 70Kg/Ha. With an expected increase in yield of at least 5% over a like for like untreated area, the input cost would likely be covered many times over.
BioEnsure can be applied as a seed treatment, in furrow, or as a foliar. The most efficient method is as an on-seed treatment or overtreatment.
Please call Bridge Environmental on 1300-849-280.
Plant Symbiosis - Rust Rodriguez
Rusty Rodriguez - TEDx Rainier