BASF launches soil wetting solutions

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Divine Agri and Divine Integrate are designed to improve productivity in non-wetting soils

BASF launches soil wetting solutions
An example of a poorly established canola crop in non-wetting soil


Two soil wetting agents and a new testing scheme developed by BASF and its industry partners will help Australian farmers produce higher yields in difficult conditions, the company says.

BASF is launching a program where farmers with non-wetting soils can send samples to a specialised soil and plant analysis laboratory.

The lab will then use a new patented "black box" soil testing technology to diagnose the type of non-wetting soil and recommend the most accurate application combination of the new agents, Divine Agri and Divine Integrate.

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There are a total of seven potential combinations of products that will assist in pore filling for water saturation and infiltration increase in non-wetting soils, the company says.

BASF head of agricultural solutions in Australia and New Zealand Gavin Jackson says non-wetting soils limit the productivity of over half the cropping areas of Western Australia, and almost a quarter of them in South Australia and across western Victoria.

"Non-wetting can take different forms and applying wetters has previously been mostly a matter of trial and error, hoping the wetter will be effective for the type of non-wetting soil present," he says.

"This combination of a new testing process and flexible products introduces a much higher level of precision and certainty, giving growers the ability to invest with confidence to improve the productivity of affected paddocks."

The development of the Divine test and treatment technology is the outcome of extensive industry collaboration, co-funded in part by BASF and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), and with testing conducted by researchers at Swinburne University, supported by the CSIRO, the University of New England and the University of Western Australia.

GRDC head of business development Ron Osmond says the new non-wetting soils test and treatment technology will help provide products and services to grain growers that offer a potential solution to the agronomic constraints that limit profitability.

"Addressing non-wetting soils is a major issue for many of our grain growers," Osmond says. "This technology will provide a valuable new tool in growers’ toolbox to manage this problem.

"It is also a great example of a private-academic collaborative effort, facilitated by the GRDC, delivering tangible new technology for the benefit of growers."

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