As the price of synthetic fertilisers continues to go bat-poop crazy, one Central Queensland grazier has decided to take a punt on the organic fertiliser known as guano.
Miriam Vale cattle producer Adam Coffey recently bought four tonnes of the fertiliser, which is made from seabird or bat droppings, due to its value proposition and additional nutrients.
"The guano was about $1160 a tonne which is comparable to some synthetics at the moment," Mr Coffey said.
"We've got a lot of problems in our soils in terms of deficiencies and nutrients that are not available, so we're just trying to look hard at that and how we can stimulate our biology rather than relying on DAP every year."
The product he bought, a granulated form of seabird excrement from Indonesia, features 10.5pc weight for weight phosphorus and 13pc w/w sulphur, as well as 25pc w/w calcium and 21pc w/w silica.
Mr Coffey is renovating 50ha of pasture and will use a disc drill to apply the manure down the furrow with a mix of seed, including perennial grasses, legumes, summer annuals and temperate varieties like forage lucerne and chicory.
"I think we're mad if we're not looking at alternatives with prices rising, and while we're not organic, this could be a good tool for those farmers," he said.
- Phosphorus fertiliser could hit $1300/t port next year
- Youngs Farm ramps up pig manure program
- Strong results for Incitec Pivot
Mr Coffey's advisor, agricultural and pastoral consultant Ross Newman, Rockhampton, said they were looking for value and wanted to address the farmer's single limiting factor.
"We knew we needed P at planting and sulphur. Since he was planting legumes in the pasture, he needed to have as much phosphorous there as possible, so it was something worth having a crack at," Mr Newman said.
Guano Australia CEO John Jashar said sales of their product across Australia had increased by almost 50 per cent last year.
Earlier this year, the company built a liquid guano factory so the business could meet growth and develop export markets.
Want daily news highlights delivered to your inbox? Sign up to the Queensland Country Life newsletter below.