SUCCESS STORY: SOUTHERN BLOCK FARMING, KZN
JAMES KELLY AND WARREN MILBANK
Southern Block Farming had never used the Madumbi Root Health program.
Farm owner, James Kelly and manager, Warren Milbank were approached by Madumbi BioSpecialist, Mark Hutton and agreed to do a trial on their upcoming broccoli and cauliflower crop.
It was decided to implement the Root Health ‘program’ as early as possible. CPS Nursery, their seedling supplier, was requested to replace the standard fungicide application with a drench of RhizoVital (beneficial bacteria Bacillus amyloliquefaciens) and Eco-T (beneficial fungi Trichoderma asperellum) prior to delivery. The seedlings were given a few days to ‘stand’ in order to facilitate the microbial colonization prior to planting.
At planting, a significant visual difference was noticed with regards to root development and overall seedling health. This enhanced growth facilitated the planting process; the seedlings benefitted from reduced transplant stress, started growing quicker than other plantings with noticeably improved performance.
The soils at Southern Block Farming are unusually good and rich in earthworms. The farms uses organic fertilisers, which together with the enhanced ‘soil biology’ (the beneficial bacteria and fungi) clearly contributed to healthier, stronger plants and improved broccoli yields. The growers commented on the notable decrease in crop wastage, appreciating larger yields and having more produce being harvested.
Going forward, the team plan to introduce silica to the program, along with an additional Root Health Program application prior to broccoli head formation, in the hope to increase the head size, quality and to enhance shelf life.
Southern Block farming produce is marketed under the brand name, Blairmore Farm Fresh.
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