Tillage, high salt content in fertilizers, chemicals, and compaction from farm implements can take their toll on the general tilth of the soil. Restricting its ability to provide the plants a balance of air, nutrients and the mechanical stability required to produce optimal crops year in and year out.
An additional problem related to declining soil health is the need to apply P to the soil, commonly in the form of monoammonium phosphate or MAP. Western Canada’s soils are naturally higher in alkaline due to calcareous parent material, this means MAP is typically tied up in the soil temporarily and not available to the seed and seedling during germination and emergence – a time when adequate available P is extremely important for growth and plant health.
For years, researchers have analyzed adding plant growth bacteria to the soil to solve the phosphorus issue that occurs during the germination period. The answer was found with ACF-SR, developed and formulated to equally distribute five important species of bacteria at once. This increases the availability of phosphorus during critical moments in plant growth and adds new life to the soil, improving the overall health of the soil.
What is ACF-SR and why do I need it?
As mentioned above, ACF-SR is a plant growth-promoting bacterium that utilizes five species of bacteria to improve plant health. Our formula guarantees all five species of bacteria are developing equally to promote the best optimal growth of fertilizer for your crops. The five species of bacteria are:
- Rhodopseudomonas palustris
- Bacillus licheniformis
- Nitosomonas europaea
- Nitrobacter winogradskyi
- Bacillus subtillis
The bacteria are active in the Rhizosphere around the roots to ensure optimal plant health. The benefits of the bacteria are that they work together to produce the functions of phosphate solubilization, as well as Nitrogen-fixing and conversion. Phosphate solubilization converts tricalcium phosphate into a plant-available form. The main function of nitrogen-fixing and conversion is that species of bacteria will help take nitrogen from the air and make it available. It converts ammonia and nitrate into nitrate which is a preferred source of nitrogen for plants. The five strains of bacteria are an important factor for the health of the soil and its function.
How Is It Made?
ACF-SR is created through the brewing process and is made up of two components, a dry and liquid ingredient. The brewing kit requires 300 gallons of water to get the desired amounts of bacteria and takes 72 hours to brew one batch. To start the brewing
process, a tank of water is heated up to 27 degrees. Once it reaches this temperature, the dry component goes in and is aerated for 48 hours, the liquid component is then added and brews for an extra 24 hours. After this is done, ACF-SR is ready to use! There is a two week window for application when the brewing process is complete. After this time, the multiplying bacteria will begin dominating one another, disrupting the stability between the five species.
How are the bacteria applied?
The best application of ACF-SR is in-furrow, which places it directly into the soil. This allows easy access of nutrients to the roots and promotes plant health from the beginning of seeding. The ACF-SR is placed in the soil using seeding equipment that has a liquid kit. Another common method used is through a sprayer application. We recommend spraying late in the day or evening for the nutrients to fully absorb into the soil. Approximately 7.5 gallons of water/acre to 10 gallons/acre is required for the application. We encourage applying closer to 10 gallons/acre for optimal results! ACF-SR can be mixed with low salt fertilizers, but we discourage a higher salt content fertilizer or chemical (glyphosate) because it can injure and kill some of the bacteria prior to application.
Best Application and Results
The best practices for ACF-SR fertilizer is dependant on the crops planted. The recommendation for applying ACF-SR to cereals and pulses is twice per season. We suggest the first application at or near seeding with two gallons per acre. Apply again approximately four to six weeks after the first application, using the same rate of two gallons per acre. Depending on growing conditions, you can apply it again until the desired results are achieved. We recommend monitoring plant health to gauge whether another application is necessary. For Hay and Turf, we recommend an application in the early Spring with two gallons per acre. The application is done during the active growth of Springtime. The second application should be applied about 4-5 days after the first cut – at two gallons per acre. Results of the treatment on canola, corn, and coloured beans, are incomplete. Although there have seen positive effects from applying ACF-SR to these types of crops, they have been inconsistent. We recommend starting with smaller strip trials to see how they perform before applying to the whole crop. The guidelines for application are two gallons per acre at the time of seeding and another two gallons per acre during foliar.