14.6 RESEARCH

14.6 RESEARCH

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RESEARCH
Australian Carbon Fertilisers’ field trial experience with brown coal based fertilisers


By Paul Duckett
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Carbon Fertilisers Ltd


Australian Carbon Fertilisers (ACF) is a privately funded company under Latrobe Fertilisers, which is also the owner of the Latrobe Urea Project. Our product development has been primarily based around work done in Eastern Europe, in conjunction with research carried out in the US.

The Latrobe Urea Project is a planned 520,000 tonne facility that will be built adjacent to the Yallourn mine in the Latrobe Valley. Access to the Victorian lignite reserves at Yallourn has enabled ACF to explore the potential of using this resource as a product base for the development of a soil enhancing fertiliser.

Initial trials were designed to give an indication of soil and tissue response to the product, and sites are located in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.

ACF is developing a soil enhancing fertiliser that will:
  • Allow Australian farmers to enrich the humus content of their soils;
  • Reduce dependence on chemical fertilisers;
  • Be easily transportable and applied in most Australian agricultural situations;
  • Enable the potential of significantly enhanced take up of CO2 in the soil; and
  • Improve water retention capacity within the soil.

The following photos, from trials at two of our sites, are indicative of the results we have seen. This pasture trial in Figure 1 and Figure 2 has been carried out on a property 20 km south of Benalla in Victoria. The land has only had a single fertiliser treatment, of superphosphate, which was applied 5 years ago.

Our sampling indicates that the ACF product results in significantly enhanced bio-mass development.
Figure 3 below is pasture from the Benalla trials, showing root development. Figure 4 is from our trial on wheat near Mulwala in NSW. These photographs again indicate beneficial growth in the areas treated with ACF product.

Independent monitoring of the trial sites by Soil Management Systems Pty Ltd, showed an increase in ‘dry weight’ matter of 27% in the pasture trial and a 38% yield increase in wheat treated with Lignite Plus.

ACF is optimistic with how these trials have resulted and we are confident that we will be able to supply an easily transportable, low cost product that will enhance the productivity of Australian farms.

For further information please contact Australian Carbon Fertilisers Ltd by visiting their website
www.auscarbon.com.au.
Figure 1: Benalla pasture trial with no ACF product.

Figure 2: Benalla pasture trial with ACF product.

Figure 3: Benalla pasture trial showing biomass effects.

Figure 4: Mulwala pasture trial showing wheat product effects from control sample (top) and the trial sample (below) showing root development.




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