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For those who
love the land

Bayer Biologics, Soil health & Giving back to the land

21st century agriculture is a sophisticated biological production system to supply the food and fibre needs of a growing human population. With increasing demands on the land to produce more from less, a deeper understanding of the complexity of micro-biological systems in soils has evolved.

For those who love the land

For 85 years we’ve shared your passion and pride in the land. And today, like you, we recognise the future of Australia’s agricultural industry depends on both the wellbeing of the whole rural community, and the transition to truly sustainable farming practices; we know we must work with nature to bring out its very best.

At the same time, we also recognise the ever-growing and ever-changing challenges you face as a business. And that’s why we’re introducing Bayer Biologics, an entirely new category of crop management, derived from natural materials such as plants, fungi, and minerals, or in the case of Bayer’s new Serenade® Prime, beneficial bacteria.

And after two years of extensive, rigorous trials across the country, the benefits are clear; exceptional crops and a better life for all.

What is Beneficial Bacteria?

There are many different types of beneficial bacteria present in most soils providing a diverse range of benefits to plants and soil. One group of beneficial bacteria help to build a biological interface between the soil environment and plant root systems.

In most soils there are many species of fungi and bacteria. Some are beneficial, some benign and other antagonistic to crop growth. There is one genus of bacteria which is represented by many strains of one species in particular, Bacillus subtilis. This Bacillus subtilis species is generally beneficial to the function of the root soil interface in crop plants but different strains have different capabilities. Bayer has screened thousands of strains of Bacillus subtilis bacteria since the late 90’s and identified and developed one highly active strain QST 713 for use in horticulture and agriculture. This strain was selected because of its extreme speed of colonisation of roots and because of its superior ability to provide plants with increased access to soil resources.

Serenade Prime

In each container of Serenade Prime there is a guaranteed quantity of viable spores of the highly active QST 713 strain of Bacillus subtilis in an easy-to-use liquid suspension concentrate formulation.

After germination these beneficial bacteria live on plant root surfaces and in the soil around the plant root systems in a zone called the rhizosphere. In the rhizosphere, plants and bacteria can develop a mutually beneficial relationship under suitable conditions. When the interactions between the bacteria, the plants and the soil are balanced, both the plants and the bacterial populations in this zone function at a higher level as a result. When plants and beneficial bacteria are functioning in harmony in the rhizosphere, resources required for growth such as nutrients and water become more available through the mutually beneficial plant/bacteria relationship.

It is important to understand that it is only as a result of interactions within the rhizosphere that the benefit to plants becomes available. Serenade Prime does not directly provide improved plant growth – it is only when there is an active interface between soils, plant roots, the highly active strain QST 713 bacteria and some of the exudate biochemicals from the roots that benefits of higher functioning plants/crops becomes accessible.

Bayer Biologics & Crop Trials in Australia

In the past 3-4 years many precision trials have been conducted by Bayer’s Development Scientists in Australia. More recently in 2015 and 2016 a series of larger scale field trials have been conducted with some of the most innovative horticultural farming operations in Australia. These evaluations have generally involved applications through commercial equipment in commercial crops. Assessment of these trials has been thorough and results generally very consistent. Benefits have been evident in production levels (i.e. yields) but most significant has been the improvements to quality, uniformity and vigour of the crops and resulting produce.

In recent Bayer Biologics crop trials, tomatoes, carrots, green beans, lettuce and baby leaf vegetables have benefited from incorporating Serenade Prime as part of an integrated crop production system. Here’s how some growers have integrated biological products and methods into their farming systems.

Focussing on Soil Health

Bayer is developing the biologics and soil health approach in agriculture as part of a broader global adoption of sustainable approaches in life science solutions. This direction is entirely compatible with years of advances in tillage and cover crop agronomy, soil carbon initiatives, composting, integrated pest management and integrated crop management, and more recently precision agriculture.

Bayer Biologics is a complementary approach to existing integrated crop management and soil health solutions. Biologics, together with other sustainable soil health practices such as composting and tillage can help enhance farming systems and contribute to better crop vigour, yield and quality.

How is Serenade Prime Different?

Serenade Prime has been researched and developed over many years, and has been optimised based on an understanding of how beneficial bacteria interact with plant roots and the surrounding soil resources. Most importantly, it was realised very early that not all strains of Bacillus subtilis perform the same.

Serenade Prime is unique in three key ways:
1.It is based on the consistently high-performing and robust QST 713 strain of bacteria Bacillus subtilis strain QST 713.
2.Many years of Research and Development has identified the most optimised formulation for superior root colonisation and amelioration of soil resources.
3.Rigorous process and quality assurance standards during manufacturing ensure reproducibility of the highest quality product, year in and year out.

Download the Serenade Prime User Guide

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Bayer Biologics

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Bayer Biologics - Prospect Agriculture

Chris Monsour, director of Prospect Agriculture talks about soil health and the importance of soil biology, his involvement in recent research on soil health and his experience with Serenade Prime.
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Jamie Jurgens of VeeJay's Tomatoes talks about sustainable farming, soil health and his experiences with Serenade Prime.
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Peter Covino of Covino Farms talks about his farming operation, biological growing and his experiences with Serenade Prime.