Sumitomo Chemicals product EndoPrime includes four high performing endo-mycorrhizae species that have been proven to increase crop productivity and overall plant and soil health. Advertiser content for Sumitomo Chemical.

Sumitomo Chemicals product EndoPrime includes four high performing endo-mycorrhizae species that have been proven to increase crop productivity and overall plant and soil health. Advertiser content for Sumitomo Chemical.

Gains are not small potatoes

Gains are not small potatoes


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Maximising the return from every acre is a priority for farmers like Richard Hawke making plant and soil enhancement products very appealing.

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This is advertiser content for Sumitomo Chemical.

Richard Hawke is the farm manager for the family owned Hawke Farm at Boneo on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula. Their key production crops are carrots and potatoes.

Richard, an agronomist by trade, started growing a small area of potatoes at the Boneo farm in 2007, and now their potatoes, including Hawkes premium kipflers, are used at gourmet restaurants on the Peninsula and in Melbourne.

The cost of land on the peninsula makes farming very large areas prohibitive and as such, Richard is very conscious of maximising the return from every acre of his 80 acre property.

"It's all about continually monitoring the gross margin from each crop and each acre," he tells us.

Richard recently agreed to trial, EndoPrime(r) a plant and soil enhancement product from Sumitomo Chemical, that contains mycorrhizae. Mycorrhizae are beneficial fungi that can naturally exist in soils colonising the root systems of plants.

"We farm a relatively small area, and we do ask a lot from our soil," he explained. Also, we trialled it on our Kipfler potatoes which are a relatively expensive crop and notoriously susceptible to diseases. We felt that if the Endoprime did what we were told it would in terms of improving plant and soil health then we were giving the crop a good advantage from the beginning."

"I was a little unsure, having never used a mycorrhizae product, but pretty much from half way through the crop cycle we could notice a difference. The Endoprime treated plants were visibly greener and healthier than the untreated and they went on to give a good couple of weeks more growth than the untreated plants," he said.

The next test was to see if there would be any yield difference at harvest. Richard separated the treated and untreated plants into different bins in order to check the results.

"On the untreated potatoes we were harvesting 20 tons per acre and in the treated block we were harvesting 22.44 tons to the acre so an increase of over 10 percent is very significant, especially in Kipflers."

The other very noticeable difference however was in the number of small versus medium to large potatoes in the two blocks. The untreated area had a ratio of 33 percent small and 67 percent large whereas the treated area had only 20 percent small and 80 percent large when sorted. The medium to large potatoes can attract a very significant price premium so you can appreciate the benefits Endoprime brings.

Richard has already treated his next planting with Endoprime and says that he would highly recommend it based on the results he has achieved.

"We will certainly include Endoprime as part of our program moving forward," Richard said.

This is advertiser content for Sumitomo Chemical.

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