This is branded content for Guano Australia.
When John Jashar gets calls from the ever-growing numbers of farmers interested in his company's natural guano fertiliser products they usually have four questions.
"How can I get away from synthetic chemical fertilisers? How much will your product cost? How much do I put on and where do I get it? They're pretty much all they want to know," said Mr Jashar, the founder and CEO of Guano Australia, the 29-year-old booming local business that specialises in organic fertiliser sourced from seabird droppings.
Mr Jashar said it is conventional farmers keen to transition away from their dependence on synthetic chemical fertilisers (SCF) who are driving the bulk of the demand for his business's products and advice.
"Over the past three years we've experienced a noticeable increase from farmers calling us for advice on how to change over to more sustainable natural fertilisers," he said.
"Our business may have started off with our customers being predominantly from the organic and biodynamic industry, but these days more and more other farmers are looking at how they can become less reliant on SFC. They are the ones driving the industry for change.
"They're looking for the way forward to manage costs, grow more productive and resilient crops, to put life back in their soils. and grow the most nutritious produce possible - to become better farmers for the future."
The demand for SCF alternatives is driving strong growth for Guano Australia with sales across Australia jumping by almost 50 per cent last year.
Earlier this year, a new state-of-the-art liquid factory, was built so the business could better meet the growth it's experienced, particularly in the last five years, and develop export markets.
Mr Jashar said a combination of factors was driving the move by farmers, from the growing pressure from consumers looking for cleaner, greener and more nutritious produce, to increased farmer understanding of the potential opportunities for boosting soil health and crop yield that SCF alternatives offer.
"They're aware that their reliance on SCF is impacting on their soil health and they are also aware that the application rates for the same crop yields have been increasing over time," he said.
Guano Australia's top-selling product Guano Liquid Gold with KMS contains fast and slow release macro and micro-nutrients to get to the roots of crops and plants throughout the entire growing cycle. It's a 100 per cent natural way to supercharge soil and leaves with plant-available phosphorous, calcium, potassium, magnesium and silica for healthier, tastier and more robust crops.
Fifth generation farmer Mike Nagorcka said using Guano Australia products had delivered strong results for his family's Waltanna Farms operation in south-western Victoria.
The Nagorcka family has been innovating in cropping in the region since the 1880s, and was one of the earliest farming businesses to identify the value of chemical-free Australian grown produce and products.
"Guano Gold products have enabled Waltanna Farms to continually lift its organic production to a point where it meets and exceeds that of conventionally grown crops," Mr Nagorcka said. "Doing this in an organic or biodynamic way is very rewarding and achievable.
"All crops grown are sold before sowing due to the high quality and vigour of the grain grown, therefore demanding a higher premium."
On the other side of the country, irrigator David Menzel said using Guano Australia's Guano Gold has helped him grow better, higher yielding crops and more durable produce at his operation, Barradale Farms, near Kunnunura in northern WA which specialises in melon production, along with a range of broadacre crops such as chickpeas, borlotti and maize.
"There's no doubt the crops in paddocks where there has been a good Guano Gold history seem to grow a more solid plant," he said. "And the evidence in terms of crop yields is there."
For Barradale Farms' crucial melon crop, the silica in the Guano Gold crop has been particularly beneficial by improving longevity for fruit that has to travel long distances to reach its customers.
"Being so far away from our markets durability is critical and the silica is very good in terms of hardening up the skin and making the melons better to transport," Mr Menzel said.
Find out more about Guano Australia's products and how they can deliver a cost-effective solution to reduce your need for synthetic chemical fertilisers at the company's website or phone the team on +61 (0) 7 5445 5300.
This is branded content for Guano Australia.
The story Shift away from synthetic chemical fertiliser boosts demand for local business first appeared on Farm Online.