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Zeroing in on soil carbon levels

Vineyard soil comparison

Zeroing in on soil carbon levels

Soil test results from a BioStart biostimulant programme for vineyards shows the desired lift in soil carbon levels.

The trial¹, conducted over four years at Accolade Wines’ Mudhouse Vineyard in Wairau Valley, utilised three BioStart biostimulants and one application of compost at 5 T/ha under vines after year three.

The annual programme was:

  • Mycorrcin applications at bud-break and with all weed sprays (two or three per year).
  • Foliacin applications with all cover sprays (seven to nine applications per season). 
  • Digester application at leaf-fall in autumn.

BioStart Territory Manager Geoff Warmouth says that after three years of this programme, the soil structure had improved. “This meant compost could effectively be incorporated under vines in the autumn of 2021. Soil samples were taken in spring 2022 at a depth of 150 mm across the vineyard trial area to assess the programme’s impact.”

The BioStart treated soils had 24 percent more carbon than the untreated soils, equating to seven tonnes of carbon per hectare more and an increase in soil organic matter from 4.5 percent to 5.6 percent.

Geoff says the trial also looked at the impact of increased soil carbon on other soil chemical and biological parameters. These benefits included: improved soil aeration, higher CEC, higher soil microbial count, improved cation and anions including nitrogen, sulphur, boron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and potassium.

“These improvements in soil chemistry and biology shows the benefits of long-term, regular BioStart biostimulant programme on vineyard soils. They also go some way to explaining how biostimulants create a soil environment which led to the improvements in yield and wine quality also measured in this trial.”

More information about BioStart biostimulants and the results of this trial are available from your local Fruitfed Supplies Technical Horticultural Representative.

¹ BioStart biostimulant trial, 2019-2022, Marlborough.