In the beginning of 2020, we started a collaboration with Laboratorios Neval from Spain. Laboratorios Neval is a government certified laboratory with a trial station in the region of Valencia, that specializes in (field) research of phytosanitary products, fertilizers, nematodes, pesticides etc.
Together we have designed a trial to measure the effectiveness of our Granucote fertilizer programme on Bermuda-grass. The setup was as follows:
- Comparison of 3 different programs:
- 2x 300Kg Mivena Granucote longevity 5/6M
- 2x 300Kg CRF Competitor longevity 5M
- 5x 200Kg Agriculture fertilizer no longevity
- Trial surface of 3x 1m2 (Bermuda grass sods, variety Tifway 419)
- Each sward grown on a lysio-bin which was randomly placed in a 3×3 square
- The bins were filed with mesh, gravel and 15cm of sand before installing the sods
- The following criteria were measured during the test-period:
- Growth rate of the turf – Vertical and Horizontal
- Quality of the turf – Vigour, colour, uniformity
- Leaching of elements and water
In April 2020 we applied the first doses of each fertilizer. In mid-May and end-June we applied the second and third doses of Agriculture fertilizer. In August we applied all fertilizers and finally we applied one last dose of Agriculture fertilizer in September.
Horizontal growth was measured by cutting a square out of the sward and measuring the rate of regrowth. The cut-out surface was measured every 2 weeks to see how quick it was covered with Bermuda turfgrass again. The trial showed that both objects with CRF grew back the quickest. Both objects were 100% closed after 45 days, where the agriculture fertilizer took more than 60 days to close completely.
Vertical growth was measured by weighing the wet and dry clippings after cutting the grass. We were not well prepared for the growth velocity of Spanish turf in Spain, so we made a mistake by letting the grass grow too long in spring. This will have to be re-done properly in the trials for 2021. Nevertheless, some results were useful. As expected, the biggest “peaks” in growth were made by the agriculture fertilizer, whereas the longest “tails” in the growth curve were made by the CRF fertilizers. The differences in growth were especially large in the second half of the year.
Turf-quality was constantly monitored and visually rated on objective scales. It showed that the objects that had Granucote scored the highest from the beginning to the end of the year, followed by the competitors’ product. The agriculture fertilizer object turned yellow more than once throughout the year.
The leaching data was not yet analysed completely at the time of writing of this article. The intermediate results showed that there was not a lot of difference between subjects, except that there was slightly more Nitrogen in the percolate from the objects with Agriculture fertilizer. However further analysis is needed to come to a complete conclusion.
Even though one criterium still need to be analysed and the quality of the vertical growth criteria needs to be improved for next season, we can already say some things about the different fertilizers. The trial has shown that even in Spain, where temperatures in summer can be scorching, Granucote does not cause Nitrogen burn while maintaining a green sward all year long. In fact, Granucote will help repair a damaged sward quicker than regular agriculture fertilizer.