Liquid fertiliser study finds less harmful nitrogen run-off to Great Barrier Reef

Here’s a great article discussing using liquid fertilizer to reduce nitrogen runoff. In this case, they’re protecting the Great Barrier Reef. A link to the complete article is below and yes, I know, the Aussies spell fertilizer with an “s”.

Here’s some highlights.

Molasses Reduces RunoffLiquid Fertilizer

“Our results show that molasses-amended liquid fertiliser should be considered an enhanced efficiency fertiliser, as it significantly reduces the risk of fertiliser nitrogen leaching,” Dr Pittaway said.

“This is a major finding for the sugar cane industry as we can confidently say that liquid fertiliser as a whole improves the retention of nitrogen in soil,” Dr Pittaway said.

Using a molasses amended fertilizer greatly reduce runoff. This is only common sense. Molasses helps adhere the nitrogen to the soil, making it much more difficult for the nitrogen to runoff.

The best way to think of molasses amended fertilizer is that it enhances the efficiency of the fertilizer.

Enhanced Beneficial Microbe Activity

“The soil microbes are stimulated by the molasses, and they grab luxury amounts of the urea fertiliser, and they turn it into slow-release organic nitrogen,” she said.

As we discuss repeatedly on this site, beneficial microbes are the key to healthy, productive soils and healthy crops. In this case, the molasses stimulates the microbes adding beneficial microbes, or biofertilizers, will greatly enhance the fertility of the soil.

Environmental Benefit of Liquid Fertilizer

While we’re talking about enhancing soil fertility and crop production, its easy to forget about the environmental benefits of reduce fertilizer runoff. Remember that fertilizer runoff, in this case nitrogen fertilizer, is causing great damage downstream.

“It is really good to find out exactly what is happening but I think the results show that when cane farmers purchase fertiliser, two-thirds of their money is ending up in the ocean,” he said.

So using liquid fertilizers, like molasses, has both economic benefits as well as environmental benefits. Sounds like a win-win to me.

Custom Biologicals  manufactures and distributes biofertilizers, soil amendments, and beneficial microorganisms. Contact us to discuss liquid fertilizers or beneficial microbes at (561) 797-3008 or via email at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *