Frequently Asked Questions

Who will control how you farm in the future?
You or the government?
Balance profitability + sustainability
with Magnify bio-stimulants.

What / How

“Never heard of you – what do you do?”

The reason you might not have heard of us up until now is partially that we’ve simply flown under the radar. But also, timing – now more than ever there’s an appetite amongst farmers for help balancing profitability and sustainability. That’s what we specialise in so you’re bound to see us around more.

We make a range of natural liquid products that kickstart, boost and enhance soil biology to grow fantastic grass animals 'can’t get enough of' … encourage good gut health for better-performing lambs and calves … and simultaneously tackle those pesky agricultural environmental issues getting in the way of farming, so you can stay in control of how you farm.

“What do your products do?”

They make things grow better. You’ve done good with the chemical side of the wheel of life. Our products can now help you get the biological side of the wheel rolling. This makes things grow better.
Just like chemicals, it’s all about the right blend – too much of one thing or not enough of another and you’ve got a wonky wheel that doesn’t function well. We put the right balance of the right kinds of organisms into your soil, so it has exactly what it needs to create a nice round cycle that rolls along without issue … and can even gather speed!

Our soil health products kickstart, boost and enhance soil microbes to grow magnificent grass animals 'can’t get enough of'. They simultaneously tackle those pesky agricultural environmental issues getting in the way of farming by improving your soil to a point where you’re not relying on chemicals as much. Our animal health products encourage good gut health in lambs and calves that maximise development.

Benefits of improved soil : consistently better yields, less disease, less impact from weather. And what’s even better, as your soil develops the ability to 'self-perpetuate', you’ll need less and less.

“How do the products work?"

We use nature’s toolbox to improve soil, plant and animal health. There are millions of micro-organisms that can be good for us in one way or another. Penicillin was discovered in a type of mould, and plant endophytes are a type of fungus. You can't make good cheese or wine with the wrong organisms or not enough of the good ones.

That’s how our products work too – we optimise specific groups of beneficial organisms that stimulate and encourage growth. Our products are proven to be effective because they contain key organisms your soil is missing or can’t stimulate.

Our soil health products revive and stimulate soils to create a growing environment that is high-yielding and disease suppressive, holds moisture better, has high nutrient solubility and availability + high nitrogen-fixing capacity. Better feed means better animals.

Our animal health products encourage good gut bacteria in lambs and calves - - by improving rumen and digestive systems you set the animals up for life-long better digestion and wellness. More efficient feeding means better overall health and performance.

Magnify products are not a one-off ‘miracle’ because that’s not how nature works. 'Life breeds more life' and that takes a little time. One thing organisms do that chemicals can’t is replicate, so while chemical inputs are set and finite (and now have to be reduced, giving less results), our products get things started and then support nature in doing its thing – one organism becomes two, two become four, four become 16 and so on. Given a couple of years, compounding knock-on benefits become more frequent and significant season-upon-season. Soil is revived and stimulated to a point it can sustain itself and produce quality feed with significantly less chemical input … and improved digestion means better performance. Reducing leaching is also part of the benefits.

“How do Magnify products reduce nitrogen?"

Soil micro-biologists know that over 80% of nutrient transfer from soil to plants involves soil microbes. With nitrogen, it's 100% bacteria-dependent. All life requires nitrogen to make amino acids and proteins. Increasing the natural processes is essential for replacing manufactured nitrogen and just makes sense to do economically.

Magnify products either contain these bacteria or stimulate/rebalance the bacteria involved in the 5 steps of the nitrogen cycle.

Step 1 : Nitrogen fixation -
A small variety of bacteria can convert inert nitrogen gas (N2) into ammonia (NH3+). Ammonia is positively charged and is held in the soil but is not plant-available. Ironically there's 78 tons of nitrogen gas above every hectare of earth’s surface. Pseudomonas, Azotobacter, Rhizobium & Frankia are examples of N fixing bacteria.

Step 2 : Nitrification by bacteria -
Convert ammonia into nitrites (NO2-) and then nitrates (NO3-) which are plant-available but are negatively charged and highly leachable. Even Urea (also known as carbomide CO(NH2)2) and ammonium sulphate require nitrifying bacteria in the soil to convert them into plant-available nitrates (eg nitrobacter and nitrosomonas species).

Step 3 : Assimilation -
by plants and animals with some nitrogen excreted in dung and urine.

Step 4 : Ammonification by decomposers -
Converting the dead organic nitrogen back into ammonia. Psuedomonas, Bacillus and Streptomyces are examples of ammonifying bacteria.

Step 5 : Denitrification by bacteria -
Converting water-soluble nitrites and nitrates back into gaseous nitrogen which returns to the atmosphere. Under anaerobic conditions this creates nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas. Psuedomonas and Achromobacter are examples of denitrifying bacteria.

Different fertilisers impact the balance of the different groups of bacteria at each step. For example, Urea stimulates the nitrifying bacteria to multiply which - within days - convert Urine Urea into water-soluble nitrates. Excessive nitrates build up in the soil and neither plants, stock or soil microbes like it. Pasture response time to applied N gets shorter. The excess nitrates are either leached or converted to nitrous oxide. Dark green, unpalatable urine patches (that stock only nibble at) occur. None of it is desirable going forwards. The more Urea you apply the worse the problem gets. A deficiency of nitrogen-fixing bacteria simply means you have to use more purchased nitrogen to achieve the same result but with a higher environmental footprint.

Magnify products correct these biological imbalances in natural and healthy ways.

“What do different micro-organisms do?”

“There are 10 million different bacteria and 1 million different fungi in NZ soils. There are 35 billion worldwide. These are examples of known beneficial species for agriculture.

Aspergillus Oryzae - These are from the fungi family. Although plants make sugar during photosynthesis they sure do appreciate a free sugar source. Aspergillus is a mold and is better than most at breaking down complex carbohydrates (as are found in crop trash) and dung into sugar that plants can feed off. They are important in decay processes and recycling nutrients from plant material and dung. They grow quickly and help bind soil particles together. A known probiotic for human health, it exhibits a strong pancreatic tumour suppression effect. Asp. Oryzae has been used in the fermentation of rice, sweet potatoes and barley for thousands of years. It is the Asian equivalent of brewers yeast.

Psuedomonas - 199 species belong to this group of bacteria and only a few are desirable. For example, Ps. Putilda exudes substances that stimulate root and shoot development, allowing the plants to get at more nutrients and water in the soil. The plants grow better. It is also a good antagonist for root rot diseases like Fusarium and Pythium. These bacteria break down toxic substances and even oil.

Bacillus Subtillus - Since 1946 BS was used to combat rotovirus and shigellosis in humans. Some antibiotics are created using this bacteria's brilliant exudates. It also secretes enzymes to make sugar plus breakdown proteins from plant trash and dung, thus releasing the nitrogen for plant uptake. It is a broad spectrum immunostimulant. This helps stock health. It should naturally occur in the topsoil and be ingested by stock. It's a part of the beneficial gut microflora in both humans and stock.

Lactobacillus - Plant roots are subject to attack from various microbes all the time and as a result don't tend to live past 3 weeks unless they are protected by the films and defence mechanisms of bacteria like Lactobacillus Plantarium. Lactobacillus excrete lactic acid, which is a form of energy for plants and humans. These rod-shaped bacteria are very important in the human gut and saliva.

Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter Sp - Nitrosomas Sp convert ammonium to nitrite and nitrobacteria convert nitrite to nitrate - the dominant form that plants absorb. Ammonium has a positive charge and is held on soil particles. Nitrate has a negative charge and isn't held by the soil, making it highly leachable. Fertiliser usually unbalances the numbers of these bacteria in the soil, creating uneven paddock grazing and taller grass response from urine patches. Magnify rebalances these groups, resulting in less nitrate leaching and more palatable urine patches - and grass growth is better.

Serratia Entomophylia - These bacteria parasitise grassgrub and occur in most NZ soils. Magnify supports and/or innoculates these bacteria so it is common to control/significantly reduce grass grub numbers.

“How do you know if your products are making more nitrogen?”

Soil Nitrogen tests are the best way to determine if your soils are generating more natural nitrogen. A good natural level of pastural soil N is about 400 kgN/ha in Autumn. We recommend soil nitrogen tests as they are a good indicator of overall soil microbial biomass and indicate how fast to reduce fertiliser nitrogen safely. Every bit of soil life from protozoa to bacteria contain nitrogen to different degrees. Some scientists use carbon (organic matter) as an indicator but after 20 years' experience in the field we have found soil nitrogen tests are more useful practically. We have seen many NZ farms with good organic matter but low available-nitrogen and plants can't grow without the nitrogen being adequate.

Soil N tests do change depending on the rainfall in Winter. A wet Winter will show about half the soil N levels in early Spring compared to a dry Winter. There should be a rapid increase over October/November as the natural decay cycles ramp up releasing nitrogen.

To get the natural soil N figure, you deduct the amount of nitrogen you have applied as bagged N and add back any extra nitrogen associated with more growth. For example, a paddock might test at 200 kgN/ha but you applied 180 kgN/ha as fertiliser. You only have a natural level of 20 kgN/ha. When doing trial comparisons, add any extra nitrogen associated with growth differences which required extra nitrogen from the soil. For example, if a trial paddock grew another 2400 kg drymatter then add 96 kgN/ha (2400 x 0.04% N) to the 20 kgN/ha soil level, the soil will have supplied another 116 kgN naturally. When natural nitrogen is below 60 kgN/ha it is risky reducing fertiliser nitrogen. Magnify products aim for an 80 kgN/ha increase in potentially-available soil nitrogen each year. After several years it stabilises at around 350-600 kgN/ha.

Chances are if you have been taught about nitrogen fixation then it would be limited to Rhizobium bacteria and legumes like clover. Legumes like clover can be strong in pasture but not contribute much to soil nitrogen levels for ryegrass to grow from. This shows up in soil nitrogen tests. Magnify products target a broader spectrum of nitrogen-fixing bacteria to allow for significant nitrogen gains, regardless of clovers.

Ironically, all nitrogen fixation by bacteria is an anaerobic process (no oxygen), yet ideally soil is aerobic between soil particles. All N fixing bacteria have developed ways to limit/remove their exposure to oxygen. What an amazing and ironic world we live in!

Plant biostimulants like Magnify, fish or seaweed all require adequate soil nitrogen levels to grow from. We recommend a minimum of 80 kgN/ha on a soil N test to get adequate results from any biostimulant.

“How do I use them?”

You’ve done good with the chemical side of the ‘wheel of life’. Our products can now help you get the biological side of the wheel spinning and give your current inputs a boost.

Because they’re liquids, they’re easy to use in conjunction with your current inputs and during other routine seasonal activities. Apply through irrigators, spray conventionally or - in the case of animal supplements - administer orally. This integrated approach makes change simpler and less stressful.

Timing and application are key for best performance – we can advise on that. We’ll also help you measure and understand performance so you can be confident you’re getting value out of them.

For better pastures and feed quality, we recommend first dosing with Magni-Life, a fast-acting live product that immediately inoculates soil with organisms that stimulate growth and gets things started. Then continue with Magni-Grow to promote sustained, strong regrowth of dense, sweet grass that stock find highly palatable.

Magni-Lamb can be used as an alternative or complementary to drenching as a comprehensive nutritional feed supplement that optimises digestive health and assists rumen performance.

Magni-Calf is a concentrated blend of microbes formulated to assist calf development, in particular rumen and digestive tracts in the first eight weeks.

“How does response to applied nutrients change?"

There are many mechanisms behind this. Our products increase root mass which increases the surface area in which nutrients and water can be absorbed. A change of 0.5 ml in the thickness of the root lifts the surface area by 15%. Then add increases to the root branching of 30% and depth of 30-100% etc. That's one large transformation. Changes in soil temperatures begin to transform the growth in the shoulders of seasons. Early fertiliser works more efficiently, giving bigger responses than previously experienced. Then there is the growth-promoting bacteria to further enhance growth from applied nutrients and from growth promotants like gibberellic acid. We recently measured a Banks Peninsula sheep farm which got over 1600 kg extra growth in just 32 days starting in late August. Only 9 kg of nitrogen was applied. The extra feed paid for Magni-Grow in less than 3 days. Magnify is a 'game changer' - obliterating the 10 : 1 nitrogen response paradigm.

“How can I balance profitability now and sustainablity long term?"

We’re not saying change is easy, but it can be simple. We’ve designed our products to be a practical and effective way to 'step-your-way-to-change' with minimal risk.

By getting the biological 'wheel of life' rolling in your soil, we can unlock nutrients already there and create a growing environment that needs less irrigation and chemical inputs, fixes nitrogen and leaches less - all while still remaining profitable.

Our products are economical and easy to use in conjunction with your current inputs to give them a healthy boost. And after more than 20 years of independent trials and farmer feedback, we’re confident they’ll help give you the short-term gains you need to invest in even better long-term improvements.

“What distinguishes Magnify?”

One of the things that distinguishes us from other bio-ag companies is Magnify products have 21 years of research, testing and development behind them for NZ soils and climate.

We have always encouraged our clients to measure growth rates which includes measurements immediately post-grazing. We have done over 200 half-paddock field comparisons (independently set up) - with many under ‘trying conditions’ - to find the limits of Magnify products. Our in-house data was then supported by field trials measured by Mr Stan Winter across 5 different locations in Northern Southland.
900-3200 kgDM/ha for poor and good conditions respectively. The grass growth is fairly well spread which is better for grazing management. Some paddocks will keep growing extra for over 14 months from just one application. Dr John Field-Dodgson saw that even after 12 months, very significant regrowth was possible following drought conditions.

We have been committed to constant development and have had 4 significant breakthroughs in 21 years. Magni-Grow was created in 2020 and is proving more intense than its successive predecessor products. For example, in April 2022 we grew an extra 1200 and 700 kgDM/ha in just 5 weeks on new and older pastures respectively. The regrowth since grazing ended (mid July) has been 459 kg to end of August, with more to come. Another example - by adding 9 kg liquid N + a half rate of Gibberellins to Magni-Grow, a Banks Peninsula sheep farm grew an extra 1600 kgDM/ha within just 32 days (starting in late August). 3rd example - a Canterbury dairy farmer grew an extra 400 kgDM within 47 days starting in Mid June 2022. Have you ever measured better ? That's what distinguishes Magnify !

“How do plants grow better with less nitrogen?”

Plants grow from photosynthesis creating sugars and carbohydrates. Some enzymes containing nitrogen are used in photosynthesis, but not all nitrogen compounds are used in photosynthesis. As long as there’s an increase in photosynthesis then pasture can grow stronger with lower nitrogen levels. Sometimes scientists refer to differences in structural protein levels versus non-structural protein to explain increased growth with less nitrogen. Making protein is infinitely more energy-intensive than making carbohydrates.

“How do animals grow better with less nitrogen?”

Milk and meat production is limited by energy. It takes a lot of energy to deal with excess protein in the diet. Low carb diets use this principle to burn more energy than is being consumed. That’s energy that’s not going into milk or meat production. Nutritionist Dr Lucy Waldron says that a ruminant can’t process more than 16% protein (2.6% nitrogen), yet many NZ pastures have in excess of 25% protein. The consequences are lower weight gains and milk production, higher empty rates in dairy cows, higher lame rates etc. Lower dietary protein does not create lower protein content in the milk.


“Why are you called Magnify?”

Just like our name promises, given time our products offer compounding knock-on benefits that become more frequent and significant … workload, inputs and costs are reduced ... and outcomes are boosted as pasture and animal health gets better and better (in many different ways) the longer you use our products.

“If they’re so good, why isn’t everyone using them already?

Because up until now chemical inputs have been doing the trick so there wasn’t much appetite for doing it differently. Change takes time. Obviously now is a period of change as we know we can’t go on using chemicals the same way forever. We’re hearing from more and more farmers who want to know how else they can farm.

Also, people are 'creatures of habit' and farming is an industry tied together with a lot of relationships. Mates stick with mates; we tend to follow what everyone else does so we can be part of the pack. Add to that the relationships with various consultants and reps many of us have relied on to guide us in what products our farms needed. There’s trust, friendship and money on the line in shifting away from that, so it’s not easy.

However, we now know chemicals have got us into a sticky spot environmentally, and in the future they won’t be the go-to ‘fix all’ they once were.

“I already get great results from my current regime. Why do I need these if they're not a replacement?”

We’ve been developing and refining our products for over 20 years. They’ve all been tested, trialled and proven on New Zealand farms in local conditions and stringently evaluated to ensure they do what we say they do.

Some of our products offer an almost instant boost in performance when used with current inputs, but we’ve also seen incredible results from our long-term customers. Some even say the knock-on benefits are so widespread and significant that increases in yield have become an added bonus. We’d be happy to put you in touch with them, or you can read our case studies on the website.

Rather than replace your current regime, our products can work in conjunction with your chemical inputs to get enhanced results with almost no extra effort. But this is just a short-term gain and doesn’t reflect the truly extraordinary performance you can achieve with long-term use. Given time, you’ll notice soil becomes healthier and able to stimulate growth itself, reducing your chemical and irrigation needs and costs. Of course, you could choose to make the switch right from the outset - we can help you manage this process for best results.

“Why go ag-bio?....why did you create these products?”

In Scott Hobson’s words : “There were several reasons … even prior to 2001 the science was clear that animals eating grass flushed with extra nitrogen fertiliser would create water quality issues. Every other country in the world that followed the nitrogen fert path, eventually had severe restrictions enforced on them. Most people saw only a choice between economics or the environment. I saw we could have both but we had to change the way we looked at things. As it turns out, I’ve been right.

I was a Lincoln Uni Ag Sci graduate trained in traditional nutrient thinking. I had measured over 40 grass trials comparing fine particle application with traditional fertiliser. I promoted Albrechts base saturation theories. I supported limeflour and sulphur on hill country, trace element use for animal health etc. Understanding how soil micro-organisms could work for us was the next step in my career. Farmers had increasing issues with animal health, profitability, disease pressure and fertiliser/nitrogen use which were ultimately not sustainable for the environment. The minerals we apply on farm are all mined (except nitrogen) and one by one they become harder to get and more expensive. Future generations need them as well. They have been treated as commoditites. Commodity-based companies only make more money by convincing you that it's all required. The environmental impact of excess fertiliser is a huge problem worldwide. Farmers rely on others to tell them what they need. The issue has been in the advice. I saw that ag-bio, if done well, could 'tick all the boxes' and make fertiliser use far more efficient, amongst other benefits.”

1000 kg milk solids removes approximately 12-14 kg of phosphorus, potassium, sulphur calcium. 15 lambs at 40 kg liveweight removes 3.2 kg phosphorus. Please stop and work out how much is actually leaving your property versus what you are applying. When beneficial soil microbial processes are magnified we have seen that there is no loss of grass growth from reducing fertiliser back to what actually leaves the property (or less). When fertiliser is applied, the aim is to increase the plant's response to it ... we want gains in efficiency.

“Why did you choose microbe-based products, not fish, seaweed or humates?”

I used humates with limeflour extensively prior to 2001 and found sporadic results. The plants responded so much stronger to our developing bacteria/fungal bases and for so much longer than any fish, seaweed or humate I had seen. I had measured positive, neutral and even negative results from other ag-bio systems. Many of these positive results tended to be ‘fluff’ in the first 3-5 weeks, then nothing much after. My clients wanted the most profound benefits to develop stronger with time, in addition to short term gains. They wanted 'grass with guts', ahead of green fluff. Another huge advantage I saw was that with microbe-based products, we could apply every bacterial and fungal group needed to transform the whole soil system. It was clean and wouldn’t block spray jets. We selected organisms and created processes to make them tough enough to survive nearly anything nature could throw at them - spray pressures, droughts etc - which was unique.

Before going to market, I trialled many different methods of manufacturing microbe-based products including compost processes, aerobic and anaerobic systems. I trialled anything being touted by a soil microbiology professor. Nearly all of them had done no scientific studies or even field trials in this country, yet all of them had - in their own view - ‘superior theories’. Nothing much has changed. I settled on the best, most reliable processes. It’s easy to make something bubble and add a bunch of marketing words that sound like you know what you’re doing then sell it to folks lacking knowledge on the subject. Getting intense, consistent and reliable field results is very different - which is what we have achieved.

With our products, we observed more soil changes in 10 weeks than we had in 12 months using limeflour/humate mixes. So I worked hard to get our microbe-based products powerful and reliable … altering manufacturing processes, lab testing, then field testing (with measuring along the way). A constant cycle of development, frustration and eventually exhilarating breakthroughs. We haven’t stopped this process. Our clients were behind us all the way.

Afraid of change? Safely navigate change!

WE ALL RESIST CHANGE. With respect to environmental issues, using well-established principles like riparian planting, fencing off water courses etc is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, to meet international climate and local fresh water commitments, a lot more is required and Magnify is an easy solution. In 2025 NZ starts paying tax on nitrous oxide emissions (N2O) according to binding international climate commitments. In New Zealand, N2O emissions from animal excreta account for about 50% of the country's total N2O emissions (de Klein et al. 2001). Total N2O emissions make up about 20% of New Zealand's total greenhouse gas emissions inventory. Many studies have shown that reductions in nitrous oxide emissions are closely linked to reductions in nitrate leaching. For example, Di and Cameron (2006) found a 59% reduction in nitrates reduced nitrous oxide 82%. Magni-N-Enviro has reduced nitrate leaching by over 90%.

Embracing something new usually occurs at a natural pace. Studies have shown that traditionally it takes 20 years for sheep and beef farmers to accept new technology and 10 years for dairy farmers (about 10% of farmers are the exception). We no longer have that luxury. People have good reason to be cautious with new technology as it’s possible to have detrimental long-term effects in an unrelated area. This is typically associated with new ’wonder chemicals’ - like the nitrification inhibitor dycandiamide (DCD) - which reduced leaching and nitrous oxide but was later banned due to increasing the risk of cancer. However Magnify’s products are very different. Magnify concentrates beneficial soil bacteria and their natural gifts. These principles are hundreds of years old and are without issue. There has been only beneficial implications for animals and people.

The other major barrier to change is fear - something not working and risking the farm. Traditionally much of it is justified. That’s why Magnify started extensively trialling its products in 1999 in many different locations and degrees of difficulty. We established the boundaries and consistencies. We were a bit OCD on this. To our knowledge, no other NZ company has challenged their products so extensively and been successful - not only in getting extra growth but in beating traditional fertiliser standards. No new products will be able to confidently do that fieldwork as it takes 10-15 years to see longer-term trends and risks which is beyond the time frame that NZ has to meet international climate commitments. Time’s not on their side. Magnify is well-prepared to help you achieve what’s truly required in the near future.


Common Questions/thoughts

"I'm sick of hearing about nitrate levels!"

The pressure for change is frustrating and maybe a bit scary, no doubt. But it’s happening and choices will either be made by you - or for you. We put the power back in your hands. Water quality and carbon emissions are part of NZ’s International Trade Commitments. The World Health Organisation has dropped the recommended nitrates in fresh water from 11.2 mgNO3N/L to 1 mgNO3N/L and pressure is building to reduce drinking water standards to this, due to cancer risk studies. This issue isn’t going to resolve itself and disappear, regardless of what the current government does. NZ is/was proposing 2.4 mgNO3N/L.

In 2022, Magnify proved it could reduce nitrate leaching by 90% in spite of full Urea usage. The nitrates in drainage water beneath Magnify-treated lysimeters were 91% lower than without Magnify. Nitrates dropped from 45 kgN/ha (15 mgNO3N/L) to 3 kgN/ha (1.2 mgNO3N/L). A ‘super DCD effect’ was evident. Production increased from 440-510 kgMS/cow and empty rates dropped from 24% to 11%. Farmers must ‘get this’ or the only other way to reduce leaching to the same extent is reducing stock numbers 90%. Magnify products were created to solve these issues for you, future-proof your farm and give peace-of-mind for generations.

Mobilising Phosphate

Phosphorus is essential for all life and plant growth but that doesn’t mean we have to apply fertiliser to get it. Geologists tell us phosphate makes up about 1.5 % (0.5-4 % range) of the earth's crust which is 76 tons in the top
600 mm of soil. Based on NZ Greywacke analysis, the South Island has around 4-12 tons/P/metre of soil. Ten lambs per hectare going to the works at 40 kg/lamb is 2.2 kgP. 1500 kg milksolids per hectare removes 22 kgP.

Your Olsen P figure - multiplied by 1.5 - gives you the semi-available phosphorus for your pastures. Typically 30-50 kg/ha. To grow 15 ton dry matter/ha your plants will take up 45 kgP. Plants have to get this amount either through bagged fertiliser or from the soil's biological systems. NZ used to test soil phosphorus with a Truog test which included organic phosphorus but later moved to Olsen P which did not include organic phosphorus. Effectively this caused the amount of available phosphorus shown on a soil test to plummet.

Some soil microbes - Bacillus, Psuedomonas, Enterobacter, Aspergillus - produce enzymes that will unlock bound up phosphate. When supported, these bacteria can 'solubilise' upwards of 50 kgP/ha/yr. Fertiliser inputs can only be reduced safely by increasing the activity of phosphorus-solubilising bacteria. Magnify products target these essential bacteria and allow for fertiliser reductions safely. It is common for Olsen P to increase 2-6 points after 2-3 years, even if no fertiliser is applied in addition to Magnify's products.

Mobilising Potassium

Potassium is required for sugar production, enzymes, the formation of starch in plants and is essential for animals. However excesses in animals creates metabolic problems and poorer lamb growth rates, milk production, increased bearing ewes and death rates with no known cause. Potassium in plants has to be regulated for animals to thrive and that role is largely done by soil microbes.

Potassium has huge reserves in the soil (30-50 tons/ha in top 150 mm) but very little is solubilised for plants at any one time. It leaves the farm at similar levels to phosphorus. Bacillus, Psuedomonas, Enterobacter and Aspergillus bacteria produce potassium-solubilising enzymes and acids. Magni-Life either directly and/or indirectly helps regulate the uptake of potassium by pastures. Excess uptake is reduced and low levels are generally increased. Magnify products target these essential bacteria and allow for fertiliser reductions safely.

Mobilising Sulphur

In terms of volume, sulphur is required (as much as phosphate) for plant/animal growth and health. In its natural form it is not soluble in water, does not leach and has to be converted into water-soluble forms plants can utilise. Water-soluble sulphates are what is measured on most soil tests and is highly leachable. In natural systems the conversion from insoluble sulphur to soluble sulphates is a just-in-time system. Leaching of sulphur would lead to the death of the ecosystem. In a natural system, water-soluble sulphates should be low in soil tests but adequate in the plant. Fertiliser companies and universities have mostly convinced the world otherwise. Magnify has dairying clients who have not applied any sulphur fertiliser for 20 years and production hasn't dropped at all. The natural systems are working properly. Most industrial sulphur comes from reducing waste from natural gas and oil production.

Other minerals

Some soil microbes - Bacillus, Psuedomonas, Enterobacter, Aspergillus - produce enzymes that will unlock bound minerals like calcium, magnesium and trace minerals. Over the years, we have commonly observed a balancing of trace elements in the pasture. There are about 800-1200 kg/ha of all the trace elements in soil reserves just waiting for soil microbes to solubilise them for plants. Losses through production are small eg 1600 kgMS/ha contains about 1-3 gm copper, 62 gm zinc, 1 gm manganese. Herbage tests indicate the levels of uptake.

Plant growth-promoting bacteria

As plant roots grow through the soil they collect bacteria and fungi on their roots in an area called the rhyzosphere. Some soil microbes - Bacillus, Psuedomonas, Enterobacter, Aspergillus - produce substances that actually enhance plant growth. Theses biochemical substances are quite varied in nature and include hormones that influence the way cells multiply and grow - indole acetic acid, cytokynins, auxins, gibberllins, plus organic acids such as humic, fulvic, acetic, malic, propionic acid - and vitamins, to name a few. In addition, roots have very short lives unless they have the right kinds of soil microbes to help them resist pathogens and thrive. Soil microbes even influence the flavour of plants, plus the sugar and protein content. Recent science studies have shown that some psuedomonas species (that Magnify targets) increase the anti-cancer properties of the plants in the study. Magnify NZ is all for reducing cancer rates.

Magnify supports the growth-enhancing, root-protecting soil microbes giving stronger growth and more roots for better water and nutrient utilisation. Better stock health and huge reductions in Urine nitrogen/leaching are part of the benefits. Carbon emissions are reduced through lowering nitrous oxide emissions, most of which come from urine nitrogen outputs. Within 12 months these essential environmental advantages are taking effect.

After 2 seasons and in spite of 190 kgN fertiliser per hectare, lysimeters are showing 89% less nitrate in the water from Magnify treatment.

“Is it expensive?”

Is anything in farming cheap, really? In terms of price vs value, we are totally confident you get back far more than what you invest, if used correctly and for a reasonable length of time. Historic feedback from clients tells us a normal cropping farm and/or dairy farm has an extra $500-1500/ha to be made from using Magnify either in place of - or in conjunction with - existing inputs.

As an example, Magni-Grow after three months of reasonable Spring or Autumn growth, the cost/returns are usually below 5 cents/kgDM.

The best thing about many of our products is the benefits compound over time. As soil becomes healthier, input costs and workloads are reduced … feed becomes more abundant and nutritious, reducing reliance on other supplements and buying in feed.

“People must be sceptical for a reason though, right?”

Let us stop you right there. Of course other people reckon our products are no good and they know better. In some cases, we’re taking your money away from other businesses and they’ll do anything to keep it. Other people just don’t like change. They think you’re mad for doing something different from them. Another thing, there’s also a little bit of ego at play, because if you get it right it means they’re wrong. They’re probably a bit envious of your success too.

It takes 'balls' to break away from the pack and do something different, let alone try something new. But we’re confident the brave will be rewarded with peace-of-mind for generations, thanks to land that regenerates and 'self-perpetuates'. Since Urea restrictions were proposed, acceptance of our products is rapidly changing.

“I’ve seen paddocks that have used Magnify and it was hard to see the growth.”

We always say, when it comes to pasture, 'thick is the trick', and both our clients and our 1985 Lincoln Uni Technical Budget Manual (pages 9-22) completely agree with us.

With so much info to process, how grass tastes and smells is understandably low on the list of priorities for farmers. But it’s one of the very few cares and needs your stock have so it’s worth considering.

Long grass is often full of water, lacking in quality nutrition, and animals don’t like it unless they’re hungry. Good pastures should be measured by density (ie more tillers and leaves) as this means there’s less dead grass in the bottom of the sward. It’s sweeter and stock eat it right down. In small trials the stock eat our Magnify pastures typically 300-600kg dry matter lower than untreated pastures. They save up their appetite for the sweetest pasture. This means you have to measure 'pre and post grazing' to get an accurate assessment in trial comparisons. Assuming there’s a 1500kg residual doesn’t cut it.

Our products increase energy levels in plants as well as growth rates to get more protein production from dry matter. Better feed conversion = more production, healthier stock, less urine patches and uneaten grass.

People are hard-wired for assessing grass from height and colour. We simply can’t see 16% versus 18% dry matter content nor a 5% change in pasture density, yet that represents an extra ~500kg high quality feed per grazing. It takes about 3-4 months to adjust your eye/brain calibration to the kind of superior grass that Magni-Life and Magni-Grow produce.

For farmers unfamiliar with pasture growth rates, extra growth of 10kgDM/day equals roughly two bales/ha/per month. An average balage weight is 150-180kg dry matter per/ha. So over 100ha at $60/bale - that’s a potential saving of $12,000/month.

“All this bio-stuff sounds similar to me”

Your point is valid. Soil and plant ecosystems are universal, so the broad descriptions are similar with a similar message - - BUT products are very different - - not all biological products are created equal.

The microbial world is complex. Many microbes produce quite different compounds depending on food type and environment. For example, brewers yeast can make really bad beer, but great red wine, breads, proteins and medical products that are nothing alike.

A soil product may quote the benefits of one organism - such as Pseudomonas bacteria - on root development but there are 199 different species of Pseudomonas, many of which are very undesirable.

There can be cheap, nasty-tasting home brew - or great chemical-free red wine, and only one is good for health. The results are the most important thing because your livelihood depends on it.

Our clients want reliability and choose us because we’ve done the hard graft to sort through the b...s... and intense confusion that surrounds the industry.

I reckon I can fix it better!

Most men deny having ‘I can fix it better’ syndrome. But I hate to tell you, it’s in our DNA! Just ask your wife or partner. So for all men who can’t contain their ‘I can fix it better’ impulse, these tips might help you when things don’t go as you expect. International markets have changed so much that the future of NZ’s international agricultural trade is dependent on you reducing your environmental footprint successfully. We all need you to succeed. Magnify NZ also wants you to increase profits which typically means growing more grass for less cost. Increasing soil life is essential but it must be balanced. If you’re going to mix different products together (which you will) then you’ve got to know what you’re doing.

Magnify products are designed to reduce leaching and nitrous oxide by slowing down the transfer of ammonium to nitrates (like dcd’s did), leaving very little excess that can be leached (while increasing pasture growth). There are only a few organisms that can make fertiliser nitrogen into plant-available nitrates and they determine the pace of daily transfer-of-nitrates which other micro-organisms and plant growth depend on. Soil microbes get first bite at the nutrients in the soil. As you increase the soil life, they absorb nitrogen that the plants could have utilised. The difference between ‘poor soil life’ and ‘great soil life’ is measured in tons per hectare. Even a small increase in soil biomass, eg 200 kg/ha, absorbs roughly 600gm of nitrogen from the plant-available pool. Bacterial growth is exponential so the nitrogen absorption can increase rapidly, eventually reducing pasture growth. A ‘forwards and backwards’ scenario occurs. The first 5-6 weeks can look fine, but after this plant growth can slow down below base line levels.

You might apply nitrogen on a monthly basis but it’s important to understand that it’s converted to plant-available nitrates on a daily basis - a little per day. For example, to grow 50 kgDM/ha requires around 2 kg nitrogen to be transferred per day. There is very little leaching in Spring because plants will absorb nearly all of that and more. There is little excess nitrogen on a daily basis. If you increase the overall soil microbial life faster than nitrogen transfer bacteria can keep up, you risk slowing pasture growth down because the microbial growth is taking nitrogen from the plant-available pool. In your enthusiasm to maximise soil life you unintentionally overstimulate the soil life beyond what the nitrogen transfer system can keep up with. ‘I can fix it better than Magnify’ may not work out how you hoped.

There is another issue that often arises with replacing solid nitrogen with liquid nitrogen. After sport ‘where the food is, the people are’. So too with plants - roots go to food first and water second. If all the food is placed in the top of the soil then the plant roots may stay at the top, leading to compaction, poorer water utilisation, increased leaching and poorer growth. It typically takes 3 years for this issue to show up. So keep an eye on it if you’ve converted to liquid nitrogen.

Magnify products have 21 years of research, testing and development behind them for NZ soils and climate. We know what works safely. They’re exceptional at increasing soil life in a balanced, progressive manner, but you can unintentionally interfere with that. Best to ask us first - phone 0800 66 88 100.

Microbes freak me out!

Understandably so. We mostly hear about the negative bacteria so this creates generic fear and scepticism. Humans have been benefiting for thousands of years from microbes in cheese, butter, yoghurt, sauerkraut, bread, fermented meat and blubber, vinegar, soy, beer, wine, whisky (and all other ‘medicinal drinks’) - and in recent times - vitamin C. The most powerful healing substances are antibiotics and they are mostly derived from soil fungi. So if you enjoy any of those, then let your land and water enjoy Magnify’s beneficial soil micro-organisms ... it’s a good thing. Your land will feel as grateful and relieved as you do after a long hard week in hot weather slurping down an ice-cold beer ... praise the yeasts!
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