Protect Your Crops To Improve Yield
Strengthen your plants defenses and utilise beneficial microbes.
Pests and disease can significantly damage your crop quality and yield.
Defensive supports can be above ground, such as strengthening the leaf surface against pests and disease. Or defences can be below ground, for example colonising root systems with beneficial microbes to compete with pathogens.
Protecting plants at critical early stages in the growth cycle builds the strength of the plant’s self-defence systems.
Stronger defence means less need for chemicals.
Crop yield can be badly affected by pests and disease. Insecticides, fumigation and fungicides can counter them with varying degrees of success.
Crop protection strategies harness the power of nature by:
- Strengthening: Silicon and Potassium, when used at the right time, help enhance the plant's own defenses
- Beneficial Microbes : incorporate beneficial microbes to boost root systems and compete directly with pathogens.
Potassium in plants
Potassium (K) is essential for translocation of sugars and starch formation. Potassium is also required for leaf stomata opening/closing, strengthens plants and improves plant resistance to drought and disease.
Application of Grosil, potassium silicate improves leaf erectness, reduces susceptibility to lodging in grasses, and also improves photosynthesis efficiency.
Crops that have demonstrated beneficial response to soluble silicate application include:
- Vegetables - Capsicum, tomatoes, green beans, lettuce, corn, cucumber, melon, pumpkin, zucchini
- Fruit - Citrus, strawberries, grapes, apples
- Broad-acre - Rice, wheat, oats, barley, millet, cotton, sugar cane, soybeans, sorghum, maize
- Ornamentals - Turf grass, roses, palm, umbrella tree, dandelion and other ornamental plants.
Silicon in plants
Silicon exists in all plants and plant tissue content has been measured at between 0.1 to 10 %. Silicon enters plants via the leaf and/or root systems and accumulates around the epidermis of roots and shoots.
It forms a silica matrix causing a thickening of the epidermal layers resulting in stronger plants more able to reduce lodging and an increased ability to handle stress conditions.
The function of Silicon is to protect the plant from various biotic and abiotic stresses. The effect of Si on plant growth becomes obvious under stress conditions but usually not under non-stressed conditions. (Epstein 1994).
How potassium silicates increase resistance to stress:
- The mechanical barrier provided by silica deposition in the cell wall makes is difficult for pathogens to penetrate.
- Biochemical responses in the plant’s stress signaling system are induced by Si. These vary depending on the particular stress eg can produces phenolics and phytoalexins in response to fungal attack and can enhance activity of chitinases, peroxidases and pholyphenolxidases in response to pythium.
- Si reduced cuticular transpirational water loss by depositing Si beneath the cuticle.
- Si decreases uptake of toxic minerals due to deposits of Si in the root.
- Si enhances stem strength, making it easier to hold more weight. As the plant builds itself up with Potassium Silicate, the plant is able to balance nutrient uptake and increase chlorophyll and RUBP caboxylase in leaves.