July 30, 2019 1:40 pm Published by LauraE

The Importance Of Getting The Crop Off To The Right Start

Written by OMEX Crop Nutrition Agronomists

It doesn’t matter what crop you are growing; Cereals, OSR, Potatoes, Sugar beet, Pulses or Vegetables, they all perform better when planted in good conditions. This means that soils are not compact, and the tilth is friable. The temperatures ensure rapid germination and growth. Weeds and diseases are controlled, so there is no competition to the growing crop, and finally the crop is planted at the optimum time of the year.

However, there are very few times that all these conditions come together in one season. Along with the pressure of reduced active ingredients in the pesticide market, we must look at crop nutrition and biostimulants to ensure the crop achieves the best possible start to its growing cycle. Quite often the drilling dates of Cereals and OSR are being manipulated to avoid blackgrass or Cabbage Stem Flea Beetle. Or Sugar beet and potato planting is pushed early after a cold winter. Vegetables and Pulses are needed to be planted on a specific date, as they are in a harvest plan. Therefore, the conditions may not be as perfect as you’d like; too dry, too wet or too cold. This means the crop starts off growing under non ideal conditions. This early stress can be relieved by using Kickstart. Used at an early growth stage, Kickstart will enhance root growth. This will enable the crop to have a more robust root structure allowing it to take up nutrients and water better and withstand any further abiotic stresses later in the growing season. An early healthy crop is able to grow better and have a higher potential yield. We have seen examples of this when Kickstart has been applied to late planted cereal crops.

In the Spring all crops then need a boost or a “tonic” to get them prepared for the next few months of rapid growth.

The Kickstart has given them the foundations for this, along with the correctly balanced base fertilisers and applied nitrogen. Most growers only apply the macronutrients in their base fertilisers. However, all crops need blend of micronutrients to help utilise the nitrogen and other macronutrients into the cell walls, proteins and enzymes required by the crops to achieve those maximum yields you are after. Applying Bio 20 as part of the crops early nutritional program, rather than waiting for any stress symptoms to show, can deliver the tonic the crop is after. Bio 20 contains a carefully blended mix of N,P & K along with a range of micro nutrients in a readily available formulation. It is unique in that it also contains a biostimulant in the form of a seaweed extract.

The specific seaweed extract in our Bio 20 contains a high proportion of auxins, rather than other seaweed extracts which are higher in cytokines. The effect of applying Bio 20, with auxins, is to promote root growth which in turn will then improve the canopy structure. The crop is healthier and able to withstand abiotic and biotic stresses better, by having a better foundation. Many potato growers use Bio 20 as routine in their first couple of blight sprays to ensure the crop has the best possible chance of utilising the applied Nitrogen. With the loss of Neonicotinoids in sugar beet production all growers are worried about the threat of virus yellows. Getting the crop to the 12-leaf stage as quickly as possible, by the use of Kickstart and/or Bio 20 can help with achieving this.

Whatever this next growing season throws at us. Getting each crop off to the best possible start is paramount to achieving the maximum saleable yield.

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