The biological one-stop shop to help reduce carbon footprints, lower input costs and boost yields
Cost challenges and the availability of fertiliser and other inputs may be the main concern for growers given the current market volatility, but growing pressure to reduce carbon footprints and meet environmental responsibilities are conversely also creating an opportunity to address both challenges with biological options.
“Bio-stimulants are now becoming mainstream inputs, regulated worldwide, and suitable for use in all crops, from cereals to proteins, soft and top fruits to grassland,” explains Richard Phillips, managing director of UK biotechnology company AminoA.
“Moreover, they can provide yield, performance and quality benefits, while helping reduce carbon footprints and overall input spend on expensive agrochemicals.”
Combining environmental benefits with timely applications of biological crop stimulants can also boost profitability, by reducing crop damage or losses.
AminoA has developed a full portfolio of high-quality crop bio-stimulants, helping to reduce crop yield limiting factors, including increasing resistance to stress by cold, heat, drought and agrochemical phytotoxicity.
Frost protection in flowering fruit crops
With late frosts a constant worry for fruit growers, a recent addition to the natural bio-stimulant range is helping to minimise or eliminate crop damage in flowering fruit crops by stimulating the production of natural plant Anti-Freeze Protein (AFP).
Developed out of specific demand from growers experiencing catastrophic frost damage in apple and pear orchards, AminoA ICEAAX is an easy-to-use liquid L-isomer amino acid complex that stimulates the production of AFP.
“Last year was a particularly difficult year for Bramley apple growers, with relentless frosts through April and into May,” explains Richard Robinson, an apple grower in Northern Ireland.
“We applied ICEAAX twice, the day before the frosts came in and then again eight days later as the frost temperature started to get quite low again. I believe ICEAAX saved a higher percentage of our crop, and by late November we already had stock in for this season. We will certainly be following the same applications in 2022,” he adds.
Losses can be catastrophic in flowering crops such as apples and pears, and while frost injury rarely causes complete crop loss in soft fruit such as strawberries, flower buds are particularly susceptible any time after bud break, at temperatures of -1°C or lower.
By applying at flowering, immediately before a frost event, AminoA ICEAAX, fully approved for organic use with OF&G, lowers the freezing point of the cell cytoplasm, enabling the crop to resist the late frost.
Boosting establishment in cereal crops
Alongside the new frost protection range, AminoA products have been delivering effective results in all crops, as independent agronomists are reporting. In Scotland, conventional and organic growers of OSR crops are benefitting from impressive root growth and greening with applications of AminoA’s natural amino-acid complex bio-stimulants.
Recognising the growing market for organic OSR, achieving significant premiums over conventional crops, independent agronomist Andy Cheetham of Ceres Agri Services has several clients across Scotland growing organic oilseed rape.
Mr Cheetham plans to make amino acids a major part of inputs for the organic crops, and is using OF&G approved AminoA GRO.
“I have applied AminoA GRO to a field which was hammered with pigeons, stripping the leaves. Following two applications of GRO, at 1.25l/ha each application, the crop recovered within a couple of weeks, with lots of new root growth,” Mr Cheetham explains.
“The other sites will get AminoA GRO plus a cocktail of other nutrients which are known to release the growth hormones within the plant,” he adds.
Independent agronomist Helen Baxter, using AminoA FLO on conventional OSR crops across the east of England, comments, “We have seen improvement in root development, stem thickness and rapid early green leaf growth during establishment.
Early applications maximise Nitrogen efficiency
“Early treatments of AminoA FLO will help drive final yields and quality, so consider including applications as early as possible with TO and T1 spring fungicide treatments,” says Mr Phillips.
“We recommend applying to crops from 3-4 leaves onwards to maintain tiller numbers, improve Nitrogen uptake by increased rooting and influence embryonic ear development,” he says.
“This will provide winter barley with the nutrients needed to avoid dropping tillers, encourage winter wheat to stimulate root development and tiller vigorously, while OSR is extremely responsive to an early application of AminoA FLO.
Early growth and development
AminoA has introduced two further new ranges to the market, again with a strong focus on sustainability and environmental credentials. Fully approved for use in organic systems by OF&G, AminoA STAART is a seed treatment containing a complex of 18 L-isomer amino-acids and natural phytohormones that are essential for early growth and development, while increasing the plants resistance to abiotic and biotic stress.
New hybrid bio-stimulant product, AminoA BLAAZT was launched in 2021, reducing the total nitrogen application needed on crops.
“By harnessing the amine form of nitrogen, normally only produced and found in the plant itself, AminoA BLAAZT helps improve yield and quality in all crops,” explains Mr Phillips.
“Not only providing effective nitrogen nutrition, it also reduces the risk of environmental pollution from the run-off of easily leached chemical fertilisers,” he adds.
Formulated to mix with most agrochemicals, improving their efficiency, applying BLAAZT can result in reduced field operations, while significant amounts of the crop’s nutritional requirements can be delivered simultaneously.
Sustainable Farming Initiatives
With growing pressure to reduce environmental footprints and meet new Sustainable Farming Initiatives, bio-stimulants can play a key role.
“It is about how biological products can help reduce the speed of disease development, as well as boost yields and quality. It is about understanding all elements of the growing process, from soil health to disease resistance to the interaction between biological solutions and agrochemicals,” he adds.
“Properly formulated bio-stimulants can reduce grower costs and improve profits, as well as reducing the environmental impact of agrochemicals,” concludes Mr Phillips.
For further information call 01633 894300 or visit www.aminoa.co.uk