Cereals

Ten years ago, the use of seaweed extracts like Maxicrop Triple was largely restricted to periods of late-tillering and stem extension in the spring. Foliar applications produced stronger growing crops, boosting grain-fill and yield.

Now though, as the result of independent research an early season approach has been developed, ensuring even better, cost-effective returns on-farm. This we have called the ‘Maxicrop – Crop Health Programme’.

Cereal Crop Health Programme

Scientists at the Universities of Wales, Bristol, Portsmouth, Plymouth Seale-Hayne and at the SAC Auchincruive, have confirmed that Maxicrop not only stimulates the plant’s internal growth processes, but also soil micro-organisms.

The researchers have clearly confirmed that very early use, applied to the soil, encourages soil microbial activity around the developing root. As a result, the microbial population works within the soil to:

  • Release more nutrients to the plant
  • Prevent antagonistic fungi from attacking the seedling
  • Release growth-stimulating compounds

The combined effect of this is to improve root growth, and help the crop fight-off early disease, further aiding establishment and encouraging early growth prior to winter. The researchers have also found that two applications applied fairly close together in the life of the crop, will elicit a greater beneficial response.

Prime and Activate Growth

It is important that the first application of Maxicrop Triple is made to the soil as early as possible in the plant’s life. This ‘primes’ the soil system.

A second, normally within six weeks of the first, builds on this and properly ‘activates’ the system usually leading to a visible improvement in plant growth.

Field trials show that the ‘primer’ application can be applied as a spray of Maxicrop Triple – perhaps tank-mixed with a pre-em herbicide – or as a seed treatment – branded as Maxicrop Viva.

The second application is normally as a spray, perhaps timed to coincide with a BYDV insecticide in the autumn or the first fungicide in spring cereals. The key is to ensure that this application also reaches the root zone, rather than just the plant itself.

Maintain Plant Health

Field trials and farmer experience have shown that to capitalise upon the early growth effect, Maxicrop should then be used again during grain-fill in the spring.

Research from Portsmouth University confirms that Maxicrop increases levels of plant chlorophyll – the green pigment essential for plant growth. This ensures better use of energy from the sun, fuelling strong, healthy plant development.

At the same time, Maxicrop raises the plant’s natural immune mechanisms to a higher level, better equipping the crop to resist diseases as well as adverse environmental conditions, and diverting more of its energies into growth, with reduced stress.

Two sprays work best and only two, low rate 1.5l/ha foliar applications at GS30/31 and GS59 are all that is needed.

The end result of the complete Crop Health Programme is a well-established, strong growing plant that makes the best of all inputs and available soil moisture to properly fill grain and provide top yields.

See Research notes | Recommendations


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