Holistic science will help Irish farmers boost productivity

Irish farmers can now take a truly holistic approach to plant and animal health, following the launch of Olmix-Micromix’s health, nutrition and biostimulant range in Dublin.

The cutting-edge business, which specialises in using marine biotechnology and algae to improve plant, animal and human health, announced its entrance to the Irish market at the New Ag International Conference and Exhibition on Wednesday, 27 March.

“Agriculture is on the cusp of another revolution,” said sales manager Chris Gamble.

“Plant protection products are losing their efficacy, farmers are under intense pressure to reduce their environmental impact, and at the same time we need to increase productivity.

“It’s time to take a new approach: By combining foliar nutrition with algal-based soil improvers and plant stimulants, farmers can boost yields and plant health while reducing the need for chemical sprays.”

The same is true of the livestock sector: Producers are increasingly opting to boost animal health rather than having to resort to treatment. Now, through Olmix, they can access proven global technology to reduce the need for antibiotics and other medicines.

“The key to good animal health and productivity is providing optimum nutrition and a clean, hygienic environment,” explained animal care manager Robert Hamilton.

“Olmix has a complete range of natural products which are scientifically proven to aid digestion, strengthen immunity, and improve hygiene – and now Irish farmers have access to all of that technology.”

A French-based firm, Olmix acquired British-based Micromix last year, and is spending €8-9m (£7-7.9m) a year on research and development, translating cutting-edge science into practical benefits on farm.

“For a long time the use of natural products like algae was viewed with some scepticism, but Olmix has a deep scientific understanding of what individual molecules are actually doing,” said Mr Gamble.

“We can isolate distinct active ingredients which affect the plant or animal in different ways, whether that is protecting against digestive disorders in calves or stimulating plant growth.”

Combined with micronutrients, inorganic acids, or clay, the products can be used at different stages for maximum effect, added Maria Matard-Mann, research projects manager.

“We are using refined algal elements as a complement to crop and soil health, not the only part of nutrition. That’s what makes the difference – having both a nutritional and biological activity.”

That joined-up approach even bridges the gap between plant and animal health. “Instead of feeding low quality grass or silage, topped up with expensive supplements, farmers can use Micromix Essential – a foliar fertiliser containing all the essential micronutrients required for animal health and growth – to pasture.

This is scientifically proven to increase forage quality, leading to higher blood nutrient levels in the livestock, alongside better growth rates and feed conversion efficiencies,” said Mr Gamble.

“At a time when producers are under immense pressure to reduce chemical and antibiotic use, this technology will prove vital in maximising animal health and productivity in a sustainable way.”

For more information visit www.olmix.com or visit stand 45 at New Ag International.