Seaweed solution to plant health and yield

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As nitrogen prices continue at high levels, growers are looking for new ideas to maximise plant nutrient use.

Two products from Olmix which are new to the UK and could contribute to this requirement are Premio S12 and Neosol, says Grant James, Olmix sales manager for UK and Ireland. “Premio S12 is a biostimulant root conditioner on which trials work has been done in Holland and Poland.” Mr James will be discussing the nutrient uptake benefits at the Groundswell event on 22-23 June.

“Premio S12 is useful if growers are having difficulties with decomposition of organic matter or on silicic and calcareous soils where phosphorous assimilation can be a problem, with plants looking blue. It also helps where waterlogging is an issue at the end of winter, limiting nitrogen and phosphorus absorption.”

It is similarly useful where regulations like the Nitrate Directive and those relating to water catchment areas limit N or P fertiliser use, or where there is run-off risk, he adds. “And it is good for stimulating nutrient uptake in organic farming – it has full organic clearance.”

Premio S12 is mainly used on winter wheat and winter barley but can also be used on maize and grassland. It is generally applied in the autumn when there is maximum opportunity for it to break down organic matter.

The root biostimulant contains MIP RHIZO technology – a range of trace elements from brown, red and green seaweed, designed to improve the efficiency of mineral or organic fertilisers, from crop residues or soil reserves.

The second new product, Neosol, aims to restore soil health by activating the natural microflora of soils. It has a mineral complex rich in trace elements – MIP SOIL – allowing it to humify organic matter and help correct issues affecting soil function, says Mr James.

“These include compaction, hydromorphy [wetness in the soil profile] and sensitivity to drought. It reduces compaction and speeds up drainage of excess water. Crops are also more even which makes management easier.”

Neosol is in pellet form and is suitable for use on all soil types from harvest until the end of autumn, says Mr James. “We advise using it every year after harvest at a rate of 120-220kg/ha, depending on soil type; farmers mostly apply 150kg/ha. Sandy soils tend to need a higher rate than clay soils as nutrient mineralisation is less effective.

“Our research shows it increases soil porosity by 21.4% and improves water retention by 8% compared with a control.”

Groundswell is taking place in Hertfordshire from 22-23 June. Olmix will be exhibiting at Stand DFE28 where visitors can find out more about these products and the full biostimulant range.