Silicon fertiliser increases yield and quality
Silicon fertiliser is well known to increase rates of photosynthesis and effectively mitigate various abiotic streses such as maganese and aluminium toxicity, salinity, drought and chilling.
It also improves the mechanical strength of plant cell walls improving plant stature, reducing lodging and increasing exposure of leaves to light.
When absorbed by plants the fertiliser is deposited in the cell walls of growing tissue, making them more resistant to attack by chewing and sucking insects and fungal diseases.
It also plays an active role in enhancing host resistance to plant diseases by stimulating defence reaction mechanisms and stimulating root growth.
Independent trials on macadamia trees conducted by Agreco Australia have demonstrated the benefits of applying Agrisilica, a natural silicon mineral fertiliser, at 26 per cent available silicon.
The objective of these trials was to evaluate the effect on crop yield and quality when applied at different rates, in conjunction with standard fertiliser application rates.
Results showed a 30%c increase in yield, upon application of Agrisilica and standard fertiliser, which resulted in a significant boost to gross income compared with applying just the latter. Agrisilica also, increased total PKR and SKR and decreased RKR when compared to standard fertiliser.
The replicated field trial was conducted on a commercial macadamia property at Pine Creek, Queensland in 2018- 2019. Agrisilica treatments were applied twice, with an equal application, at a 28-day interval, using a mechanical fertiliser spreader and side shroud, starting when MCDIN was at BBCH 51–53 growth stage. Standard fertilisers were applied in five separate applications 28 days apart.
According to Agreco Australia, weather conditions during the trial were considered atypical for this time of year, with prolonged periods of below average rainfall and above average temperatures. The soils for the case study were classified as greys sodosol, and the trees were irrigated using under-tree sprinklers.
The results in the trials, indicate that the application of Agrisilica helped the trees through the abiotic stresses the crop was under at the time.
*Agrislica is a natural biogenic fertiliser and soil conditioner. It contains high quantities of plant available silica (monosilic acid). Plant available silica provides
numerous benefits to plants particularly in soils deficient in silicon and/or where crops are subjected to environmental stresses.
When assessing using a silicon fertiliser it is important to know the amount of plant available silica in the fertiliser and not the total amount. For example beach sand contains more than 90% silica, but contains virtually no plant available silica, so is useless as a source of silicon. Agrisilica can also hold significant levels of moisture and nutrients making it a valuable soil conditioner.
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