PGRO TRIALS REVEAL SEAWEED-BASED BIOSTIMULANT INCREASES PEA YIELD

Field trials of 13 biostimulants on a crop of Combining Peas have shown that a seaweed-based product delivered a several benefits, including increased yield.

Undertaken by the Processors and Growers Research Organisation (PGRO), the UK’s centre of excellence for peas and beans, the trial results show that the use of Algifol delivered the highest yield.

The seaweed-based biostimulant, which is marketed in the UK by MJP Supplies, produced an almost 3% increase in yield (2.94%) compared to the untreated crop. Aligfol was 11.3% better than the worst performing biostimulant, which actually reduced yield by nearly 3% (2.94%).

The report also shows that the presence of foot rot infection was lower in the sample crop treated by Algifol compared to the control crop (0.6 and 0.7, respectively)

Manufactured in Germany by NeoMed-Pharma, Algifol contains significant levels of trace elements, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, carbohydrates, polyuronides and growth-regulating plant hormones.

“The field trials were undertaken in Lincolnshire in 2020, following one of the wettest periods on record. The field had not recovered from the dreadful weather in 2019 and it was difficult for the grower to establish a good seed bed,” says Marcus Palmer, director of MJP Supplies. “Despite the conditions, Algifol delivered several marginal gains, and in today’s economic climate, these small improvements can make a big difference to profit levels and return on investment.”

The PGRO results show that Algifol generated 3.84 tonnes per hectare compared to 3.73 tonnes per hectare of untreated peas. Marcus predicts that this increase of almost 3% in yield (2.94%) could be worth as much as £40 per hectare to a grower.

With the farming community increasingly interested in natural fertilisers and stimulants, Marcus believes it is interesting that the PGRO trial shows that ten of the biostimulants performed worse than the control crop.

“The Government is very keen for pesticides that can harm the environment to be removed, which is driving an interest in biostimulants,” says Marcus. “The results of these trials are quite worrying as they indicate that quite a few biostimulants can have a negative effect on crop health and yield. Thankfully, this is not the case with Algifol, which has increased the yield.

“Every farmer is trying to increase their return on investment, and it’s very pleasing to see that this field trial shows that Algifol will more than pay for itself if an application delivers a 3% increase in yield.

“There is also the added benefit of Algifol being more concentrated than other biostimulants. This means you can apply less, and we have reduced the amount of packaging in which Algifol is supplied.”

As well as having a yield-enhancing effect, NeoMed-Pharma says its biostimulant also helps lower the crop’s carbon footprint by improving fertiliser uptake through better rooting and improved photosynthesis, thus reducing leaching and losses to the atmosphere.

Algifol can be used on all crop types, with MJP Supplies recommending a one litre per hectare rate of application via a knapsack, trailed or mounted sprayer. The product can be applied alongside most crop protection products.

SEAWEED BASED BIOSTIMULANT COULD BE THE NEXT BIG THING

With increased scrutiny on the use of chemicals within agriculture, one Lincolnshire farmer is urging growers to consider a seaweed-based biostimulant as a way of increasing yields and reducing stress in the crop. 

Since 2005, Marcus has been the sole UK importer and distributor of Algifol, a completely natural biostimulant. Algifol is a concentrated brown algae, gathered from the North Atlantic, dried and refined to maximise its wealth of trace elements, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, carbohydrates, polyuronides and growth-regulating plant hormones.

“I have been promoting the use of natural products as a way of improving crop yield for more than 16 years, but it is only in the last few years that people have really taken notice,” says Marcus.

“The government has really put the spotlight on removing potentially hazardous chemicals from the watercourse in recent years, and these days you can’t open a magazine without reading about the latest consultation.

“I came across Algifol in 2005 and as many of the large chemical companies were promoting the benefits biostimulants, I was curious about whether or not a product derived from seaweed could help potatoes. I was open-minded, and when I heard that seaweed is the fastest growing plant on the planet, I thought it might be worth investigating further. In that first year we saw our yields and quality improve compared to our control area. The rest as they say is history, we have seen improvements in all crops since then.”

As well as increasing yields, Algifol can help lower the carbon footprint of the crop by improving fertilser uptake through better rooting and improved photosynthesis, which reduces leaching and losses to the atmosphere.

Marcus was so impressed with the effects of Algifol on his crop that he approached the manufacturers – NeoMed-Pharma of Germany – to see if he could sell it to other growers in south Lincolnshire.

“The farmers who have used Algifol are generally really happy with the effects. It is completely natural, improves yields, reduces stress caused by droughts, heat and heavy rainfall, and is incredibly cost-effective with just one litre being enough to spray one hectare.”

Applied by knapsack, trailed or mounted sprayers or planes, Algifol is used worldwide on a diverse range of crops, including bananas, grapes, tea, potatoes and cereals. In the UK, the majority of Marcus’ customers are growing potatoes, oilseed rape and sugar beat, with the manufacturer NeoMed-Pharma recommending four applications of one litre of Algifol diluted at a ratio of up to 1:1,000.

For more information about Algifol or to make a purchase, with a 1 litre can costing just £21.99+VAT, call 07702 293 727 or email [email protected]

BEST USE OF ALGIFOL ON SPRING BARLEY

Algifol

Algifol has been a prominent biostimulant on our farm for over 15 years and we have always seen the benefit. Although this hasn’t always been the case in our industry, the results are now being proven and research shows that these products can help against stresses such as water logging, highlight intensity and drought plus the immediate weather conditions we are experiencing.

Algifol is a concentrated biostimulant made from brown algae. It’s gathered from the ocean, dried and refined through special processes to allow us to benefit from it’s wealth or trace elements, vitamins, enzymes,  amino acids, carbohydrates, polyuronides and growth regulating plant hormones. Algifol can be used on all crops, the dilution is easy and economic for all growers, whether you use a knapsack, trailed or mounted sprayers or planes. For agricultural and horticultural use it can be used along side most pesticides and fungicides.  Algifol is used globally on a wide range of crops including Bananas, Grapes, Potatoes, Cereals and Tea.

Using Algifol early in the season is key, we recommend using the first application as a maintenance dose before any symptoms of deficiency or drought occur. This dose will also mean that the plant cells are ready to ward of any disease causing the ‘elicitor effect’, which only happens with an early application. Many agronomists are trialling biostimulants on Spring Barley and only seeing positive results, something we have seen for many years. Due to acting early with Algifol plus micronutrients we have seen a decrease in Ramularia, a disease that only occurs later in the season, and a problem many growers are experiencing.

As cost is an issue we recommend applying 1Litre/ha at T1 with another 1Litre/ha at T2, this can be incorporated with other fungicides as 1 application, reducing the amount of times you are running through crops and saving money on diesel usage. We have had continuous reports of the greening effect of Algifol, as growers know a very important property for Barley with a smaller leaf area. Our original trials and regular use have shown an increase on average of 0.2t/ha resulting in a positive return over investment.

For those wanting to improve the quality of their products, now isn’t too late to trial Algifol and be protected for the remainder of the season.