With farmers and growers facing hard decisions amongst exponential rises in costs, a leading crop input specialist is inspiring producers to think differently by looking at advanced nutrient technologies instead of conventional chemistry as they look to cut input costs.
Engage Crop Solutions, says growers can make significant cost savings in 2023 by adopting nutrition practices that focus on building plant strength and resilience against pests, predation and disease infection, rather than relying on chemicals to control the problem.
Leading fruit agronomist and technical manager Mike Stoker says: “Costs have become so extreme that many growers are even questioning whether to continue. Growers cannot afford to compromise on crop quality, but they have to find ways to cut costs to stand any chance of making a profit.
“To do that, we believe it will require a different way of thinking for the industry. One that instead focuses on a bespoke nutritional programme that promotes crop resilience and this will cut the reliance on chemicals while still delivering consistent, or even improved, crop quality.”
Engage Crop Solutions is backing this approach by working with a range of leading growers to develop bespoke nutritional programmes and has a range of nutrient technologies that provide the plant with more support, particularly during times of stress.
Trials have proven highly successful over the past two seasons and crucially, the nutritional programme by Engage has shown that just a 1% increase in fruit quality at grade-out covers the investment of the strategy.
The nutritional technologies from Engage help to optimise growth parameters and energy expenditure by the crop and to alleviate effects of abiotic and biotic stress on a plant which can affect production negatively. The programme drives photosynthetic equilibrium and bolsters the plants’ ability to thrive under adverse conditions.
This nutrient driven approach creates a robust external barrier and a strong internal framework in the plant, reducing reliance on chemicals without compromising on yield potential or crop quality.
Mike adds: “By introducing technically advanced delivery mechanisms for foliar chelated nutrients, organic compounds and bio-stimulants through the crops growth processes, and adopting biological approaches to invigorate soils, we undoubtedly increase the crop health to generate the ability to overcome yield and quality losses from abiotic and biotic stress factors.
“This insures a sustainable healthy productive, quality crop that ultimately has the strength to ameliorate the reliance on conventional chemistry while mitigating concerns over the withdrawal of active ingredients and reducing overall production costs.”
A key example of the nutrition programme is in Engage’s work to support strong soil biodiversity. Carbo+, Engage Crop Solutions’ Lignin complex, is a highly active 100% organic compound and contains more than 50% carbon.
Carbo+, an organic complex of active lignin, amino acids and plant sugars, is a renewable source of food for soil microbes and this, along with the carbon content, are essential for soil fertility and creating a healthy and energetic root zone to promote enhanced crop growth.
In trials across the globe, the use of this active lignin soil amendment has shown to increase yields on average 10% to 30% across a variety of crops.
Mike concludes: “We work closely with growers around the world and we know the pain they are feeling at the moment. However, we strive to develop new technologies that support the growers journey from root to fruit and know from our trials that we can deliver a different, more cost-effective solution.
“Everyone is now looking ahead to the coming season and they need urgent solutions. By working with us to equip the plant with the health and strength it needs from the start, growers can cut costs without compromising on yields.”