To help keep plants safe, ICL is advocating growers adopt a ‘plant health programme’ encompassing biofungicides, biostimulants and conventional chemical crop protection products. www.icl-protect.com/planthealth
“Times are changing and the ornamentals industry is entering a new era in regard to managing diseases and keeping plants safe,” says Andrew Wilson. “With few conventional chemical fungicides available, growers need to implement a plant health programme – they need to plan ahead and take a more proactive, preventative and integrated approach. Our digital, web-based Plant Health Planner has been designed with this in mind – to help simplify and optimise plant health programmes.”
To target key root and base rot diseases ICL offers Prestop – a multi-use biofungicide containing mycelia and spores of the naturally occurring soil fungus Gliocladium catenulatum strain J1446.
“Providing protection from challenging diseases including Phytophthora and Pythium, Prestop is easy to use as it can be premixed in to growing media – as part of Levington Advance Solutions or Levington Advance Sustain (peat-free) mixes,” explains Andrew.
To prevent diseases such as downy and powdery ICL advocates the use of the broad-spectrum systemic fungicide Amistar (azoxystrobin).
“With a unique mode of action, Amistar provides translaminar protectant properties against a range of fungal diseases and is now handily available in 1litre units,” says Andrew. “To improve efficacy, there is Elasto G5 – a safe and reliable new adjuvant that enhances retention, spreading and uptake of active ingredients while reducing the risk of run off.
“Biostimulants are increasingly play a part supporting natural processes and enhancing performance in general – well-nourished plants have a more effective defence system,” he says. “Vitalnova Prime fortifies plants – providing nutrients essential for defence against environmental stresses – improving plant health and resilience throughout the growing season.
“Applied to the foliage, Vitalnova Guardian helps to strengthen foliar tissue – increase plant resistance during periods of environmental and living stress – such as drought or disease pressure.
“Meanwhile, our liquid biostimulant Hicure helps boost shelf life and quality of ornamental plants by supporting natural processes in the plant – enhancing general performance especially under abiotic stresses.”
Concluding Andrew says; “to have a successful year-round Plant Health Programme in place it is key to have a planned approach – which is where our user-friendly Plant Health Planner comes in. Once set up, nursery production staff can access their bespoke plant health plan via a mobile, tablet or desktop computer. By clicking on the week number they can view the recommended course of action.
“In line with the Sustainable Use Directive – adopting a planned approach using these products will help growers reduce their reliance on chemical crop protection products.”
Picture Caption: Andrew Wilson