Biostimulants, used in the right way, make the crop more resilient. How?
In the last Newsletter we told you what abiotic factors are (including heat and drought) and that they can cause stress in plants and therefore yield losses.
Arable farmers will increasingly feel the consequences of climate change in their wallets in the coming years. Financial damage due to climate change could amount to more than 50% of gross revenue by 2050. This is what WUR researcher Daan Verstand said during the NPPL webinar ‘Climate adaptation : dealing with too dry and too wet ‘ .
Why is heat and drought stress an increasing problem?
Plants are constantly adapting to the stress of environmental conditions. However, when stress is extreme or prolonged, plants’ stress tolerance mechanisms can no longer naturally cope with these extreme conditions. This can lead to significant damage. Periods of heat and drought generally become longer and more intense and usually occur suddenly.
Can this effect also be seen in the field?
Last year Syngenta conducted large-scale field trials in potatoes in the UK using the biostimulant Quantis.
“In the 30 field trials with temperatures above 25°C with more than four hours per day, Quantis yields were 2.2 t/ha higher on average. Remarkably, the greatest response in terms of yield and tuber size repeatedly occurred in seasons and situations with the highest temperatures.”says David King, Technical Manager at Syngenta UK.
What effect does heat stress have on potatoes?
Plant physiological studies indicate that when plants are under stress, cells respond at the molecular level to mitigate the effects of heat and drought.
Whenever cell function adapts, energy is needed that could otherwise be used for carbohydrate growth and storage, for example in potato roots and tubers.
The result can be a reduction in yield in both the number and size of the tubers, as well as consistency of quality.
This year, Syngenta has also started large-scale practical trials in the Netherlands, together with growers and HAS Den Bosch, to gain a clear picture of the added value of Quantis: Can Quantis minimize damage caused by drought and heat stress and prevent yield reduction due to stress?
What is the osmo-protective function of Quantis?
As soon as cells run out of water due to heat and drought, they become less efficient and less resistant to stress effects. Quantis’ osmo-protective function strengthens the plasma membrane surrounding the cell. This allows the turgor pressure (pressure in the cell that retains water in the cell) to remain on track, allowing the cell to continue to function effectively.
Would you like to know how Quantis works out in practice?
Only with sound research and well-founded advice can we form a picture of when Quantis can best be used, so what the right application advice is for the growers.
Stay tuned, we’ll be back regularly with more information about this year’s field trials and keep you updated on our experiences .