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Frost protection added to armoury of natural bio-stimulants

Yield and quality boost across all crops with natural bio-stimulant range

With late frosts a constant worry for Scotland’s fruit growers, a new addition to the natural bio-stimulant range from UK manufacturer AminoA, promises to minimise or eliminate crop damage in flowering fruit crops by stimulating the production of natural plant Anti-Freeze Protein (AFP).

Fully approved for organic use with OF&G, AminoA ICEAAX is the latest introduction to come off the AminoA production line, complementing the range of bio-stimulants demonstrating proven results in a series of replicated trials across all crops, from cereals to soft and top fruits.

Frost protection in flowering fruit crops

Developed out of specific demand from growers experiencing catastrophic frost damage in apple and pear orchards, ICEAAX is an easy-to-use liquid L-isomer amino acid complex that stimulates the production of AFP.

Losses can be catastrophic in flowering crops such apples and pears, and while frost injury rarely causes complete crop loss in soft fruit such as strawberries, flower buds are particularly susceptible any time after bud break, at temperatures of -1°C or lower.

By applying at flowering, immediately before a frost event, AminoA ICEAAX lowers the freezing point of the cell cytoplasm, enabling the crop to resist the late frost.

“Growers have traditionally used methods such as lighting fires overnight in flowering orchards, or irrigating to prevent frost damage,” explains Richard Phillips, AminoA managing director.

“We knew our existing range of bio-stimulants provide significant frost tolerance in soft and top fruit crops, now ICEAAX uses a high concentration of L-isomer amino-acids to provide reliable results down to -3°C depending on RH and duration,” he says.

Boosting establishment in cereal crops

Alongside the new frost protection range, AminoA products have been delivering effective results in all crops, as independent agronomists are reporting. In Scotland, conventional and organic growers of OSR crops are benefitting from impressive root growth and greening with applications of AminoA’s natural amino-acid complex bio-stimulants.

Recognising the growing market for organic OSR, achieving significant premiums over conventional crops, independent agronomist Andy Cheetham of Ceres Agri Services has several clients across Scotland growing organic oilseed rape this season.

Mr Cheetham plans to make amino acids a major part of inputs for the organic crops, and is using OF&G approved AminoA GRO.

“I have applied AminoA GRO to a field which was hammered with pigeons, stripping the leaves. Following two applications of GRO, at 1.25l/ha each application, the crop has recovered within a couple of weeks, with lots of new root growth,” Mr Cheetham explains.

“The other sites will get AminoA GRO plus a cocktail of other nutrients which are known to release the growth hormones within the plant,” he adds.

Independent agronomist Helen Baxter, using AminoA FLO on conventional OSR crops across the east of England, comments, “We have seen improvement in root development, stem thickness and rapid early green leaf growth during establishment.

“I am convinced the use of AminoA FLO in our programmes helps improved and more reliable establishment of our crops. Also, after this winter’s significant severe late frost damage to our crops, we applied AminoA FLO in the early spring programme, and have seen very fast recovery and excellent spring growth.”

Helen says that over four-years of working with her clients and using AminoA FLO, together they have built confidence in the use of the product. With more and more independent trials data supporting the benefits, Helen feels it, and the new sister products, will be an essential part of the agronomy toolbox.