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Trials and commercial experiences point to yield improvements at harvest despite disease pressure

As we head into harvest season across the country, current independent trial sites in the UK and commercial experiences both here and in Germany are pointing towards healthy crops and yield returns following applications of bio-stimulants from UK manufacturer AminoA.

Interestingly, with independent crop trials currently underway across the UK from Devon to Scotland over a variety of crops, two farmers in the north west of Germany are also reporting positive disease resistance, higher uptake of nutrients and more uniformed crops in both wheat and vegetable production.

“Two of our wheat trials sites in Hampshire and Devon, using the same programmes with Skyfall wheat, are showing some consistent traits in ear counts,” explains AminoA managing director Richard Phillips.

“Both sites have been under severe disease pressure, with Yellow Rust in Hampshire and Brown Rust, Yellow Rust and Septoria in Devon. Visually, there has been no significant difference between the disease control achieved by AminoA with reduced fungicide and the full fungicide programme,” he adds.

The full fungicide programme has suppressed tillering, with ear numbers less than the untreated control, most likely because of the stress caused by the very dry conditions. However, an early application of AminoA increased ear numbers, and the highest ear counts on both sites came from the AminoA with reduced fungicide programme.

Commercial growers are reporting very similar effects, and this has even been the case across Europe and into Germany, where two growers have experienced very similar weather conditions to much of the UK.

West German arable farmer Thorben Weise has reported that his second wheat DSV Boss has 650 ears M2 and Talent 550-600 ears M2 after a full treatment of AminoA FLO, a highly concentrated I-isomer amino acid complex developed for the large-scale arable farmer.

“During the drought days we definitely saw more vigorous, healthier crops, with less illness, but most significant was the tiller numbers in the early growth stages and now ear counts are good with our AminoA FLO trials,” says Thorben.

The ear counts are significantly more than untreated crops in his area, which tillered poorly in the dry conditions, and are typically 150-200 ears M2 less, regardless of variety.

The dry conditions also created severe stress in one field of wheat after a multiway tank mix was applied of herbicide and growth regulator, a recommended technique in Germany.

The crop lost a lot of chlorophyll and stopped growing, however within eight days of an application of AminoA FLO and liquid Urea, the crop had visually recovered. Thorben has also reduced his fungicide spend to £45 ha and believes he could have reduced this further.

“The weather conditions didn’t fit in with this tank mix, but you could see it recovered in a week, so you can see clear advantages,” adds Thorben.

Organic farmer Tobias Klenke grows a variety of high value vegetable and fruit crops in north west Germany, and has been using amino acid-based bio-stimulants for four years, seeing yield responses and healthy, more uniformed food qualities.

“We initially used AminoA GRO in our tank mix on our asparagus, and in three of four applications with our fungicide. Initially we trialled over every second row with 2.5 litres of AminoA GRO.

“While we have seen a little higher yield, we have specifically seen much more even sized, healthy asparagus, so we have seen a strong reaction to the product,” says Tobias.

Since then, he has seen similar experiences with strawberries, potatoes and organic apples.

“Strawberries that are too big are not attractive for the customer, and by the later harvests the strawberries will be too small. Now we are getting much more equal sizes throughout.”

One area where Tobias has seen dramatic improvements has been with winter beans and peas. “Our winter beans grew very tall, up to 1.8m and with lots of flowers. What I can say, across all our crops, is that AminoA GRO increases uptake of nutrients and organic fungicides, and in vegetable production brings much more uniformed food qualities, which leads to more value,” he adds.

Back in the UK, at a social distanced viewing day as the lockdown eased, Triton Farms in Cambridgeshire showed Skyfall wheat with an ear count of 900-1100 M2, with an input cost of just £225 per ha, with fungicide reduced to just £17.50, using 5 litres of AminoA FLO. A small spray miss showed severe Yellow Rust, demonstrating the disease pressure.

This cost-effective crop management programme points towards a healthier crop as we head into harvest season.