After a notably wet winter, many cereal crops have experienced root stress, posing a risk to successful harvests.

Biostimulants, particularly silicon-based ones, offer a solution by enhancing root system recovery, improving nutrient uptake, and fostering robust growth in both roots and shoots. This helps the plants manage both abiotic and biotic stresses effectively.

Agronomist Mike Stoker from Orion FT highlights that prolonged soil saturation damages the root structure, leading to a decline in the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients and cope with oxygen depletion.

By integrating silicon biostimulants into the care regimen, the plants can better manage nutrient conversion and stress tolerance, which bolsters leaf and tiller growth. This sets the stage for more efficient photosynthesis during the critical spring and summer months.

Record-breaking weather in East Anglia, with February’s rainfall surpassing historical records and high mean temperatures, underscores the erratic climate patterns affecting agriculture. Stoker points out that crops with weakened roots from prolonged saturation are poorly equipped to handle potential drought conditions in the upcoming months, which could severely impact yields.

Biostimulants like silicon not only strengthen the plant’s physical structure but also enhance the absorption of essential nutrients such as nitrogen, calcium, and zinc. Stoker recommends the versatile application of silicon through various methods such as foliar sprays, direct soil applications, seed treatments, or fertigation.

Given the increasing frequency of extreme weather, he advocates for the strategic use of biostimulants as a cost-effective and sustainable approach to fortify plants against environmental challenges and ensure agricultural productivity.