Heat Wave Impact and Options

Monday, June 19, 2017

This current heat wave and others to come put a considerable amount of heat stress on various crops. When crops are under stress, they become less efficient in processing nutrients as their metabolism (photosynthesis, respiration, and the synthesis and degradation of organic compounds) slows down. Andaman Ag has some product options to help mitigate heat stress.

One option is to immediately improve soil biology with the use of compost teas like our product, MetaGrow ST. It increases microbial activity in the soil, which makes it easier for the plant to synthesize nutrients and maintain plant structure. MetaGrow ST compost tea has both a broad range and intensive concentration of microbes, is made from earthworm castings and plant matter and comes in a highly concentrated form (3-5 gallons per acre). It has a shelf life of one year.

Another option is to use a flavonoid like CropBioLife. Flavonoids are a secondary metabolite, available in the natural world to help plants withstand stress whether from disease pressure or heat. Flavonoids are crucial signaling molecules in the symbiosis between legumes and their nitrogen-fixing symbionts, the rhizobia. Flavonoids exudated through the root systems attract nitrogen fixing bacteria and promote the accumulation of mycorrhizae in the rhizosphere, which makes plants more tolerant of biotic and abiotic stresses. Finally, one of flavonoids’ more diverse functions is UV protection, by preventing the accumulation of UV-B-induced DNA damage.

Vegetation evolved in the oceans, bathed in a solution containing every imaginable mineral.  Land plants, like their marine ancestors, can take in nourishment through the pores or stomata on their leaf surfaces. Plants transport nutrients 10 times more efficiently through their leaves (foliar sprays) than root systems, and when plants are metabolically in decline because of heat stress an excellent way to revive them is through microbial foliar fertilizers composed of a host of macro and micro nutrients including trace elements. Agrostim, Agroprime, Cropstim and Supergrow all possess this complex nutrient structure.

Given the evolution of plants, it’s not surprising that sea minerals provide most elements needed to prevent deficiencies and bolster plant functions. Andaman Ag offers a product called Sea-Crop, a highly concentrated solution of minerals with trace elements that supply critical co-factors for enzyme formation, including fulvic acid biostimulants. We also offer Aquasap, a dry seaweed extract (0-0-35) with high potassium content. The benefits of seaweed are numerous and include helping plants uptake water and nutrients in stressful times. With Aquasap’s high level of potassium, you also get an essential nutrient that affects most of the biochemical and physiological processes involved in plant growth and metabolism. Potassium also contributes to the survival of plants exposed to various biotic and abiotic (i.e: high temperatures) stresses.

It is important to note that any foliar sprays need to be applied in the coolest part of the day or early morning.