Improved Set / Reduced Shatter – #2

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

With bud break around the corner or occurring in some places already, we can look forward to bloom and set shortly thereafter. It’s a couple week period that every grower dreads, hoping for fair weather and little wind as without a good set, the remaining year becomes a real challenge. We all know that an adequate and balanced supply of all mineral nutrients is critical for optimum fruit set. Specifically, phosphorus, boron, zinc, and molybdenum, are popular applications as they affect fruit set directly given their roles in pollen development, pollen viability, pollen germination, and pollen tube growth. However, the main cause of shatter is weather conditions so what can be done in a potentially challenging year should these inclement conditions continue?

Andaman Ag sells a couple of products that are very unique to the market and may help. One product is CropBioLife (CBL), a natural blend of organic compounds extracted from plants and concentrated in a liquid spray. When foliar applied to plants these compounds are absorbed and stimulate the plants own production of these important compounds. CBL contains flavonoids. Flavonoids boost and balance secondary metabolism in plants improving overall plant health and stress resistance. Plants need these compounds to combat against bacteria and other viruses at different growth stages. The pigments that color most flowers, fruits, and seeds are flavonoids. This pigmentation attracts insects and other animals that move between individual plants and accomplish pollination and fruit dispersal.

Depending on their structure, flavonoids have been shown to stimulate or inhibit rhizobial nodule gene expression, attraction of rhizobia towards the root, inhibit root pathogens, stimulate mycorrhizal spore germination and hyphal branching, mediate allelopathic interactions between plants, and chelate soil nutrients. Once in the plant, flavonoids create, through biosynthesis, natural triggers to plant health including increased nutrient uptake by the plant. Flavonoids also contribute to enhanced phenolics and sugars in fruit.

The second product is called Sea-Crop. Sea-Crop is a liquid concentrate containing an abundance of elements and minerals from seawater that positively impacts the exchange capacity in soils. The natural organic matter found in ocean water is strikingly similar to that found in soils. It contains fulvic acids, enzymes, proteins, growth stimulating factors and natural substances that support pest and disease resistance. Microbes from the sea experience living in diverse and changing conditions and as a result can survive in challenging conditions. This hardy microbial and micronutrient loaded package produces root exudation leading to greater root uptake resulting in leaf growth and greater photosynthesis. Together, this combination of organic matter and microbes acts as a catalytic trigger that releases a storage chest of energy and makes available the full benefit of soil microflora symbiosis.These natural microflora have several advantages. They contribute to the growth and development of plants, decomposition of organic materials, nutrient cycling, soil nitrification, sustenance of pedological system and production of bioactive compounds.

I believe that our exceptional products applied together can help accelerate plant health, improving the chances for a better fruit set and less shatter in any conditions but especially in a wet weather pattern. Both products can be applied as a foliar with your fungicide sprays and both products possess properties that mitigate mildew growth. We would recommend applying these foliar applications beginning at early leaf development to achieve the best results.