Pineapples

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Crop: Pinapple
Result: Thickened rachis (composite fruit) and increased plant resistance to cold and drought, insect predators and plant pathogens
Location: Ola Pona, Hawaii

Background

The family Bromeliaceae are native to tropical America and include a vast array of herbaceous stemless plants with long, narrow, fibrous and usually spiny leaves. The majority of bromeliads are commercially grown for their wide variety of shapes, sizes and floral colors. Naturally, most bromeliads are epiphytes, attaching themselves to trunks and branches of trees and the surfaces of rocks where they obtain their moisture and nutrients from the air and rain. Agrostim is particularly useful with these epiphytic plants providing all the essential macro and micronutrients for optimized plant stalk, leaf and flower growth and development.

One particular soil dwelling member of this family, Ananas comosus, has been successfully cultivated throughout the world for several hundred years as the pineapple.

Results from Yield Studies

Agrostim has been found to be an exceptional fertilizer material for commercial pineapple production in the United States & Caribbean, East Asia, Africa, the Pacific Rim and Latin America. Agrostim not only optimizes the growth of the central stalk, leaves and the thickened rachis (composite fruit), but increases plant resistance to cold and drought and insect predators and plant pathogens, particularly those caused by fungi, bacteria and nematodes.

Extensive growth and yield studies in Hawaii, Colombia, Thailand and Honduras have all shown increased fruit sizes by approximately 23% over standard fertilizer regimes used in each country. Agrostim grown plants yielded a “sweeter” fruit flavor as judged by the investigators with increased content of vitamins A, B and C.

Pineapple has a number of uses beyond simply an excellent tropical fruit. Pineapple has a medicinal effect on urinary and digestive problems, beri-beri, several species of parasitic worms and cases of nervous exhaustion. Pineapple enzymes intensify antibiotic drugs and help break down the fibrin proteins which are a major cause of heart attacks and strokes.

For the Hawaiian Agrostim high yield program, the Ola Pono Organic Farms utilized the Tahitian low-acid pineapple variety and the Maui Pineapple Company uses the Bolivian Sugarloaf low-acid pineapple variety.

In the animal feed area, Agrostim improved the overall nutritional quality of the leaves, which provide excellent silage for ruminants, especially when blended with molasses. Agrostim, when added to the pineapple bran (residual from the canning industry), contributes significant soluble protein and amino acid elements to this animal feed product.

Fig. 1. Ten (10) and twelve (12) pound pineapples from plants treated with foliar applications of Agrostim, Ola Pono Organic Farms, Maui, Hawaii, May 1997.