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Apr 2022 | Article

Silicon Solutions in IPM Approaches

Silicon is being developed as "a biostimulant to deliver a range of soil and crop health benefits" reports Jo Bellett of Farmers Guardian - 1st April 2022.

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The chemical element silicon can increase yield, improve soil health, strengthen plants and improve disease responses, according to results from new research looking at its mode of action as a biostimulant, using new application methods and new formulations.

James Kennedy, Managing Director of Orion, which supplies silicon-based biostimulant technology, said: “Our innovative silicon technology and expertise can help farmers and growers realise tangible improvements within their farming systems. With input prices rising and a reduction in the number of chemicals available for use in the UK, silicon represents a new way to improve plant health and increase crop yields."

"Silicon offers countess benefits to crops and soil health. It boosts the genetic potential of plants by strengthening cells, enhancing cuticle thickness and increasing leaf hair length. These benefits increase a plants resilience to factors such as pest or diseases penetration, as well as water stress”.

Orion Technical Manager Kate Williams, said: Results from the field experiments with silicon applied to a range of crops highlight several benefits. These included:
  • Reduced yellowing in sugar beets and a 3% increase in sugar content.
  • Eradication of stem canker on potatoes and 66% reduction in black scurf.
  • A 60% reduction in potato blight
  • A 10% increase in nutrient use efficiency and 13% increase in nitrogen use efficiency in wheat.
  • Reduction of slug damage on wheat seedlings.
  • OSR showed more than 45% reduction in cabbage stem flea beetle six days after application of silicon.
Silicon can be applied at every crop growth stage and using a variety of application methods, including direct to soil, as a seed treatment, via fertigation, and as a foliar spray.

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