Organic producers now have a full armoury of biostimulant and nutrient combinations to boost plant health and productivity, following their verification by the Soil Association.
The range of scientifically tested and proven products offer improved root development and early growth, better flowering and resistance to abiotic stress, ultimately resulting in higher yields and crop quality.
“Biostimulants can be of tremendous help in both conventional and organic systems, particularly when crops have faced the weather challenges that this year has thrown at them,” says Chris Gamble at Olmix MPH. “However, until now, organic growers have only had limited options available to them.”
Olmix designs and makes its large range of natural plant, animal and human care products at its state-of-the-art laboratory and bio refinery in France – but organic certification in the UK is more stringent than across the Channel, so the firm has been working hard to meet UK legislation.
“We’re delighted to have finally secured Soil Association verification for six highly technical and refined products, which organic growers can now use to protect and enhance their arable crops,” says Mr Gamble.
The first is Algomel Push – ideal for early growth stages in a wide number of crops, it contains refined seaweed extract which enhances root hair development, increasing nutrient and water uptake capacity. It also contains manganese, which is required for energy conversion and vegetative growth. There are two other variations of Algomel, containing manganese and copper for cereals, and with zinc and magnesium to promote rapid growth and better rooting in maize.
Designed for application pre-flowering, Algomel Proact helps the plant to cope with the energy switch from vegetative growth to reproduction. It assists in hormonal and nutrient allocation shifts, resulting in homogenous, strong flowering while reducing the negative impact of stress. It can be used in a wide range of crops to improve stress resistance through drought.
Next in the armoury is Algomel Shield, which contains a copper formulation for cell strength and lignification, helping to protect the plant. The formulation, with a natural organic plant complex, minimises the amount of copper ions required while also achieving a greener leaf for longer. It is ideal for use on fruit, potatoes, onions and cereals from times of rapid stem extension through to fruit, grain and tuber setting.
Completing the toolbox is Seamel Pure. Designed for fruit and vegetable production, it is one of the purest refined seaweeds on the market and works to strengthen root development and speed up the uptake of macro- and micro-nutrients.
“Stress occurs in many ways throughout the crop growth cycle,” explains Mr Gamble. “This year we have had conditions that are too wet, too cold, and now too dry – plus there will usually be pest and disease attacks. Applying Seamel Pure before or at anticipated times of stress will boost the plant’s tolerance and help it to absorb nutrients, improving crop quality and yield.”
The new certifications brings Olmix MPH’s total organic offering to eight – last year Organic Farmers & Growers approved C-Weed 50 and C-Weed AAA. Both products contain a highly concentrated extract of the algae Ascophyllum nodosum, which has unique marine-based compounds that alleviate stress and stimulate growth in land plants. C-Weed AAA also has additional plant-based amino acids which are essential for cell growth.
“All of these products can be used in a tank mix with micronutrients or other organic treatments, and can be used throughout the season to support the plant at different growth stages, from establishment and rooting to flowering,” says Mr Gamble. “With all growers looking to maximise productivity with minimal financial outlay, now is the time to add biostimulants to the mix, to make most efficient use of nutrient resources.”