The Best of Both Worlds
Economic sustainability of any business is obviously key to long term survival. Getting the best from any input into a business goes a long way to ensure this survival. In farming, chemical and fertiliser are two big inputs that need to be getting the best results possible for farmers, but sometimes these inputs can be looked at as individual inputs and not looking at them within the full system of crop or animal production.
In both animals and plants, susceptibility to disease is often the result of metabolic problems.
With many chemicals containing nitrogenous and often chlorinated and with high rates of fertiliser use of nitrates as well as urea the balance between nitrogen and micronutrients may be upset. This can affect the plants level of resistance to disease or pests.
The Relationship Between Plant and Parasite
Too much use of anything can have side effects and chemicals and fertilisers are no different. Often insecticides are blamed for an explosion of other pests due to effecting their natural predators however, it is known now that that is not always the case.
It has been recognised that the relationship between plant and parasite is primarily nutritional in nature. The resistance of the plant to its different pests depends on the balance between protein synthesis and protein breakdown. A high proportion of protein breakdown increases the plant’s susceptibility. Conversely, a high proportion of protein synthesis increases the plant’s resistance or immunity.
For the same reason, high use of only one or two elements in chemical fertilisers may also cause deficiencies. This narrow approach to fertilising can have consequences for the plant’s metabolism. It’s the biochemical state of the plant that generally determines how susceptible it will be to insect and disease pressure.
How to achieve the Best of Both Worlds
We have continually recognised that our industry is more of a combination of approaches than siloed ones. This means that growers ideally should incorporate or combine the best of chemical fertilisers with the best of bio-stimulant, bio catalysts applications and have a broader nutritional approach. Leading to less impact on the metabolism of the plant in an effort to mitigate the negative consequences. This is what we call “the best of both worlds”.
The good news: there are good products available that perform extremely well and complement the plant’s metabolism instead of inhibiting it. In taking the “best of both worlds”, these practices can produce noticeable, long term beneficial results. Fundamentally, by incorporating product combinations, the plant enjoys more growing days as its metabolism remains active and it’s much more likely to handle heat and other abiotic stresses throughout the growing season.
Achieving well-balanced, best of both world fertilisation and stimulation of protein synthesis is possible through the use of complex micronutrients, broad spectrum bio-stimulant buffered macro elements. The application of softer crop protection products will surely yield better results to all growers, as well reducing the high reliance, over time, of a pure chemical approach.