Biostimulants: PGRs and PGSs

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Plant growth regulators (PGRs) and plant growth stimulators (PGSs) are naturally-occurring or synthetic compounds that, when applied to plants, modify their physiological processes, and growth and development habits. In plant cells, they stimulate specific enzymes or pathways and help regulate metabolism.

The term “PGR” is widely used in Western Canada to refer to products that are sprayed on wheat to shorten the height of the crop, while PGSs are designed to be incorporated into a well-balanced nutrition program to achieve a better uptake of nutrients, enhanced growth and development, better seed, fruit or tuber set, improved crop standability and more. Producers looking to preserve yield and profitability are encouraged to take a closer look at PGSs.

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Biostimulants: Humates

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The Green Revolution of the 1960s sought to greatly increase agricultural production through the introduction of high-yield crops, chemical fertilizers, and synthetic herbicides and pesticides. With these new advancements, it was suddenly possible to grow more food on the same number of acres, to better meet the needs of a growing global population. 

One thing that became somewhat overlooked during the Green Revolution (and the decades that followed) was soil organic matter. However, we are finally starting to recognize the value and impact that soil organic matter content has on crops, and actions are being taken to improve it.

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Getting to the Root of the Problem

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Photo credit: Chatterton et al., 2017

Root rot and clubroot are two serious diseases which can, at best, cause yield losses and, at worst, cause premature plant death. While clubroot is a disease solely affecting brassica crops, such as canola, root rot can take hold in cereals, pulses, canola and other field crops when conditions are right and pathogens present.

Managing these diseases can be challenging and require a multi-pronged approach that includes planting disease-resistant seed, longer crop rotations, fungicide application and vigilant scouting. OMEX has a wide range of products that can be used concurrently with your root rot and clubroot management tactics to promote robust, healthy roots, mitigate plant stress and correct nutrient deficiencies throughout the growing season.

The image on the right shows the difference in early-season growth and development between a root rot-infect plant (left) and a healthy plant (right).

Let’s get to the root of the problem, shall we?

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Biostimulants: Biologicals - What are they?

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As the world’s food demand grows, agricultural food production is also on the rise. This comes with the related challenges of poor yield, drought, pests and weeds that can negatively impact both productivity and the environment.

While fertilizers and pesticides play a significant role in attempting to overcome some of these obstacles, agricultural biologicals can make a crucial contribution toward the goal of making intensive agricultural production more successful and sustainable.

Safe for the environment, biologicals make crops healthier, with improved defenses against diseases and pests, and better able to withstand abiotic stress. The crop is well-prepared for early season growth and has a good vigor, with enriched root and shoot biomass and improved nutrient uptake and use.

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Boron has no impact, so they say.

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Boron (B) plays a key role in a wide range of physiological processes that allow plants to germinate, grow, reproduce and remain healthy. No wonder it’s the first nutrient that plants seek! 

Boron is critical to the growth of pollen tubes, germination of pollen grains and fertilization, and helps to ensure good grain fill. A deficiency can cause reduced pollen tube growth and flowering, reduced seed set and in canola, which has higher boron requirements than cereal crops, aborted flowers and pod blanks or missing seeds in the pod.

The first step in proactively managing boron is to understand some of the key aspects that lead to boron deficiency, and how to identify and prevent a deficiency to mitigate stress and preserve yield. Read on to learn more about boron and why growers should be paying attention to this important nutrient throughout the growing season. 

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