It’s safe to say that the weather this past summer has been all over the map. During spring and early summer, rain evaded many crop-producing areas in the northern and central provinces of South Africa. This was followed by storms in Kwazulu-Natal and parts of Mpumalanga. Thereafter a severe heatwave struck major parts of the northern crop-producing provinces in early December with more rain and cold that followed.
This type of erratic weather places young seedlings under severe stress where producers can plant, or it lowers the soil moisture levels radically to the extent that farmers can’t plant at all. Inconsistent weather conditions seem to be our future, so how can farmers regain some control and bring about an extent of stability?
Many research articles seem to find that the same element that is abundantly used in the manufacturing of electronics and space-age industries, could help hardwire plants against drought and unpredictable weather.
The element? Silicon, the second-most abundant element on the planet after oxygen1 and the main ingredient in Manvert’s Silikon.
What is Manvert Silikon?
Manvert Silikon is a liquid biostimulant made from silicon (30% SiO2). Its effectiveness is enhanced under conditions of water stress and high temperatures. Silicon is not considered an essential nutrient for crop cultivation, but studies have found that high levels of silicon in plants enhance their strength and rigidity2 that help overcome biotic and abiotic stressors. For this reason, crops can benefit from an additional application of silicon during periods of stress to help overcome hydric stress and increase productivity and quality.
How does silicon do the things that it does?
For crops to be healthy, we need to create an ideal growing environment, which means balancing moisture levels, especially during precarious and untrusty weather conditions. Nutrients we can add, sunlight and CO2 are in abundance and enough room to grow is something the farmer can control. But water, that’s another story – especially if you are a farmer that has no access to irrigation. Here’s what silicon does to control moisture levels:
- Nanoparticles = Mega Impact: Thanks to Silikon’s Nanovert tech, Manvert’s proprietary biotechnology, nanoparticles of silicon are available to the plant when applied as a foliar application. Nanoparticles mean higher concentrations of the active ingredient, better coverage on the leaves and enhanced absorption by the whole plant, thereby improving the effectiveness of the product.
- The Sponge Mechanism: The nano silicon particles on the plant absorb water when there’s too much moisture, drying the surface and reducing the water available for fungal growth. On the other hand, when crops experience water stress, a reversible reaction occurs where the silicon releases the retained water, making it again available for the plant as needed. The nanoparticles also create a thin protective layer which further reduces transpiration during hot and dry periods.
- Silikon Strong: The strengthening mechanism is achieved through the accumulation of the silicon in the epidermal tissue. Due to the nature of silicon, it forms a polymeric, organic and crystalline framework that mechanically strengthens the plant against biotic stressors.
Application & Ecological Certifications
Manvert Silikon can be applied at any time during the crop cycle and especially during periods of stress. Applications during these stages have shown to have the most positive effects and Silikon presents good miscibility and compatibility with most pesticide and fertiliser products commonly used. Silikon is a registered fertilizer product with additional ecological certifications from Spain (CAAE).
For more information on Silikon, any other Manvert product or to become a Manvert stockist, please contact DNA Plant Science today. DNA Plant Science is the proud distributor of the Manvert range in South Africa.