Phosphate is a key nutrient in crop production, but up to 90 per cent of it can be locked up, holding back yield potential.
On show at Cereals, Bayer’s new biostimulant seed treatments, JumpStart WT and ProStablish WT, aim to unlock phosphate from the soil and improve crop rooting for better uptake.
JumpStart WT contains the naturally occurring fungus, Penicillium bilaiae, which exudes organic compounds, breaking the bond between the phosphate and cations.
Claire Matthewman, campaign manager for seed treatments explained: “Effectively we are jump starting the crop by helping to make phosphate more available.
"In an acid soil, phosphate could be bound to magnesium or aluminium and JumpStart will break that bond. In a more alkaline soil it might be something like calcium. The plant is then able to take up more phosphorus and that should translate into improved yield.”
However, once phosphate is unlocked, mobility of the nutrient through the soil profile is still an issue.
Ms Matthewman said: “This is where ProStablish comes in. It is different to JumpStart in that it is not a live organism.”
Derived from a microbe, the signalling molecule enhances the symbiotic relationship between the crop and mycorrhizae fungi.
“It makes more mycorrhizae fungi grow within the root system and outside that root system. Inside the root system it allows more nutrients, like phosphates to be transferred to the crop, and outside it extends the functional root system which enables the crop to reach nutrients it would not usually be able to.”
It also enables more water to be taken up because there is more root mass, Ms Matthewman added.
JumpStart is co-applied with ProStablish, and a single purpose seed dressing to utilise a combination of biological products and chemical based ingredients.
Across 94 Bayer trials, results have shown a 3 per cent yield improvement with JumpStart, ProStablish and a single purpose seed dressing.
JumpStart and ProStablish will be available this autumn through Frontier.