AUXIN TO MAXIMISE SEED POTENTIAL
A NEW biological seed treatment is available from UPL for improved establishment of winter cereals and legumes as well as spring barley.
Sunagreen-ST is an organic acid-based seed treatment formulated with two key acids specifically tailored to optimise auxin production, a hormone critical to growth. Auxin presence is what makes shoot tips grow upwards, and root tips down, so application as a seed treatment is ideal for early seedling vigour and development.
UPL technical lead for seed treatments, Rob Adamson, says: “The only source of auxin for a germinating seed is from the seed itself, which can be negatively influenced by climatic conditions at ripening, resulting in lower seedling vigour. Sunagreen-ST optimises the pathways in which the auxin hormone is created, giving the crop the tools it needs from the moment it is planted.”
Sunagreen-ST contains two key acids; anthranilic acid, an amino acid used to synthesise the auxin hormone, and salicyclic acid, which contributes to auxin maintenance by restricting the breakdown of the hormone in the plant.
By providing the emerging seed with a supply of anthracillic acid, auxin levels are no longer limited to those set during seed ripening, with any excess being stored by the plant tb be utilised as required.
A metabolite of aspirin, salicylic acid also has a wider role to play in seedling growth, contributing to other signalling mechanisms including photosynthesis and abiotic stress tolerance. This means the benefits of Sunagreen-ST persists beyond establishment to maximise the crops yield potential.
CASE STUDY: Stephen and David Eales, Upper Chancton Farm, West Sussex
Stephen and David Eales of Upper Chancton Farm in West Sussex first evaluated the benefits of Sunagreen-ST on a field scale in spring barley two years ago following a discussion about optimising establishment with seed merchants T Dennes and Son.
Stephen Eales notes “The speed and consistency of emergence in the spring barley was remarkable. The barley was planted in mid-March and was up and away in 10 days.
“The rate of development was very fast, we could clearly see an increase in advantageous rooting when we compared treated to untreated barley.
“The treated plants soon overtook the untreated plants, despite the untreated being drilled first, and the visual results were clear to see.”
Following the results in year one, the Eales were keen to utilise the benefits of the treatment over a larger area including their autumn cereal and bean crops. David Eales adds: “Establishment is critical both in winter and in spring crops, as once you have a plant, you have something to work with.
“We farm a range of soil types, but whether it is chalk or sandier soils, getting the plants established and looking for nutrients makes the crop more resilient to whatever the season throws at us.
“In cereals, Sunagreen-ST gives us even crops which make management decisions such as herbicide timings more straightforward.
“In beans, the three weeks after drilling are crucial. Seedlings need to be up and growing otherwise they don’t survive. Sunagreen-ST pushes that growth and gives the beans the help they need to get up and away.”