Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Understanding nematodes could unlock the potential of your farm.

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A key to unlocking the potential of a crop is buried in the upper layers of the soil. Living within soil water pockets are worm-like micro-organisms called nematodes (phylum Nematoda). These tiny creatures amass large populations and in agriculture, they can help or hinder. Some nematodes are plant-parasitic (or PPNs for short), causing over $100 billion in crop damage annually, while others are beneficial, holding enormous potential for sustainable crop protection or helping make nutrients more readily available to plants.

By Cory Smit and Catherine Gacheri

Nematodes are some of the most abundant animals on Earth. Nematology, the study of nematodes, is vast, having identified over 28 thousand species to date, many with feeding habits which are important in agriculture. Fortunately, there are a few fundamentals that farmers can use to simplify and act on the information.

  1. Some nematodes are crop pests, feeding on or infecting roots, bulbs or leaves. The image above is a typical example of a Root-Knot Nematode or Meloidogyne spp. infection of roots. (Photo: Scot Nelson, 2017. Meloidogyne incognita on Solanum lycopersicum.).
  2. Some nematodes are beneficial in killing crop pests and while others help unlock nutrients.
  3. Routinely monitor nematodes in all growing areas using professional nematode analysis, and deploy the recommendations.
  4. Nematodes reproduce quickly and in massive numbers – good news if they are beneficial, bad news if they are pests.


Fig. 1. Typical nematode lifecycle. Duration depends on species and other factors.

Do nematodes speed up the release of nutrients?

The interplay between bacteria, fungi and beneficial nematodes that feed on them can contribute to the supply of nitrogen and accelerate the mineralization of untapped organic nutrients. By consuming the bacteria and fungi which break down compost within the soil, these nematodes can speed up the release of nitrogen into the soil by releasing excess nutrients, making it available for crops to use.

Tip: Growers can stimulate this process by incorporating manure and compost into the soil to provide a habitat for bacterial and fungal colonies to grow in, making new food for the beneficial nematodes 

Can nematodes be used as Biocontrols?

Dudutech’s research and development of nematodes as biocontrols take advantage of species which kill crop pests, called Entomopathogenic Nematodes (EPNs). EPNs find and kill their target pest to use in their reproductive cycle. Using EPNs helps growers reduce their reliance on chemicals which may unintentionally harm the soil ecology and non-target beneficial micro-organisms.

Using research on their host range, Dudutech developed four nematode-based products to tackle key pests. These include:

  • NEMATECH® S – Steinernema feltiae D2 – for Thrips and Sciarid Flies,
  • NEMATECH C – Steinernema carpocapsae – for Cutworm,
  • NEMATECH HHeterorhabditis bacteriophora F27 – for beetles,
  • SLUGTECHPhasmarhabditis hermaphrodita M1 – for slugs and snails.

The ability of infective juveniles to quickly seek out and kill their target before spreading to new hosts makes these beneficial nematodes powerful agricultural tools for the sustainable management of a wide variety of crop pests. In particular, nematodes are widely used in integrated pest management of Thrips.


Fig. 3. Nematech S SP mode of action.

Due to their complex lifecycles, no single control option can provide satisfactory control of Thrips. If any part of their lifecycle is left unmanaged, the populations can become “resident” and quickly boom, causing significant damage to crops.

In most cases, Thrips infestations in greenhouse crops are from resident populations.
Most thrips species including Western Flower Thrips (WFT, Frankliniella occidentalis) spend up to one-third of their lifecycle in the soil. When used with above-ground predators, such as AMBLYTECH and MONTECH, and traps (STICKTECH), the nematodes in NEMATECH® S play an important role underground in the biocontrol strategy by killing Thrips in their soil-living stages.

How can farmers sustainably manage plant-parasitic nematodes (PPNs)?

PPNs are crop pests, causing lesions, cysts and rot in the root system. Blue, yellow and red (Toxicity Classes 3 through 1 a and b) chemical nematicides pose numerous problems with far-reaching effects for growers and consumers including the development of nematicide resistance, exceeding residue limits (MRLs) and negative effects on non-target organisms. These issues have far-reaching effects for farmers as they make pesticide applications more expensive, restrict access to markets and harm beneficial nematodes living alongside pest nematodes.

To help growers tackle these nematodes in a sustainable way, Dudutech has paired MYTECH® and NEMguard. MYTECH® contains a powerful nematophagous fungus (Paecilomyces lilacinus) which selectively targets plant-parasitic nematodes. Mytech kills all life stages of most plant-parasitic nematodes. The fungal spores on treated crops attach to their target and form mycelia on the host, feeding on it before releasing spores to begin the cycle over.


Fig. 4. Mytech mode of action.

NEMguard® is a powerful environmentally intelligent nematicide containing plant-sourced ingredients which can be used to control PPNs. The (proprietary) polysulphides contained in NEMguard rapidly cause oxidative stress and kills PPNs. Due to their biology, beneficial nematodes are less affected by NEMguard when compared to routinely used broad spectrum nematicides which may damage the environment.


Fig. 5. NEMguard SC mode of action.

The soil beneath crops is a complex but delicate ecosystem. By looking after it sustainably, growers can take advantage of the plant health benefits afforded by healthy soils.

Interested in finding out more?

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EZYFLOW TRACE

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EZYFLOW TRACE is a high analysis suspension of Manganese, Zinc, Iron, Mag-nesium and Copper blended with kelp extracts. Designed to provide an early energy boost for early vigour and improved plant health.

ROLE OF MANGANESE
Manganese is essential as an enzyme activator which helps with nitrate assimilation. It is also primarily involved in photosynthesis and chlorophyll production. Manganese influences auxin levels in plants and is required for maximum activity of many enzyme reactions found in the citric acid cycle.

ROLE OF IRON
Iron is a constituent of ferredoxin and cytochromes, it activates catalase, and plays an important role in the formation of chlorophyll. It takes part in photosynthesis and in respiration for the release of energy.

CKC Vetch, Peas and Lentils

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CKC VETCH contains a unique dual formulation of Rhizobium bacteria – Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar viaiae – which promote plant performance by providing inoculated crops with Nitrogen (N) through their BNF (bacterial nitrogen fixation) activity. CKC VETCH is used to:

  • Improve Nitrogen (N) availability;
  • Improve stress response and plant vigour;
  • Increase absorption capacity of water and nutrients Supports plant protection;
  • Vetch, peas, lentil seeds, string beans, broad beans (habas) and big lentils.

CKC Rhizoflo

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CKC Rhizoflo is a unique dual formulation bio-fertilizer containing Rhizobium bacteria that promote Nitrogen and Phosphorus solubilisation for improved plant performance. CKC RHIZOFLO contains two rhizobium bacteria – Pseudomonas fluorescens and Azospirillum brasilense – which facilitate the optimal solubilisation of Phosphorus and provide bioavailable Nitrogen.

Trichotech WP now approved in Ethiopia

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Dudutech’s Ethiopia team are excited to announce that TRICHOTECH WP has been approved for importation and use in Ethiopia, giving growers a powerful new tool for preventing diseases caused by Fusarium spp. and promoting good soil health. Our team have been working closely with local authorities to bring TRICHOTECH WP to market for Ethiopian growers.

TRICHOTECH WP has been an integral part of Dudutech’s IPM portfolio since 2002 and is helping farmers in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Africa and now Ethiopia, with more on the way) combat plant disease without harming beneficial organisms, farmworkers or the environment.

TRICHOTECH WP mode of action.

T. asperellum is a powerful naturally occurring beneficial soil fungus used to manage diseases caused by Fusarium spp. and to promote plant growth. Each gram of TRICHOTECH WP contains 4 billion Trichoderma asperellum spores or Colony Forming Units (CFUs) mixed in an inert carrier. Once drenched on the crop, the spores germinate and the fungus grows, defending the roots and releasing nutrients locked in undecayed organic matter. By using TRICHOTECH WP, growers can sustainably manage crop disease, improve soil health and improve the health and vigour of the plant while using fewer chemicals.

Advantages of TRICHOTECH WP:

  • Protects and promotes good soil health
  • No resistance development
  • No harmful residues
  • No MRLs
  • 0 PHI and 0 REI

Contact

Ismael Yassin
Dudutech Ethiopia

Ismael.Yassin@dudutech.com

+251 93 039 2276

 

RIGEL G

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RIGEL G® is a powerful organic nutrient with enhanced plant health properties.

SIRIUS

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SIRIUS® is a unique silicon nutrient formulation that increases strength, growth and plant health.

Zimbabwean authorities approve range of ICM products from Dudutech

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After a rigorous registration process, Phil Weller, the official distributor of Dudutech products in Zimbabwe, has received the official rubber stamp on a range of pest and crop management solutions. Among the products now available to farmers in Zimbabwe are MYTECH, TRICHOTECH, LECATECH and BEAUVITECH, microbial products used for the management of pests and diseases, and the intelligent chemicals pHusion and Trident used to boost crop development. The country, which has a tradition of commercial agriculture, is set to directly benefit from these innovative products through improved plant health and more sustainable crop and soil practices.

More about the products:

MYTECH contains Paecilomyces lilacinus (F18), a naturally occurring nematode killing fungus used to manage plant parasitic nematodes including Root knot, Cyst, Root lesion, Burrowing and Reniform amongst others.

BEAUVITECH contains spores of Beauveria bassiana J25, a fungus which kills Thrips and whiteflies through an entomopathogenic processes.

LECATECH is a biological insecticide containing Lecanicillium lecanii J27, a naturally occurring specialised entomopathogenic fungus which targets whiteflies.

TRICHOTECH contains spores of Trichoderma asperellum a soil dwelling fungi that is beneficial to plants. The fungus is antagonistic to soil pathogenic fungi and has been used globally for control of soil borne fungal diseases caused by Fusarium spp., Pythium spp. and Rhizoctonia spp. In addition, the strain is known to increase plant vigour.

pHUSION is a foliar feed containing 3-21-23+2% Phosphite + Silicon. The Si in pHUSION stimulates phosphite metabolism within the plant leading to increased root development even during stressful conditions.

TRIDENT is a folliar feed containing Zinc, Copper & Silicon – essential elements for plant health.

TRIDENT ®

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Trident is a folliar feed containing Zinc, Copper & Silicon – essential elements for plant health and is formulated with Orion’s proprietary “INHIB” Technology For reduced susceptibility to fungal and bacteria diseases. Also with some eradicant effect.

Trident Reduces plant susceptibility to:

  • Downy mildew
  • Powdery mildew
  • Botrytis
  • Pythium

PHUSION®

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pHUSION™ is a unique dual-action Silicon Phosphite formulation that provides easily available nutrients to the plant and provides adjuvant properties.

VERMITECH ®

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VERMITECH ® is an organic fertilizer produced using worms belonging to the species Eisenia andrei, a well known species used worldwide for vermicomposting. VERMITECH ® is used for soil amendment, as a fertilizer and especially as a component of propagation media. VERMITECH ® is full of beneficial micro-organisms and is essential in replenishing and enhancing biodiversity in both production substrate and soil.