Root architecture, with its shape and structured development, is vital to a crop’s success. Shoot growth, quality and yield all depend on the development of a strong plant with a large, healthy root system that helps you get the most out of your fertilizer program.
A well developed root network encourages beneficial interactions with micro ‐ organisms that allows soil exploration, resource acquisition and maintenance of crop performance even under stress caused by disease and limited soil water and nutrient conditions.
The beneficial micro-organisms in this network effectively reduce root rots and increase the solubility of phosphates and micronutrients such as zinc, copper, iron and manganese thus enhancing growth of the roots and the above ground parts of the plant.
Improvement in agricultural sustainability requires an integrated water, crop, pest and disease management strategy, managing soil fertility and soil physical properties by promoting soil biodiversity and soil biological processes offers the potential for using rhizosphere processes to improve soil quality and productivity.
In many soils, nutrients such as phosphorus, potassium and iron are present in large amounts but in forms that are not available to plants. Many bacteria and fungi are able to make these nutrients available to plants by secreting organic acids or other chemicals (siderophores) to dissolve the minerals. These beneficial micro-organisms are naturally occurring and are prolific and readily available in natural, undisturbed, rich, fertile lands.
The use of these micro-organisms results in high quality crop yields often demonstrated in both size and volume of produce. This increase in yield and quality has been demonstrated in a wide range of plants even during times of stress. Increasing yield while improving quality attributes, such as firmness, colour, size and crop uniformity, gives you the competitive edge and increased profits which are key pillars of sustainable agriculture.
Nematodes are tiny, round-bodied, unsegmented, worms. Plant parasitic nematodes cause economic losses to horticultural and field crop worldwide. With serious concerns about the use of nematicide in terms of food safety and environmental quality issue.
Mealybugs occur in two different forms depending on their sex: female adults are wingless soft, oval, flat-bodied insects covered with a white, powdery wax (hence the name ‘mealy bug’), while males are winged wasp-like flying insects as adults. The most common species in the greenhouse is the citrus mealybug, Planococcus citri.
Adult thrips are tiny (1-2mm long) slender insects with fringed wings. Immatures are similarly shaped with a long, narrow abdomen but lack wings. Most thrips range in colour from translucent white or yellowish to dark brown or blackish, depending on the species and life stage.