Fights drought

INCREASES PLANTS' DROUGHT RESISTANCE  

Increase of resistance to drought and other adverse environmental factors

Drought is one of the main problems in the modern agriculture. It is calculated that the annual losses caused by the drought reach up to 42 billions dollars worldwide. According to scientists’ predictions, global warming will lead not only to temperature rise, but also to the fluctuations of temperature and the increase of extremely cold and hot (dry) summers.

One of the most effective ways of protecting crops from drought is increasing their natural drought resistance. At the moment Albit is the only pesticide that is officially recommended for usage to increase the drought resistance of field crops. Albit  is proven to be able to increase drought resistance of plants by 10-60% on average.

The efficiency of soil moisture consumption by spring wheat was evaluated during the field trials which were held at the Ogarev’s State University, Mordovia in 2006-2008. The trials were carried out in combination with different methods of soil treatments (without any treatment, conventional tillage, harrowing, disking, etc.):

The influence of Albit on the efficiency of soil moisture consumption by spring wheat

The influence of Albit on the efficiency of soil moisture consumption by spring wheat

For the formation of 1 ton of grain 78.3 mm of water was used(without chemical pesticides application) and 58.4 mm (in variations where chemical pesticides were applied). Application of Albit (pre-sowing treatment 30 ml/t) reduces the amount of water that is necessary for the formation of 1 ton of grain by 8.8 and 5.1 mm, respectively (11.3% and 8.7% to control).

The maximal water rate was at zero tillage (no-till), and in this case Albit significantly reduced the water consumption.

Influence of Albit on drought resistance of plants was examined in details in pot experiments with spring wheat performed in Institute of Plant Physiology RAS. Drought is a complex phenomenon, which includes moisture deficiency and a high temperature. The Ability of plants to resist high temperatures was examined using a heat resistance index; drought resistance was examined by the index of moisture retention ability, water content in leaves and transpiration intensity. The application of Albit increased all the listed characteristics, except for transpiration intensity. Results of the trials are summarized in the following table:

 

The influence of Albit on drought resistance of plants (Institute of Plant Physiology RAS, 2000)

Characteristics Albit - dependent increase over control
Moisture retention ability
4-28 %
Water content in leaves
7-10 %
Transpiration intensity
decreased by 31-66 %
Heat resistance
18-60 %

The treatment using Albit increased the ability of plants to resist high temperatures and drought conditions. Therefore, the application of Albit increased the heat resistance of wheat under conditions of drought and watering up to 134-160% (100% - untreated control) and 107-153%, respectively. Within time the heat resistance of plants that were treated by Albit increased even more. Treatment with Albit also lead to the more efficient water consumption of plants: intensity of transpiration of Albit-treated plants decreased more than twice, from 453 to 203 mg of water/g of biomass in one hour under watering, and from 247 to 171 mg of water/g of biomass in one hour under drought conditions.

As it was found in trials, the ability of Albit to provide high yields under drought conditions depends on both activation of plant’s biochemical mechanisms of drought resistance (hot resistance, water retention ability) and the improvement of roots.

Albit increased rooting, the formation of additional secondary roots, resulting in the drought resistance increase. According to the foreign scientists (Faculty of Agriculture, University of Abuja, 2010), field germination of corn seeds in the semi-desert zone of Nigeria (South Sahara) as a result of treatment with Albit increased from 83.3 to 90.0%, the mass of the root system increased by 17,5%, total plant health index increased by 63.3%.

The ability of Albit to increase drought resistance of plants was confirmed in practice on different agricultures (cereals, sugar beet, sunflower, vegetables). Due to this feature, Albit provides considerable yield increase even under conditions of drought and high temperatures, when the effect of other chemical and biological products becomes negligible. It was demonstrated by the large number of tests in different institutions (results can be provided on request). 

The activity of Albit was clearly manifested under the catastrophic conditions of heat and drought in 2010. In field trials of Ryazan Agricultural Research Institute, the winter wheat spraying with Albit increased grain yield by 18% (with an average long-term raise for this culture of 13%). Pre-planting treatment of potato tubers with Albit led to earlier (for 7 days) germination and yield increase by 74% ( from 7 350kg to 12 800kg/ha).

In extreme conditions of 2010 vegetation season, Albit allowed to get economically important crop yield in the European part of Russia. The application of Albit together with chemical pesticides allowed to obtain the maximum yield of barley 7 300 kg/ha, winter wheat 5 900 kg/ha, winter rye 3 600 kg/ha in the republic of Tatarstan under extremely hot and dry conditions (air temperature +33 ... +35 °C, the soil temperature up to 75 °C, no precipitation since March). The difference with the control version (without Albit) reached 1 20 000 c/ha. The increase of pea yield was 43% (510 kg/ha).

A similar peak drought has been registered in Western Siberia in 2012. Pre-sowing seed treatment of spring wheat with Albit provided yield increase of 66% (from 900 to 1 500 c/ha) under the described abnormal conditions.

Earlier, under the drought conditions in 2003 Albit improved drought resistance of plants, and thus high yields of grain (5 000-7 000 kg/ha) were obtained at the farms of Krasnodarsk. This crop yield was at the level of non-droughty season in 2002.

According to data of Kurgan Research Institute of Grain Growing, even in extremely drought summer of 1998, Albit treatment provided spring wheat yield increase of 2 300 kg/ha (19.8%), whereas treatment with chemical seed treatment agent based on a.i. tiabendazole and flutriafol did not give any effect. Analogously in trials of Kurgan Regional Plant Protection Station (2000) in farm Lebyazhevskoe, the biological efficacy of Albit against root rots of wheat was 83% and yield increase was 200 kg/ha (16.7%) despite extremely adverse conditions (slow and cold spring, hot and drought first half of summer).

Joint trial of Buryatia Regional Plant Protection Station and Buryatia Institute of Agriculture (2003) on spring wheat var. Selenga was performed almost under the same conditions (slow spring with returning cold, drought, etc.). In result of trial, biological efficiency of Albit (30 ml/t of seeds) against root rots was 65% and yield increased by 15.6% (i.e. 100 kg/ha; yield in control – 6 400 kg/ha).

In trials of Penza regional plant protection station on spring wheat and barley (1998), there were no precipitations for two months - from sowing till EC stage 71-72 while the temperature was 30-32°C. But anyway, Albit-treated plants (comparing to control set) had more intensive coloration, higher stem density and no cases of ear emptiness.

Under drought conditions of Stavropol region, farmers (farms Bryzgalin, Uvarov, Khizhnyak) have been harvesting stably 500-800 c/ha increased yield during 3 years due to the application of Albit.

Due to induction of drought resistance, relative effectiveness of Albit (% of yield increase) under drought conditions generally is higher than under normal conditions. For example, here are the data of several trials:

  • Trials of All-Russia Institute of Vegetable Selection and Seed Breeding were performed in 2001 and 2003. 2001 was drought, in Moscow region, but in this year the average yield increase over control (for vegetables) was 4-30% higher than in normal 2003;
  • In trial of Institute of Plant Physiology of RAS (2000), Albit treatment accompanied with watering provided yield increase of 13-17% over control, whereas yield increase without watering was 50-195% over control;
  • In field trials of All-Russia Institute of Leguminous and Groat Crops, presowing treatment of pea seeds var. Orlus Truzhenik and Vegaprovided additional yield of 9.4-14.7% in dry 2002, whereas in normal 2001 it was only 7.9-9.3%;
  • In trials of All-Russia Institute of Agrochemistry and Ryazan Regional Plant Protection Station, Albit presowing treatment of spring wheat provided the average yield increase of 23.8% in dry 1998, and only 13.6% in normal 1997.

In further trials in different regions of Russia, it was found that besides drought and high temperature resistance, Albit also improves resistance to other stresses (temperature changes, cooling, overmoistening, chemical stresses caused by pesticides, etc.). Thus, increase of drought resistance is a particular case of antistress activity of Albit.

In medical terms, stress is the disruption of homeostasis through physical or psychological stimuli. Under influence of different adverse factors, organism responds with similar biochemical changes directed to overcoming of these factors through appropriate adaptation. The term 'stress' in this context was coined by Austro-Canadian endocrinologist Hans Selye in 1936 with regard to humans and animals, but now it is being used more widely with regard to animals, plants, microorganisms and ecosystems. Factors inflicted stress were called ‘stressors’. Albit helps plants to adapt to adverse environmental conditions, therefore it may be called adaptogen or antistressor.

According to field trial data, Albit is effective for overcoming of:

• Increased temperature and drought (see in details above);
• Decreased temperatures, dramatic temperature fluctuations. Albit increases plant frost resistance (by 25% as a result of trial at the farm «40 let VLKSM» in Kalmykia, and by   30% in greenhouse experiment in China, 2012), improves the overwintering of winter crops (by 20% according to the Lithuanian Institute of Agriculture, 2013-2014);
• Suppression of plants due to application of insecticides and extraroot fertilizers;
• Suppression of growth of main culture due to treatments with herbicides, especially at their overdose
• Chemical stress caused by treatments of plants with fungicides and seed treatment agents;
• Pollution of soil with xenobiotics, e.g. oil.

 

Especially pronounced antistress activity of Albit can be seen at foliar spraying of winter cereals in EC stages 20-29 (tillering). Plants weakened by winter, herbicides and root rots respond to Albit with dramatic yield increase (up to 10 c/ha under field conditions).

One important fact testifying to adaptogenic activity of Albit with regard to wide spectrum of stress factors is high reproducibility of its action under different conditions. Antistress activity is one of the most important properties of the biostimulant, therefore Albit may be considered antistressor as well as plant growth regulator and immunizer.