Liquid Sili-Max® Improves Wheat Yield at Much Higher Efficiency Than Conventional Dry Silicon Fertilizers

Research by Brenda Tubana, PhD, Louisiana State University

The objective of this study was to compare, for use in Louisiana wheat production, the efficacy of a liquid silicon (Si) fertilizer (Huma Gro® Sili-Max®) with a commonly used dry Si source (steel slag) and another Si source (wollastonite) often used in research as a suspension. Silica deposition is an important barrier for foliar fungal diseases.

The wheat field study was conducted at Louisiana Ag-Center Research Stations. Silicon (Si) treatments were replicated four times and arranged in a randomized block design. There were 2 Huma Gro® Sili-Max® (10% Si) treatments (as a foliar band, and as foliar broadcast sprayed evenly over the entire plot). Each treatment was applied twice within 2 weeks at the onset of internode elongation (Feekes growth stage 5). The dry silicon sources (wollastonite [23% Si] and steel slag [11% Si]) were applied and incorporated into the soil prior to planting. Wheat leaf samples were collected one week after the application of silicon solution sources and evaluated for silica bodies (phytolith) deposition and percentage using scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive x-ray analysis.

Sili-Max® foliar band and Sili-Max® foliar broadcast increased grain yield by 10 and 7 bu/ac, respectively, in reference to the control plot (Fig. 1). It is important to note that the total silicon applied using Sili-Max® solution was substantially lower (0.064 to 0.128 lb Si/ac) than the dry wollastonite and steel slag silicon sources (250 lb Si/ac). The state average wheat yield was low that year due to a mild winter that affected the wheat vernalization. Sili-Max® foliar band had the numerically highest straw yield at 7,941 lb/ac.

The accumulated silica bodies (phytolith) were 0.69% and 0.60% with Sili-Max® foliar broadcast and Sili-Max® foliar band treatments, respectively while the control had 0.53%.

Huma Gro® Sili-Max® applied as foliar band at a rate 3,900 times less than the dry silicon sources contributed to higher grain yield and straw yield, while the application of Sili-Max® as a foliar broadcast at a rate 1,900 times less than the dry silicon sources led to high Si deposition in wheat leaves.

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Sili-Max® limita la absorción de arsénico en el arroz

Informe de investigación

Realizado por: Lic. Luisella Celi, Universidad de Torino, Italia

El arroz (Oryza sativa) es el alimento básico para más de la mitad de la población mundial, y alimenta a unos 3.500 millones de personas. Sin embargo, en comparación con otros cultivos, el arroz acumula mayores cantidades de arsénico (As) dado que se cultiva en campos anegados bajo condiciones anaeróbicas. El arsénico es un elemento tóxico y carcinógeno.

Por lo tanto, disminuir los niveles de As en el grano de arroz, en especial las formas inorgánicas más tóxicas (As [III] y As [V]), es uno de los principales objetivos de productores y legisladores. La Comisión Europea acaba de establecer un límite de contenido de As en el arroz comercial de 200 µg kg-1 para el arroz blanco y de 100 µg kg-1 para el arroz para bebés. Por consiguiente, es fundamental establecer prácticas agronómicas adecuadas para reducir la acumulación de As en el arroz.

Una práctica prometedora es la aplicación de fuentes de silicio (Si), ya que el Si compite con la absorción de As a nivel radicular. Hay muy pocas fuentes eficaces de silicio en el mercado que limitan la absorción de As por parte de las plantas. Por lo tanto, es necesario identificar fertilizantes eficaces que son seguros para el medio ambiente y la calidad del alimento.

En este estudio, Huma Gro® Sili-Max® demostró su capacidad de aportar a las plantas de arroz Si disponible y, al mismo tiempo, disminuir el contenido de As inorgánico del grano mucho más que las otras fuentes de Si sometidas a prueba. Sili-Max® demostró ser una fuente de SI prometedora no solo por suministrar Si, sino también por limitar la absorción de As inorgánico, uno de los elementos más tóxicos de los productos de arroz, por parte de la planta.

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Sili-Max® Limits Arsenic Uptake in Rice

Research Report

Research Conducted by: Luisella Celi, PhD, University of Torino, Italy

Rice (Oryza sativa) is the staple food for more than half the world’s population, feeding about 3.5 billion people. Compared with other crops, however, rice accumulates higher amounts of arsenic (As) due to its cultivation in flooded fields under anaerobic conditions. Arsenic is a toxic and carcinogenic element.

Decreasing As levels in the rice grain, particularly the more toxic inorganic forms (As [III] and As [V]) is, therefore, one of the main objectives of rice producers and policymakers. The European Commission has recently set a limit of As content in commercial rice to 200 µg kg-1 for white rice and to 100 µg kg-1 for baby food rice. Hence, it is essential to establish appropriate agronomic practices for reducing As accumulation in rice.

A promising practice is the application of silicon (Si) sources, since Si competes with As uptake at the root level. There are only a few efficient silicon sources in the market that limit As uptake by plants. Therefore, it is necessary to identify efficient fertilizers that are safe for the environment and food quality.

In this study, Huma Gro® Sili-Max® demonstrated its ability to supply rice plants with available Si while decreasing inorganic As content in the grain more significantly than the other tested Si sources. Sili-Max® proved to be a promising Si source not only for supplying Si but also for limiting plant uptake of inorganic As, one of the most toxic elements in rice products.

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Listen to a 3-minute presentation on the study by Dr. Abi-Ghanem:

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