12 April 2002

Brush up brassica

GROWERS looking to improve brasicca quality and yield, and bring forward crop maturity to catch an early market could benefit from using a bio-stimulant, recent research suggests.

In trials on summer cabbage by Yorks-based independent trials specialist NDSM, Maxicrop seaweed extract ensured 74% more cabbages could be cut on the first three harvest dates, increasing returns by up to £703/ha.

The bio-stimulant also increased cauliflower crop gross margins by £636/ha, 9% better than controls.

Further work at the University of Plymouth at Seale Hayne used Maxicrop as a root drench and then as four follow-up sprays. The number of class 1 heads increased by up to 15%.

Earlier university research shows Maxicrop encourages soil microbes to release more nutrients and helps prevent antagonistic fungi from attacking seedlings, says the Maxicrop technical manager David Pattison.

Best results come from using it with pesticides, he adds. "Research has shown a definite synergy when Maxicrop is applied with a fungicide." &#42