Apr 01

April 2016 general field recommendations

With Easter out of the way we are into April and the meat of the growing season, with the opportunity to ensure we support each crop’s individual needs. After a number of dry weeks, which have allowed flood waters to recede, storm Katie provided another dose of heavy rain in many places. The outlook for the rest of the month doesn’t indicate that our weather should be anything other than typical April showers with a normal range of temperatures.

Most of you will be getting your T1 sprays on the cereals and it is important to remember that this spray needs to be a robust fungicide on the barley. There is a need to add some manganese with the T1; barley will go through growth fits and starts in April and those fits and starts are evened out by the application of a quality manganese product like Amix manganese or BroadAcre manganese with that T1 spray. Additional magnesium maybe required, so keep a look out for that crinkling at the edge of the leaf which can be mistaken for Rhynchosporium; if you see that you definitely need some magnesium.

In the wheat, septoria and rusts are still the main diseases we are fighting and it’s important that we remember that the Amix formulation will help your T1 fungicide. Personally I would always advise some chlorothalonil whenever you go through with the sprayer as it helps defeat resistance and maintain a constant attack on the development of septoria throughout the crop. Wheat is also going to benefit, particularly on the higher organic soils, from a T1 manganese. Zinc is starting to become an element that is contributing more and more to growth and development, as the zinc that is available within the root zone is utilised by each year’s crop and due to minimal tillage it is not replaced from the lower levels of the soil structure. So think about replacing a little bit of zinc with your manganese especially if you have been using minimal tillage for a number of years. Magnesium is unlikely to be an issue unless you are on calcareous soils but look out for those older leaf symptoms.

Potato planting is well underway and Pro bio TP offers both a source of manganese and zinc along with phosphite solublising bacteria to the potato grower. When applied as a seed treatment, it is capable of providing some very economic benefits to the potato grower.

All of the broad leaf crops, peas and beans, would benefit from an early phosphite to keep downy mildew at bay and to help promote development. As with all legumes we have Amix Legumol which is a combination of cobalt and molybdenum. Just a quarter of a litre per hectare at the early vegetative stage will promote additional nitrogen fixing root nodules to establish those crops quickly and with the maximum available nitrogen to get the maximum leaf area during the important early stages of growth.

For advice on replacing micronutrients please contact Wilson on 01949 898001 or check out our library of nutrient soundbites on You tube

Mar 07

Wheat recommendations March 2016

With forecasts of low cereal prices in 2016 it becomes paramount to tread the thin line of balancing input costs and crop yield in order for you to maintain a positive net margin, with this at the back of our minds we look at the options we have to meet the challenges we will see in March.

In cereals we are starting to see signs of Yellow Rust and I think this is going to be a battle this year. The Septoria that has over wintered is sitting there on the dead leaves at the bottom of the crop lying on the soil, exhibiting black pycnidia on those brown dead leaves. It’s going to be important that make sure you get a T0 with some chlorothalonil and that's going to be a marvellous opportunity to get in with a small amount of manganese and copper, these nutrients will provide a base level of good nutrition over the coming months. Amix Yield our manganese and copper mix will make whatever Triazole, or growth regulator you may use on your cereals at that T0, more effective and I would recommend ¾ to 1 litre. At this stage, yes you can put straight manganese on but I firmly believe that by adding the tiny amount of copper (21g/ha), the small additional cost is more than worthwhile when we come to look at grain formation later in the season.

Many people will be tempted to use IBC's of 15% or 17% liquid manganese as it is seen to be the cheapest way of delivering high quantities of manganese to the plant. We can manufacture IBC's of 15% /17% of liquid manganese but we would rather not, as we are only mixing Chinese manganese sulphate and water and adding a bit of surfactant. It is by no means the best way to get manganese into your crops.  As is so often the case less can be more because the plant can only take up the manganese through a foliar application, so the excess that reaches the ground is wasted as the plant cannot make use of the manganese in the soil. If you do insist on using bulk manganese please use it in conjunction with a material that is going to create some leaf uptake like Probe or AgroSeal, and when this additional cost is taken into account our Amix Yield is comparable.

If you are trying to build a treatment down to a price I would recommend the BroadAcre Manganese and BroadAcre CopperMan where 1 - 1.5 kg/Ha is going to be enough to do a better job than 4/5 litres of basic manganese at the same cost as it is more compatible with pesticides and exhibits superior plant uptake, it will buffer the pH of the spray solution, make it more effective especially with hard water and the cost is about the same if not a little less.

Mar 07

OSR Recommendations for March 2016

As we exit winter, March presents us with a lot of crops that are well established and

looking promising, which provides us with a lot of future potential and possibly for the first time ever, four years on the run of big cereal and OSR crops. 


According to the AHBD early bird survey of GB planting intentions for 2016, the OSR area could be down by 14%, which presents a considerable need to maximise yields. Currently the OSR crop is a little behind and isn’t responding to any early nitrogen; for an update on foliar applied nitrogen fertiliser click here link to nitrogen on web site. There is also a lot of light leaf spot throughout the UK and as far as this is concerned, most of the fungicides available are going to be prophylactic (preventative) with only prothioconazole giving us some curative effect. The progression of light leaf spot will depend on how the weather changes from now on, however if you want a crop that has good resistance to light leaf spot I would recommend using Broadacre Pulse and Rape mix now at 2 kg/Ha. This will provide the crop with manganese, boron, molybdenum, zinc and iron so that when the weather changes and the soil temperatures rise and the crop starts to take up the Nitrogen, it will have a high level of base nutrition offering a more holistic nutritional approach. This provides the crop with the best nutritional platform from which to take advantage of the spring weather conditions for healthy growth.


There is a very strong argument for using 0.5 litres/ha of C-Weed 50 at this stage to kick start plant development because it aids the crop in developing its own growth hormones which will facilitate growth at lower temperatures and thereby increase the number of days the crop is actively growing. The other option if you are going to use Tebuconazole and you want to get some growth regulator effect from it at lower temperatures (that we are going to be experiencing according to the weather pundits) is that you should mix the Tebuconazole with Regulator. Regulator is a form of the Amix formulation which is designed to develop good healthy roots and increase the number of root hairs, which is going to ensure good anchorage as well as make the Tebuconazole perform better. The increased performance isn’t due to an adjuvant effect but a coincident biostimulant effect on the plant. In Poland where they used Regulator with the Tebuconazole last season they saw a measurable difference in crop response from the Tebuconazole and enhanced growth regulator activity. Regulator works at only 0.65 l/Ha, it’s not a high rate of application at all and even if you’re not using Tebuconazole it is worth thinking about because improved anchorage will give you better drought resistance and nutrient uptake going forwards.


By Wilson Boardman MD Micromix Plant Health

Jan 21

Consistent quality is the secret ingredient in Micromix’s formulations

Micromix is proud to announce that they are now certified as ISO 9001:2008 compliant, the most widely used and internationally-recognised framework for good business management covering the key area of ‘Quality Management’.  This ISO 9001:2008 compliancy demonstrates that Micromix has policies, processes and procedures in place to better meet ‘Quality Management and Customer’ requirements.

In order to successfully gain ISO 9001:2008 Micromix undertook an extensive round of reviews and recommendations in order to improve the established procedures and quality manual.  The process involved establishing measurable objectives, incorporating corrective actions and preventative actions central to maintaining customer satisfaction. During the course of the certification all members of staff have received additional training, establishing communication as the linch pin to improvement.

The international nature of the standard is universally understood and valued by Micromix’s client base worldwide. Compliance with ISO 9001:2008 recognises that Micromix’s policies, practices and procedures ensure that all its formulations are of a consistent quality and delivered by a consistent service. With this certification, customers can be confident that Micromix is dedicated to maintaining the highest efficiency and responsiveness in achieving our ultimate goal – guaranteed customer satisfaction. 


Dec 10

Planning the survival of winter Oilseed crops

“Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”, is an old adage but one that is very relevant with regard to ensuring winter sown OSR is prepared to survive the worst that winter has install for it.  As yet no one can predict at the point of sowing if it is going to face a mild or hard winter, an early or late spring, or flocks of hungry pigeons.

Not knowing what will happen, makes it even more important to ensure that the crop has the best start it can. One of the ways to do this is to provide it with all the micronutrients and stimulants it needs to establish good deep root growth in the milder autumn months, which enables the plant to have access to water and soil nutrients during the colder winter months.  Having a well-established root system will also aid its come back from excessive pigeon grazing.

Micromix’s Rape and Pulse mix will deliver a blend of nutrients that in the early growth stages supports the development of roots and maintains overall plant health during this rapid stage of development. Containing Manganese, Magnesium, Boron, Molybdenum, Sulphur and traces of Zinc and Iron, Micromix’s Rape and Pulse mix is perfectly formulated to provide the OSR plant with its nutrient needs that maybe lacking or locked up within the soil structure.

Micromix have developed a superior way of delivering the micronutrient needs of the OSR, known as the AcidPlex system; this proven delivery system ensures fast and efficient coverage of the leaf area.  Its ability to adhere to the leaf surface ensures the maximum nutrient absorption at the leaf surface, which increases the efficacy of the application and reduces waste; while also conditioning the spray water and improving compatibility with pesticides.

Nov 05

Feeding rapid growth in the early stages of establishment

During the early stages of germination plants, especially Oilseed rape (OSR), in autumn and early spring require a quick uptake of nitrogen to fuel the rapid cellular division that is taking place.  The importance of Nitrogen in this process is never in question and every effort is made to ensure that there is plenty available. However, the effective uptake and efficient use of Nitrogen could be limited by the lack of Boron available from the soil.

Boron was either contained in the rocks that weathered down to create the soil in your field or it wasn’t. There are some fields that will always have absent or low Boron levels; this is readily established by routine soil analysis.

In all crops Boron is vital in the early stages of growth for the conversion of carbohydrates into proteins to enable energy generating reactions, intracellular structure and membrane transport to take place within the plant.  During germination this will contribute to successful root establishment and growth.

Boron deficiencies will reduce the physical robustness of plants. It has often been referred to as the “glue” helping hold cellular structures together. Hence a deficiency in root crops will lead to cracking and the crown opening to cause crown-rot. De-lamination in allium species can also be a symptom of Boron shortage.

Ideally your soil should have 10-100kg of Boron per hectare, which roughly translates into between 1-10kg/ha of available Boron for the plant to use. The levels of plant available Boron in the soil can be affected by a number of factors such as, pH level, drought, low organic matter and excessive liming.  

Boron availability levels start to decline in soils with a pH level between 5.5 and 7.5, which is the pH range that favours the major nutrients. In France rather higher rates of Boron are used in many crops than is common in the UK, mostly because they have less Boron in the soil. However, it is worth noting that their OSR yields are consistently higher than ours, perhaps down to a Boron response?

Boron can go through the crop sprayer for foliar application in many forms. The Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate (DOT) powder was the standard treatment for many years and it is the most soluble form of any dissolvable Boron Salt. The hang-up with DOT is that it dissolves very slowly and creates an alkaline spray solution which antagonises pesticides reducing their efficacy dramatically. There’s not much point getting a cost effective Boron product if it requires a separate pass through the crop to apply it.

BroadAcre Boron is the same DOT material, but in a fast-dissolving ACIDplex formulation which CAN be tank-mixed and creates an acidified spray solution; improving uptake and activity as well as preventing it interfering with fungicide and insecticide efficacy.

There is a considerable weight of evidence that Boron and Molybdenum applied together have the most beneficial effect on Nitrogen metabolism efficiency, hence products like Borimol which is based on Boron (BE) Ethanolamine, but with a complementary micro-element Molybdenum content. The liquid BE formulation has become more popular in recent years and is readily absorbed by the leaf, but sometimes does not seem to generate as high a tissue Boron level as equivalent elemental quantities of DOT, and unfortunately also generates alkaline spray water.

The traditional crops that require Boron supplements, sugar beet, OSR and brassicas, are now being joined by carrots, potatoes and even cereals in responding to foliar Boron.