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Martin Brown, Verdesian, on the challenges of time…

Agri-TechE Article

Martin Brown is Managing Director of Verdesian Life Sciences, developers of the biological, nutritional, seed treatment and inoculant technologies that maximise performance on key row crops such as wheat, corn, rye and soybeans. The company has developed a biostimulant that reduces the timeline for winter wheat establishment by 3 days. The theme of the REAP conference is time; Martin explains why this topic is so relevant to Verdesian.
“There are of course a multitude of challenges to choose from but I am selecting a challenge which in time frame is right now and that is – the ability to sow winter wheat in mid October/November and get it through the ground and established within as quick a time frame as possible. The reason this late drilling is taking place is to overcome a particular problem of herbicide resistant blackgrass.
The later sowing allows for germination of the black grass which can be removed in advance of drilling by light cultivation or systemic herbicide like glyphosate. Of course the issue is reducing soil and night temperatures which slow down germination of the seed and crop establishment at this time of year.
“Therefore any treatment of the seed that can reduce the days to reach 90% + germination and establishment to at least 2 true leaves is of significant importance.
“Verdesian is currently conducting laboratory and field trials across UK and Europe with a new biostimulant seed treatment product based on fermentation metabolites. Recent work conducted at Nottingham University demonstrated that the average timeline for winter wheat sown in soil at 7oC takes over 1 week to achieve 90 % + germination. The addition of the Verdesian seed treatment reduced the time for seed to hit 90% + germination by 28% compared to the untreated seed.
“We then looked at the time line for the germinating seed to reach the 2 leaf stage post crop-emergence. On average at 7oC soil temperatures this takes some 3 weeks from sowing the seed to having the crop reaching the 2 leaf stage. The addition of the Verdesian seed treatment reduced the time needed to reach the 2 leaf stage by 10.5% or in practical terms reducing the timeline for establishment by over 3 days.
“This may not seem much but at this time of year with lowering temperatures and daylight length, a matter of days improvement in establishment of the crop can be critical in providing a plant with strong root and shoot growth which in turn improves the plant’s ability to utilise available nutrients and radiation in readiness to overwinter.”
More about Verdesian Life Science

REAP 2021: Changing Time(s) for Agriculture10th November 2021

Imagine a world where agriculture is not constrained by time. The ability to manage and manipulate time is increasing and REAP 2021 will explore the advances in technology and breakthroughs in science that is making this possible.
REAP brings together people from across the agri-tech ecosystem who believe that innovation is the engine for change. The conference bridges the gap between producer needs and technology solutions and showcases exciting agri-tech start-ups.