As part of the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI), farmers can receive £45 per hectare for using integrated pest management (IPM) approaches and relinquishing chemicals in favour of biological products.
“We welcome these incentives that will help growers in England rely less on chemical insecticides. Using biostimulants, especially those containing silicon, has repeatedly produced plants that are more resilient to stresses by improving cell strength, cell adhesion, and increasing cuticle thickness,” said biostimulant specialist James Kennedy from Orion FT.
Data collected in the UK has shown that applying silicon biostimulants to crops can improve plant health, subsequently making them more resilient against pests.
“The fundamental difference to using crop protection products is that silicon acts to improve overall plant and soil health. The accumulation of silicon also increases puncture resistance and leaf hair density, fortifying the plant’s natural defences,” explained Mr Kennedy.
SFI will apply to arable crops, legume and nitrogen-fixing crops, as well as horticultural and non-horticultural permanent crops. “Crops treated with silicon establish deeper-searching root structures capable of finding more nutrients and water. The UK is experiencing ever higher temperatures and longer drought periods so it makes sense to incentivise growers to use products that can counteract this,” he concluded.
For more information go to www.orionft.com