The Dirty Work: R/P Blend Greenhouse Study

Jul 12, 2017
Reducing Plant Shock

Seedling establishment in sensitive crops is a crucial step in cultivation. Proper seedling transplanting requires the young plants’ ability to overcome what is commonly known as transplant shock. This process has many hurdles for the seedling in terms of root development, acclimation to transplanted soil, and survival over any abiotic or biotic stress, not to mention the need to bloom and produce fruits.

Often, the transplanted seedling fails to overcome one or many of these obstacles, which results in poor seedling establishment, growth, flowering and fruit set.

R/P Blend

To help farmers with this growing problem, BioFlora formulated and tested a new product, RP Blend (RP is short for root promoter). This blend is a rich, proprietary fusion of humic acid, seaweed, ionic minerals, microbial based growth promoters, plant growth regulators/hormones, and patented isolate technology unique to BioFlora.

This rich blend assists any seedling overcome transplant shock, aids in vigorous root and shoot growth, helps establish a healthy crop with a natural resistance to disease, allowing for quality flowering and fruit development.

Greenhouse Trial

The ILSRC performed trials in the Plant Research Laboratory, which functions as a greenhouse proving-ground for many BioFlora products. The trial began in winter 2016 on strawberry varieties Seascape and Albion.

Albion Strawberries
This variety of strawberry produces very large fruit that is mostly conical, very firm and red in color. To get the high yields it is capable of producing, this variety will need a stronger watering and nutrient program than any other everbearer.

Seascape Strawberries
This variety of strawberry produces large berries that are firm and have good flavor when ripe. The plants have the potential to become the most productive in summer and fall growing seasons if tended to and supplied the proper nutrition.

Fig. 1: BioFlora Treatment (Above) Treated leaf samples pulled from Seascape variety treated strawberry plants, notice longer stems and fuller leaves.
Fig. 1: Control Treatment (Above) Untreated leaf samples pulled from Seascape variety strawberry plants, notice the difference in smaller sizing.

Obejctives

  • To prevent transplanting shock
  • For better seedling establishment
  • To overcome transplanting stress towards better flowering
  • Enhanced disease resistance


Treatment

Treated strawberry bare roots received RP Blend at the rate of 12 ounces per 55 gallons of water per 1.5 acres. Treatment lasted for 48 hours and immediately transplanted. An untreated plot was given RO water.

Fig 2: Control Plant (Left) BioFlora Plant (Right)
Check out the BioFlora difference in root and leaf growth just a few months after treatment.

Results

Seedlings established better vigorous root and shoot growth in RP Blendtreated bare roots compared to the control, where more than 50% failed to establish (Fig 1).

RP Blend seedlings overcame transplant shock and established a robust and healthy strawberry crop for both varieties (Fig 2).

RP Blend application yielded vigorous root growth, enabling better nutrient and water uptake.

RP Blends’ rich plant growth regulators (PGR’s) stimulated the growth processes, enabling a healthy and stronger shoot. During the trial, this led to enhanced root and shoot growth over the control plot.

The RP Blend also increased leaf size and leaf number. This application enhanced the total chlorophyll content by 10%, which aids in the crucial photosynthesis process. Larger leaf area harvests more sunlight for this process.

Fig 5: BioFlora Treatment Treated and transplanted strawberry plants display more uniform growth and development, as well as larger sizing and fruit set.
Fig 4: Control Plot Uneven and reduced growth and flowering, under-developed fruit set due to low transplant establishment in untreated strawberry plants.

View Fig 4 and Fig 5 to see results.

RP Blend clearly provided better seedling and plant establishment due to enhanced disease resistance (Fig. 6).

More than 50% of the seedlings perished in the control (Fig. 7), where ~92% of the seedlings that received the BioFlora treatment survived and established healthy roots to produce quality strawberry fruits.

The isolate technology incorporated into the RP Blend contains beneficial microorganisms designed to suppress soil-borne plant pathogens. These bacterial species impart systemic disease resistance in plants and support a healthy rhizosphere, which is clear in the treated strawberry plantings versus the control.

When used as a pre-plant dip, RP Blend reduces transplant shock and improves plant growth.

Fig 7: Untreated Control (Left) Close up photo of untreated strawberry plant, notice small leaves, uneven sizing under-developed growth and diseased trifoliate leaf.
Fig 6: BioFlora Treatment (Left) Close up photo of treated strawberry plant, notice full leaves, uniform dark green color and improved growth rates. This can be attributed to reduced disease presence.

RP Blend enhanced seedling establishment and plant growth through its rich source of plant growth regulators. Treated plants had a higher number of flowers and fruits with better quality (Fig 8).

Treated fruits were bigger with a Brix value of 8.9, where the control had a Brix value of 6.9. RP blend is a plentiful source of auxins, cytokinins and gibberellins, which enhance these fruit qualities.

At the end of this trial, RP Blend enhanced microbial diversity and enzymatic activity in the rhizosphere, aided in pathogen suppression and assisted in micronutrient flocculation and root zone protection.

(Fig 8) Treated Strawberry (Left) Untreated Strawberry (Right)

Nothing is more important than starting the season with clean, strong transplants.

RP Blend has been proven to help strawberry plants overcome the shock of transplanting, and the damage from soil-borne plant pathogens.

This greenhouse trial shows that RP Blend treated transplants are healthier, with larger and better quality root systems.

Use RP Blend as a pre-plant dip on strawberries or any other transplant crop. Applying RP Blend as a pre-plant dip will reduce transplant shock, improve plant growth, root growth, root quality, flowering and fruit set.

With RP Blend as part of a transplanting program, growers will see improved control over a broad spectrum of diseases and common growth obstacles.

Treatment with RP Blend strengthens the defense systems of strawberry plants and better protects against attacking diseases and other environmental stresses.

RP Blend is a powerful product to protect seedlings and avoid transplant shock for better crop establishment.

After planting, incorporate a full BioFlora program for improved yields, enhanced quality and disease suppression.

Our Previous Work

Our case studies are a true testament to the continued power of our evolving product line. As an industry leader, BioFlora has conducted several field trials with proven product performers on strawberry crops to help growers realize even greater success. Over the course of three field trials, we reduced NPK inputs, increased blooms and fruits, leading to more trays picked and more profit for the grower. Check out our extensive work on this sensitive crop on our website at www.bioflora.com. Visit the “What’s Happening” page and click “Case Studies”.

About ILSRC

The ILSRC is an exceptional research and development division, who investigate a variety of subjects in multiple industries. The ILSRC consists of five state-of-the-art laboratories, that service BioFlora and its research needs. These five laboratories are the Microbiology Laboratory, the Molecular Biology Laboratory, the Isolate Production Laboratory, the Microalgae Laboratory and the Plant Research Laboratory. Each of these laboratories has an important functions to further science and discovery.

The Plant Research Laboratory

The plant research laboratory is an on-site greenhouse focused on exploring essential components of crop growth and root zone management. This installation furthers the ILSRC’s objectives to develop sustainable practices and applicable results for use throughout the worldwide agricultural industry. With the Plant Research Laboratory, efficacy data is fine-tuned for the support of in-field BioFlora product trials. To date, the greenhouse has conducted germination trials, drought-tolerance studies and product research. To learn more go to www.ilsrc.com

About BioFlora

BioFlora® was founded in 1972 with a goal to conceptualize, develop, manufacture, market, and deliver a proprietary product line to the agricultural community. Through our innovative products and programs, we provide solutions to our customers in both domestic and international markets. Today, we have over 30 unique proprietary products that benefit growers, retailers and consumers alike. Our organic and sustainable agricultural programs maximize the efficacy and efficiency of traditional agricultural inputs, while being mindful of their environmental impact.