The Dirty Work: Leaf Lettuce Case Study

Aug 11, 2015

BioFlora Inhibits Deadly Plant Pathogen Sclerotinia

BioFlora® began a trial on Tango Green and Lola Rose leaf lettuce in Salinas, California. The purpose of this trial was to test whether supplementing a conventional fertilizer program with BioFlora products would improve germination rate, weight and quality, reduce soil crusting, and inhibit Sclerotinia sclerotorium.

Sclerotinia sclerotorium is a plant pathogenic fungus that can cause a disease called white mold. Sclerotinia sclerotorium can also be known as: cottony rot, water soft rot, stem rot, drop, crow rot and blossom blight. A key characteristic of this pathogen is its ability to produce black resting structures known as sclerotia and white fuzzy growths of mycelium on the plant it infects. This pathogen can occur on many continents and has a wide host range of plants it will infect. When incidence of Sclerotinia sclerotorium is noticed, losses can be severe and quick action should be taken.

Case Study 1

In this trial, the control field used a conventional fertilizer program consisting of: phosphoric acid to reduce crusting, urea, and 10-34-0.

In the BioFlora treated field, we utilized our signature products: Humega®, Fulmega™ 1% Mg, and BioFlora Seaweed Creme®.

Humega enhances root protection by stimulating the growth of beneficial microbes.

Fulmega assists with higher yield even with less chemical fertilizer input.

BioFlora Seaweed Creme acts as a growth stimulant, assists with development, and protects plant growth and post-harvest shelf life.

Our Methods

Humega was applied at pre-plant, with two additional applications during the first two irrigation cycles.

BioFlora Seaweed Creme and Fulmega were applied as foliars at emergence and 10 days and 20 days after emergence.

Our Results

The scientific testing carried out using BioFlora products revealed:

  1. The control field had a germination rate of 94%, while the BioFlora field had a germination rate of 98%. The cost was a reduction of over 40%.
  2. The weight gain difference as evidenced by the harvesting trial showed an weight increase of 18.85% on the BioFlora field. This resulted in an average of $1,000 increased income per acre back to the grower.
  3. Soil biological analyses showed significant increases in all six categories of beneficial microbes in the treated BioFlora field.
  4. There were no disease indications, in spite of heavy rains, of Sclerotinia sclerotorium on the roots in the BioFlora field. This also resulted in the BioFlora crop having a larger and more developed root system over the control field.
control lettuce
Control field, head of leaf lettuce with high indications of the disease Sclerotinia sclerotorium.
tested lettuce
BioFlora field, head of leaf lettuce with no indications of the disease Sclerotinia sclerotorium.

About BioFlora

BioFlora aims to preserve our ecosystem through environmentally sustainable efforts as well as unique, proprietary product lines, which all of the products used in this trial are a part of. The core business model is to create a partnership between crops and soil which in turn focuses on the needs of the customer so that we can work with growers, instead of simply for growers.

To learn more about our case studies, see our What’s Happening page. For a full list of BioFlora products, visit our Products page.