Home' Grower : October 2012 Contents The South Australian Grower -- October 2012
Stoller Beems-in on plant hormones
By STEPHANIE GROPLER
GROWERS and researchers were paying
the price of not coming to grips with the
importance of plant hormones, Stoller
research director Lance Beem told almond
growers at Renmark last month.
"I have noticed that a lot of people don't talk
about plant hormones," he said.
"University people just really talk about plant
diseases, insects, root stocks and soil
management ... it is almost an art that has died."
Mr Beem, from the United states, discussed
ways of using the Stoller technology to manage
growth, yields and improve plant root systems
Taught directly by the company's president and
hief executive officer Jerry Stoller, he explained
the importance of micronutrients and antioxidants
which indirectly affect plant hormones.
"It is very critical to understand that if you
have a zinc deficiency, you have an auxin
deficiency and auxin is the main hormone that
regulates everything else," Mr Beem said.
"Without auxin, you can't get cell division,
without auxin you can't get cell enlargement."
He said biennial and alternate bearing had a lot
to do with hormone balance in the buds.
"So if you are starting out in spring and have
flowers and new leaves pushing, they are relying
on the auxin levels put in reser ve in the fall after
you have har vested your crop.
"Cytokinin is the second most important
hormone because it regulates cell division and it
interacts on all levels with auxin to give you
fruitfulness and size as it comes from the root."
Mr Beem said many growers applied too much
nitrate nitrogen to trees, which meant a lack of
fruitfulness because of too much cell enlargement
and not enough cell division.
"If I can leave you with one simple message,
when you are managing your nitrogen program
for almonds, I encourage you to look at a ratio of
two units of nitrate to one of urea (or amine)
nitrogen," he said.
"What that will give you is the balance that you
are looking for so that you will be feeding the
bud tissue, not only for the fruit that is
developing now but the bud tissue for next year.
"At Stoller, we encourage everybody to
consider using products that will balance the
hormones of the plant."
Mr Beem recommended Flower Power, Liquid
Boron and Sugar Mover, which he said had
proved highly successful.
"Sugar Mover is very effective at setting up bud
tissue during growing cycles and we found that it
encourages the balance between the auxin and
the cytokinin hormones, which is what you want
during that growth cycle," he said.
"What we need is sufficient auxin in the
beginning and then we need cytokinin to
dominate the plant. The way to achieve this is to
use zinc and boron early.
"You use your nitrogen with some urea (amine)
in it to maintain the cytokinin so you can feed
that bud tissue for next year and encourage leaf-
to-nut ratio during the whole season."
Details: Stoller 08 8244 9588
Long-term bud development vital
Nitrate, urea balance boosts growth
Use zinc, boron applications early
WITH only 34 per cent of Australian
plantings in full production, the almond
sector is the fastest growing
horticultural industry for domestic and
export markets with production
expected to double by 2016.
"The Australian Almond Board met
early August and the estimates at that
stage was for a crop of around 70,000
tonnes," Almond Board of Australia
chief executive officer Ross Skinner
"This year, we produced 50,000
tonnes so that is significantly up and, if
anything, we think the 70,000 estimate
South Australia has experienced an
excellent winter for chilling and fruit
numbers are expected to return to
While many growers know the
amount of blossom can be deceiving,
Ross says this year looks to be
"The synchronisation of the varieties
flowering was really good this year so
there was a good strong overlap
between varieties which will have aided
cross-pollination," he said.
"We appear to have had good fruit set
with the fruit hanging on the trees, so
we haven't lost a lot to the ground so
that's quite promising from a yield point
of view this year."
Almonds bountiful, estimates improve
Lance Beem (inset)
encourages growers to
consider using products that
will balance the hormones
of the plant.
if you are starting out in spring
and have flowers and new
leaves pushing, they are relying
on the auxin levels put in
reserve in the fall after you have
harvested your crop
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