July 2020

How we can help our crops in case of common environmental stresses

A crop can suffer for different types of stresses. The stresses can be ranked in two groups: abiotic and biotic and, for the first group, they can be categorized in environmental (see later), agronomic (such as those due to transplanting, pruning, error due to the use of products for plant protection) and those related to sensitive phases (such as stresses due to flowering, fruit set and ripening).

The stresses most common and most easily recognized by the farmers are those due to environmental conditions that are dependent on weather conditions (frosting, high temperature, drought, flooding, deviation from the optimal value of relative humidity, hail, wind). Even if they are for the most predictable, to physically protect the plants is almost impossible in open field and the success is not guaranteed in protected cultivations.

This because apart from the direct negative effects of the stress, there are a series of secondary consequences linked to the original conditions. For instance, the sudden rise of the temperature is usually coupled with water shortage that results in excessive transpiration and osmotic unbalance resulting in a slowdown of vegetative and productive activities, and subsequently able to negatively affect quality and yield.

In all situations of stress, each crop reacts in a way that is the combination of its genetic potential, of the phenological moment in which happen the stress (after transplanting, at flowering), of its health and of the severity of the stress (intensity and duration). Also in this case, the variables manageable by the farmers are limited.

Observing a stress from the point of view of a plant, the practice consequence of an adverse condition (or its linked conditions) can be summarized in an interruption of a high number of metabolic pathways and physiological processes. These drastic actions are done with the aim of addressing the efforts necessary for reacting and fighting specifically against the stress condition. In every single plant, this is done through the synthesis of a range of molecules useful as protective and reactive tools (a mixture of “nurses, doctors and soldiers”).

One of the biggest limitations in the capacity of a crop in reacting to stress is that the synthesis of the molecules and of the quantity needed for each molecule is time- and energy-consuming.

PROTEO INTERNATIONAL S.r.l. has thus developed a group of products specific for this situation characterized by a common ingredient in the formulations: N-acetyl-thiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid also known with the abbreviation of ATCA.

This molecule is the precursor of several other cofactors and molecules that can be rapidly and easily synthesized by the plant after the application of the product, thus creating the various instruments needed to react and fight against the stress.

The products are:

• STIMOFOL: liquid, ATCA at 5% w/w, foliar application;

• PROSTIM: liquid, ATCA plus Nitrogen, Carbon and amino acids, foliar application;

• NUTRI PLUS: liquid, ATCA plus Nitrogen, Carbon, amino acids and chelated micronutrients, foliar application.

According to the management done by the farmer or the technical characteristic of the cultivation (such as how often is possible in the practice to do a treatment during the growing cycle), the strategy adopted in helping the plant can be preventive or curative. In the first case the product is applied regularly during the growing cycle in order to have a crop always ready to react to the stress (in the practice it means use low quantity of product with a regular and defined frequency). In the second case the product must be used at a high dosage (higher than in the preventive strategy) rapidly at the beginning of the stress or immediately after the condition responsible for the stress.

For more info search the mentioned products in the Products section - category Specialty Products and download the Technical data sheets.