Bridgeway can lift cereal yields
Frontier agronomist Neil Leech believes Bridgeway can lift cereal yields across his area of Suffolk and South Norfolk, which ranges from light Breckland soils to heavy clays.
This week’s rain has come in the nick of time for crops, which were starting to look very stressed after a dry April. The 20mm received on Wednesday (8th May) was a game changer and more rainfall in the forecast will help replenish soil reserves.
While the dry conditions are not seriously threatening yield potential at this stage – winter crops are well rooted after the favourable autumn establishment conditions – some of the spring barleys and sugar beet crops were starting to struggle.
This is the second year I’ve used Interagro’s biostimulant product Bridgeway. I tried it for the first time in 2018 on a light land wheat crop, one that was already stressed by the hot, dry weather that year, applying a single treatment at flag leaf emergence. This was not a yield trial, but the crop went on to produce 2.5 tonnes/acre, which I feel is respectable for light land in an exceptionally dry year.
In hindsight, I believe the treatment was applied too late. Ideally, it should be applied early as part of a full crop protection programme. Therefore, this year we have applied Bridgeway to wheat in split dressings in tank mixes with fungicide treatments – 1litre/ha at T0, followed by 2l/ha at both T1 and T2.
There is a visual difference within 24 hours of Bridgeway treatment. The crop gets its colour back. We’ve also tried it on spring barley at the 4-5 leaf stage, and again, the crop appears to be greener after treatment.
I believe Bridgeway works by encouraging the plant to scavenge more available nitrogen, which in turn delays leaf senescence and contributes to a longer grain-filling period that lifts the yield.
We need new agronomic technologies such as biostimulants and I am convinced at the work Interagro has put into understanding how its biological crop protection products work and the effort to explain this to agronomists and growers in a practical and logical way.
I have no doubt that treatments such as Bridgeway will become more important to agronomists as the choice of conventional chemistry available reduces through resistance and tighter regulatory pressures.
These alternative products will help to meet this growing gap in agronomic treatments, while also meeting the need for a more sustainable approach by utilising resources better, especially plant nutrients.Neil Leech, Agronomist, Frontier Agriculture Ltd