According to East of Scotland Growers agronomist, James Rome, clubroot is one of the biggest crop health challenges facing vegetable growers in the region at the moment. “There’s growing concern over clubroot and in a wet year like last year, the presence is far more visible than in a dry year like 2018.”

However, despite the challenge, biostimulants could be part of the solution and James says he’s seen the benefits of using Bridgeway first-hand on several different vegetable crops.

“I first started using Bridgeway last year, initially to help combat plant stress, and where we used it, we saw a significant improvement to crop health.”

James first utilised the product in a field of cauliflower on light land that had become very dry – meaning the crop was showing significant signs of stress. “While we didn’t measure yield, we did see a significant visual improvement in the cauliflower. It was much greener and definitely less stressed.”

With specific clubroot pressures, Bridgeway has also proved to be effective in putting life back into struggling crops, he adds. “I used Bridgeway in conjunction with fulvic acid on a field of broccoli that was heavily impacted by clubroot and together, the two products saved the crop.

“Before we applied it, despite it being fairly early in the crop growth stage, the field wasn’t going to make a viable yield. With nothing to lose, we applied a fairly heavy dose of Bridgeway (5l/ha) and it helped turn the crop into something that was economically viable.”

Though James has predominately used a reactive approach when it comes to applying Bridgeway, he’s also seen benefits when it’s been used as a preventative measure too. “As a bit of trial, I tried drenching broccoli modules with Bridgeway, in a broccoli following carrots situation.

“Traditionally, the grower treats his modules with a general trace element mix, so we applied that to the whole field, except a small 0.5ha trial plot that was treated with Bridgeway.”

James applied approximately 1 litre of Bridgeway across about 25,000 plants and says there was a noticeable benefit to the Bridgeway-treated broccoli. “These improvements included better establishment and a slightly bigger plant, which ultimately has an impact on yield.”

With such an improvement to vegetable production, James is trialling the effects of drenching on modules again this year, though it’s too early to say how this will affect performance. “With disease issues and diminishing chemistry presenting as key challenges for vegetable growers, biostimulants are something that I think we’ll all be needing to utilise more.

“The issue is that there’s so many different products on the market that sorting the wheat from the chaff – so to speak – is difficult. But Bridgeway is certainly one that works for us.”