Feb 23 2024

How to get spring crops resilient and ready

Improving the resilience and readiness of spring crops for the challenges of the growing season is becoming increasingly crucial for profitable harvests, with weather extremes, rising input costs, and loss of authorised plant protection products putting increasing pressure on growers and their crops.

Optimising plant health from day one – by priming seeds with Newton – rather than treating plants, is the number one thing you can do to build stronger, healthier, more resilient plants, better able to cope through the entire growing cycle.

Sourced exclusively from plants, Newton is a biostimulant seed treatment comprised of unique stimulating peptides that stimulate plants to thrive.

Managing the balance of growth promoting hormones versus growth inhibiting hormones, Newton not only triggers faster germination, it also signals exceptional root and shoot growth and the defence systems of plants.

Newton is backed by a wealth of research, field trials data and grower endorsements, meaning you can be confident in its performance. You can find out how Newton can help get your spring crops resilient and ready by reading on below.

Proven results with Newton

Germination up to two days faster

Higher emergence with more plants per sqm

Significant rooting benefits of up to 64%

Significant increases in root nodule numbers of +66%, demonstrating increases in nitrogen-fixing-bacteria and NUE in beans

Drought resilience benefits

Yield increases of up to 10% in spring crops

Faster germination

Newton signals germination, leading to faster emergence. Controlled environment studies at the University of Nottingham have shown Newton brings forward cereal germination by two days in comparison with naked seed.

Chemical seed dressings have the potential to delay crop emergence by several days, whereas field trials and farmer feedback have shown Newton treated seed can emerge four to five days faster over single purpose dressing.

Further germination studies at Nottingham university in January 2024, also confirmed benefits in pulses with Newton providing enhanced seed germination in both peas and beans at 6 degrees celsius.

For peas the time taken to achieve 90% germination was improved by around 1.5 days and for beans by two days.

How to get spring crops resilient and ready

Higher emergence

With improvements in germination and speed of emergence, replicated trials have also shown improvements in the number of plants establishing per sqm.

Replicated field trials typically show establishment benefits in both winter and spring crops taken to yield.

With the dry springs of recent years, improved establishment, both above and below ground, has featured in many spring crop trials, such as spring barley as shown here.

Significant rooting increases

Of course, to continue that growth and development, a good root system is vital for both nutrient and water capture to sustain the growing plant. Increasing the efficiency of a plant is key to getting spring crops resilient and ready.

Poor rooting has implications for plant health and ultimately how you will need to manage that plant during its life.

This is where Newton has the potential to make a real difference too, with Nottingham University trials demonstrating an average 43% increase in root mass in wheat and spring barley compared with naked seed. 

These rooting benefits – and the subsequent improvements in water capture and nutrient uptake – are advantages growers are benefiting from, with leaf tissue tests revealing increases in nutrient uptake, and farmers confirming improved resilience in the drier springs.

Subsequent studies at the university continue to demonstrate rooting benefits in other crops, including peas, beans, oats and maize – as shown below.

Effect of Newton on root and shoot growth

(Plants on left: naked seed; plants on right: Newton treated seed)

Source: Dr. Steve Rossall, University of Nottingham 2023


How to get spring crops resilient and ready

Significant increases in nitrogen use efficiency confirmed in beans

The research showed significant root growth increases in pulses (+28% in peas and +64% in beans).

In the beans, rhizobium was included in the growing compost. These bacteria colonise the roots of leguminous plants which in response, produce a swelling on the roots called nodules. It is inside these nodules that the bacteria fix nitrogen and convert it to ammonia, which is crucial for plant growth and development.

Dr. Rossall found that Newton significantly increased the number of root nodules – by 66% – meaning Newton supports higher populations of nitrogen-fixing-bacteria and increases nitrogen use efficiency in beans.

With a very limited number of seed treatments available in beans, this makes Newton a really exciting, cost-effective option for growers, both in terms of plant health and productivity. This is also reflected in field trials with improved vigour and yield recorded in peas and beans.

Drought resilience benefits

Newton contains crucial peptides that help plants tolerate and adapt to environmental stresses, such as drought and extreme temperature tolerance.

The improved rooting also has huge implications when it comes to drought resilience with further studies at the university demonstrating what happens when water is withdrawn.

The aim of the experiment was to investigate the effect of Newton on early root and shoot growth in spring barley in a drought situation.

Dr Rossall concluded that Newton enhanced both root and shoot development in the spring barley and that these effects were seen in unstressed and drought-stressed plants.

Statistically, this was represented as a 16% increase in shoot growth under no stress, and a 47% improvement under drought conditions. The greatest effects were seen on root development, and this allowed better survival in field soil when water was withdrawn – as shown.

Effect of Newton on drought resilience in spring barley

Crop vigour increases

Further work by the university has also proven a benefit to early shoot growth where Newton was used. Stimulating more shoot mass compared with naked seed, Newton has the ability to increase crop vigour, giving plants a competitive edge over challenging weeds and suboptimal weather conditions.

In trials this was proven by a 22% increase in shoot mass in both wheat and barley. Similar results were also seen in beans (57% increase), maize (30% increase), peas (27% increase), spring oats (9% increase) and spring barley (6% increase), demonstrating the flexibility of Newton to perform on a wide range of crops.

Such benefits we often see in the field, though we would encourage growers to pull plants during establishment to really look for the rooting benefits which is a really visible benefit of Newton.

Reduces reliance on synthetic inputs

With proven abilities in the field, Newton not only ensures vigorous crop establishment, it also helps to build stronger, healthier, more resilient plants less dependent on synthetic inputs.

Optimising seed health from day one is the best time in the growing season to build plant health, especially in spring crops where springs can be drier and there are less crop protection inputs available.

Crops which establish faster, have bigger root systems and have stronger defence systems are by their very nature, going to be more resilient and ready to cope with the challenges of the season.

Newton is the natural alternative to chemical seed treatments.

It is also verified for use in organic systems by the Soil Association and permitted for use by Organic Farmers and Growers.

How to incorporate Newton into your crop management plan to get your spring crops resilient and ready

Newton is recommended in winter and spring cereals, peas and beans, and can be applied to home saved seed by a mobile seed treater or simply request Newton when ordering your seed.

It can be applied to naked seed or can be easily co-applied with your standard seed dressing, making it a convenient option for growers looking to enhance crop resilience and readiness, without significant additional cost or effort.

As a non-microbial product, Newton will last on the seed for when you need to over year – there is no risk of it soiling or decaying like a microbial treatment would do.

Download our latest Newton guide here for more information.

Ask for Newton

Newton is available to order through a range of suppliers:

Agrii, Anglia Grain Services, Cope Seeds & Grain, Dods of Haddington, Alexander Harley Seeds Ltd, Messrs Alex Brewster, McCreath Simpson & Prentice, Goldingham Contracts, Frontier Agriculture Ltd.

For further information or technical questions on how Newton can help get your spring crops resilient and ready, please contact Stuart below.

Related Articles

Get in touch

Require technical assistance or product information? Please get in touch with our Technical Manager, Stuart Sutherland.

For all other general enquiries, please email or call us at the office. If you’d prefer, drop us a message using our contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Technical Enquiries
General Enquiries
Contact form

    Let’s grow together, sign up!

    (Sign up to our monthly newsletter)