Stress is one of the major limitations to crop growing worldwide. As crop growers and crop input consultants, knowing how to manage crop stress by utilising macro/micro nutrients and plant growth hormones (PGH) is important. The right combination of Macro/micro nutrients & PGH’s can be used to help the crop develop tolerance to prevailing stress conditions. This will further help to alleviate the adverse effect of stress on the crops.
There is no de facto way of managing crop stress. Depending on the type of stress, the crop, crop stage (timing) and other biotic and abiotic factors, a combination of remedial approaches might be necessary to trigger certain responds by the crop to overcome stress. These include but are not limited to the following mechanism:
- Improved root growth to increase the uptake of water which helps in stomata regulation.
- Maintaining high tissue water potential.
- Improved stress tolerance by osmotic adjustment.
- Activating the physiological, biochemical and metabolic processes in the Crop.
Reactive oxygen species and crop stress.
Crops respond to stress i.e drought, water-logging, frost damage, hail damage pest winter cropping conditions etc. in a similar fashion by increased generation of reactive oxygen species aka (ROS). This increase is as a result of the accumulation of energy in stressed crop. The accumulation of energy increases photo-oxidation and damages the chloroplast membrane. Most of the activities initiated by the increase in ROS during stressful conditions are toxic and hence detrimental to the crops.
Foliar application of the right crop health nutrients, at the right timing and concentration will help the crop trigger activities that will increase the concentration of antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), Catalase (CAT) and peroxidase (POD) in the plant cells. These antioxidants will help decrease the ROS levels, reduce the photo-oxidation and help maintain the integrity of chloroplast membrane. These activities will then lead to an increase in the photosynthetic rate in the crop thus, making the crop more stress tolerant.
N:B. Nothing replaces water by rainfall or irrigation. Our protocols are only meant to give the crops tolerance to water unavailability.