With the launch of Endoprime, Sumitomo have increased their range of Organic Certified Allowed Inputs to 10 with more in the pipeline.
Endoprime contains arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, beneficial fungi that naturally exist in soils colonizing the root systems of plants to form a symbiotic relationship. The 4 high performing species contained in Endoprime have been proven to increase crop productivity as well as overall plant and soil health.
So how does it work?
Within the soil, plant roots are limited in the area they can access and absorb nutrients and moisture. Root hairs which absorb nutrients and moisture through the tops of the hair are typically only a few millimetres long. The area beyond this is commonly referred to as the depletion zone. Mycorrhizal hyphae grow out well beyond the depletion zone. With hyphae stretching out up to 65cm. The hyphae can absorb beneficial moisture and nutrients along their entire length, meaning more efficient nutrient uptake and healthier plants.
Also important is mycorrhizae’s ability to produce a carbon rich secretion called glomalin. Glomalin is a sticky secretion exuded by the hyphae that helps solubilise insoluble soil nutrients but also helps build soil carbon and soil aggregation, building overall soil health.
In a recent trial on the Mornington peninsula, Richard Hawkes the farm manager for the family owned Hawke Farm trialled Endoprime on a planting of Kipfler potatoes which are a relatively expensive crop and notoriously susceptible to diseases. We caught up with Richard just after harvest:
“On the untreated potatoes we were harvesting 20 tons per acre” he told us, “in the treated block we were harvesting 22.44 tons to the acre so an increase of over 10% is very significant, especially in Kipflers.”
The other very noticeable difference however was in the number of small versus medium to large potatoes in the 2 blocks. The untreated area had a ratio of 33% small and 67% large whereas the treated area had only 20% small and 80% large when sorted. When you consider that the medium to large potatoes can attract a very significant price premium then you can really appreciate the benefits that Endoprime brings.
The benefits are not limited to potato crops
In fact over 80% of the worlds plant species form a beneficial bond with Mycorrhizae. Australian trials have shown benefits in Potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, tomatoes, wheat, grapes, sorghum and capsicum, and globally, the benefits have been observed across a large range of crops. A small number of crops however do not form a bond with Mycorrhizae and it is worth talking to your local agronomist or Sumitomo rep to identify whether Endoprime can benefit your produce.
Endoprime is easy to use and can be applied via seed dressing, seedling dip, in-furrow, drip irrigation, fertilizer mix and other methods.
Jock Leys, business development manager from Sumitomo Chemical says,
“we are very excited to be bringing Endoprime to market here in Australia. Current farming practices and environmental conditions mean that we work our soils very hard.Putting something back that improves the health and quality of the soil and the plant can only be of benefit. With Endoprime we have seen excellent yield and quality responses across a range of crops and expect that over time growers will also see the benefits of overall improved soil health. Additionally, Endoprime has been certified as an organic input and as such, growers can be confident it will leave crops residue free.”