Natural fungi solution helps crops in drought

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Organic fertilizer and plant protection specialist Agrocode, part of the Kimitec Group, has launched a new product that makes use of natural, beneficial fungi to help fruit and vegetable growers achieve viable harvests even when faced with droughts or other challenging conditions.

With fresh produce growers in many of the world’s drier regions facing ever more extreme weather, the importance of realizing the maximum potential of natural environments is now vital for achieving sustainable supplies of fresh fruits and vegetables.

To begin to address these needs, Agrocode has acquired the patent for Mycogel, an innovative product which uses natural, beneficial fungi (mycorrhizae in vitro) to help plants endure extreme conditions increasing water and nutrient absorption by crops.

The beneficial fungi present in the gel work to stimulate plant growth and survival during stress conditions, such as drought, salinity, poor soil quality or extreme pH (acidity).

Mycogel’s natural ingredients also help plants protect themselves against harmful bacteria, fungus or nematodes (pathogens) and pest attacks, while promoting greater plant vigour and survival after transplantation.

However, most importantly from a production point of view, the beneficial fungi present in the product help achieve an optimal nutritional balance in plants, in the process increasing crop yields and profitability.

Mycogel puts our soil to work (The Phosphorous Effect)

Mycogel1 uses mycorrhizae, a beneficial fungi2 which enters plant roots without damaging them and instead stimulates significant root growth.

According to Agrocode’s own research, for each centimetre of plant root treated, three metres of mycorrhizal root are produced which enable the plant to access areas of soil that could not previously be reached.

With the highest content available on the market of ultrapure mycorrhizae, Mycogel helps plants to better absorb water and nutrients, ensuring a greater quality and quantity of production.

The fungi contained in Mycogel emit hyphae (fungus’ long, branching structure) that enable them to reach these previously inaccessible layers of soil and in the process create a formidable network for the absorption of water and nutrients.

They also produce enzymes that allow plants to absorb all sources of phosphorous present in the soil – even those that are blocked – enabling crops to benefit from one of the most important sources of natural nutrition.

Strengthened global position

Speaking about the launch of the product, Kimitec general manager Félix Garcia said Mycogel would help strengthen the company’s position in global markets.

“We have managed to achieve a perfect combination of water, nutrients and phosphorous in Mycogel, through which we can ensure a high crop production levels,” he said.

Garcia said Agrocode’s acquisition of the worldwide patent for Mycogel from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) would enable the company to enter and become technological leaders in the global market for mycorrhizal fungi inoculants.

“Our patent protects the in vitro manufacturing process of this mycorrhizae-based inoculant whose gel-basis enables perfect application via irrigation and maintains all forms of mycorrhization – not just the spores – in an active condition,” he explained.

The in vitro manufacturing process also allows Agrocode to offer clients a guarantee that no other microorganisms are present in the gel.

“Our manufacturing process enables us to offer a product with a mycorrhization content that is 50 times higher than any rival solution, as a result of which we are able to deliver the most technologically-advanced and efficient product of its kind available on the market,” Garcia added.

Sales growth

Mycogel is just one of a portfolio of products which have helped the Kimitec Group achieve strong market growth over the past 12 months, with sales increasing by 30% during 2013 compared with the year before.

Key products include Bombardier, a new generation organic biofertilizer which uses amino and fulvic acids to help growers achieve optimal ripening results, increased fruit size and quality, and vegetative development, as well as further boosting plant resistance during stress situations.

Based in Almeria, Spain, Kimitec operates in more than 40 countries across the global, including the US, Israel and Brazil.

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