Close this search box.

Agripower Head Agronomist reflects on Silicon in Agriculture

Agripower’s Head Agronomist Bruce Cairns recently attended the International Society for Silicon in Agriculture (ISSAG)’s 8th Conference in New Orleans. Held every three years, this forum brings together the world’s leading Silicon experts to globally advance and promote knowledge relevant to Silicon in agriculture.


“It was a fantastic atmosphere.” Mr. Cairns comments.


“There were over 180 people, some of the brightest minds I’ve met, all coming together to listen to the latest in Silicon research, and having some really robust discussions.


What we’re starting to see in the scientific community is significant excitement around taking broad understandings we have of how Silicon interacts with plants, and underwriting that with compelling evidence.


A great example is the Keynote Speaker Associate Professor Scott Johnson who spoke on the role Silicon plays in priming plant defences and gene expressions in plants under insect attack.


Another informative session came from Dr Wendy Zeller, and while her presentation looked at how Silicon functions as a plant nutrient, the real salient point of her presentation is that increasing knowledge of Silicon’s role is really helping to recognise silicon as a plant necessary nutrient needed in cropping systems.”


Cairns went on to comment that the industry seems ready for a step change. Higher fertiliser prices have prompted growers to start looking for new solutions, and has opened a few minds to the benefits of Plant Available Silicon.


Agripower’s Managing Director, Peter Prentice, echoed Mr. Cairns’ comments.


“Agrisilica® Silicon Fertilisers are now being exported to many countries globally with excellent results for farmers. Bruce has recently returned from India, and we’ve just been through Africa together, and the message that crops need silicon to reach their full yield potential is starting to sink in.


The need for increased nutrient use efficiency and water use efficiency in crop production has never been greater, and silicon plays such an important role in achieving this.


For years Agripower has been at the cutting edge of research into silicon fertilisers. We created the world’s first granulated silicon fertiliser product that is suitable for blending with NPK Fertilisers, and our results are consistently positive. Just as we see for other nutrients, plants with access to enough Plant Available Silicon thrive.


In Zimbabwe we saw a replicated trial on Maize conducted by the leading research organisation ART Farm, treated with Agrisilica® that increased yield by over 20%. This is in a crop that would typically be negative impacted by abiotic and biotic stress, and the application of Agrisilica® alongside their normal fertiliser program alleviated that stress in a way researchers hadn’t seen before.


The proof is in the pudding. These aren’t unique stories anymore, and growers around the world are starting to recognise the difference.”


To learn more about Agrisilica or to find out how we can help improve your crop yield, quality, and soil health, reach out to an Agripower agronomist or partner today.