The Science of Silicon
The science behind Agripower’s Agrisilica® is compelling
Silicon is found naturally in soil and water. Why add more?
Silicon (Si) is second only to oxygen as the earth’s most abundant element. However, in order to be taken up by plants, silicon must be in soluble form: monosilicic acid or orthosilicic acid Si(OH)4 – also known as Plant Available Silicon (PAS).
PAS in nature is often not available in sufficient quantities for crops, due to leaching, being bound to other soil minerals, or loss caused by soil erosion. Agripower’s Agrisilica® contains a uniquely high amount of PAS. One of nature’s key building blocks, plants need silicon for growth, strength and reproduction. Agripower’s Agrisilica® delivers PAS in dry or liquid fertiliser options, revitalising and conditioning soils, and improving plant biology actions which stimulate growth and protect plants.
Soils need Silicon
Important environmental benefits from adding PAS to soils include:
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions (particularly nitrogen volatilization)
- Reduced water consumption
- Reduced nutrient leaching and run-off into ground water, water systems and oceans (less aquatic/marine ecosystem damage)
- Increased carbon sequestration in soils and plants.
Optimising Nutrient Outcomes
Silicon, in plant available form, will:
- Deliver its own specific benefits to soils and plants
- Optimise fertiliser performance – traditional fertilisers including NPK, MAP and DAP will have their benefits optimised when accompanied by Agrisilica®.
AAPFCO and other key organisations have recognised the value of plant available silicon as a beneficial nutrient in agriculture.
Law of the Minimum
How Silicon Improves Crop Production
Plant Available Silicon (PAS) Improves Crop Production
To optimise crop performance, Agrisilica® boosts soils by delivering a naturally derived silicon. Agrisilica’s® unique structure interacts with soil moisture to form monosilicic acid (PAS).
Adding Agrisilica® (high in PAS) increases photosynthesis:
- Plant leaves are held more upright capturing more sunlight, increasing photosynthesis rates
- Reduces lodging, make plant more erect
- Increased photosynthesis results in increased plant energy and increased root growth
- Increased root growth results in increased capture and uptake of more nutrients and water.
Adding Agrisilica® (high in PAS) increases crop resilience to Abiotic & Biotic crop stresses:
- Plant less susceptible to extreme conditions e.g. drought, salinity, alkalinity, heat, frost
- Transpiration rates are lowered (reducing water loss)
- PAS is stored in growing points as phytoliths.
- PAS includes plant’s natural defence responses to pests and pathogens via a combination of:
- Physical measures (increased plant cell wall thickness) and
- Biochemical measures (increased antioxidant and enzymes activities).
- Improves soil structure (oxygen)
- Increases plant root growth for improved uptake of water and nutrients
- Increases soil organic matter
- Increases soil’s water holding capacity, more water available to plant as needed
- Increases soil biology / microbial activity
- Harmful minerals (e.g. aluminium, cadmium, sodium) are ‘locked up’ in the soil
- Leaching of valuable nutrients is reduced.
Agrisilica® can be added to soils and crops in dry (granular, chip or powder form) or added to irrigation systems (powder or liquid form).
Agrisilica® reduces crop loss
Total crop failure
Reduced water uptake
Decreased nitrogen assimilation
Altered gene expression
Disorganisation of membrane systems
Altered protein synthesis
Total crop failure
Reduced crop quality
Agrisilica® - Proven mitigator against abiotic and biotic stress
Investing in Research and Development
Since 2012 Agripower has engaged extensively in researching the benefits of plant available silicon with over 600 trials conducted around the world in both controlled and commercial situations on a wide range of crops.
Our work reveals substantial proven benefits for the environment, the farmer and the future of sustainable intensified farming and climate smart agriculture.