Think of a crop and you will find it growing somewhere in India, a country that occupies a massive land area over broad bands of latitude and longitude and with a corresponding wide range of climate, weather patterns and soil systems. And ‘serviced’ by a plant nutrition specialist company with such depth and breadth in its product portfolio there is literally something for every situation. The company is Omex Agrifluids active throughout Asia especially in India and within the wider Indian sub-continent.
by Terry Mabbett, Crop Nutrition Consultant
I travelled to Kings Lynn in eastern England where Omex has its headquarters, research facilities and manufacturing capacity to speak with managing director Peter Prentis, whose remit for research/development and marketing covers the whole of Asia.
Omex will be exhibiting at KISAN 2019 India’s largest agricultural exhibition taking place 11th – 15th December 2019 at Moshi, Pune in Maharashtra State. Peter Prentis will be on the Omex Agrifluids stand to meet with delegates and attendees, so I asked him to provide a flavour of the products to be presented.
“It is difficult to know where to start given the breadth of agricultural and horticultural activity in India and being able to call on the wide range of nutrient formulations in the Omex product portfolio. However, pride of place must go to Omex Albert Solution, a soluble powder product, custom-designed for Indian growers and introduced in 2018. And proving to be a great success especially within India’s fast growing and increasingly sophisticated greenhouse cropping sector and market,” Peter told Far Eastern Agriculture.
Peter Prentis sums up the success of Omex Albert Solution in three words – complete, balanced and water-soluble.
- Complete in containing a full range of essential plant nutrients:
- Macronutrients – nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium
- Mesonutrients – calcium, magnesium, sulphur
- Micronutrients – copper, zinc, iron, boron, manganese, molybdenum
- Balanced by containing a full range of nutrients which can work in unison
- Water-soluble, allowing nutrients to be immediately plant-available through foliar uptake and absorption, and movement and utilisation within the plant
But the Omex contribution to plant and crop nutrition in India does not stop there. “In addition, to Omex Albert Solution a wide range of globally-used products are marketed in India for the widest range of crops and farming systems,” says Peter Prentis.
First on the agenda is a ‘stress busting’ product with a root growth input and effect at any time in the crop cycle but especially at the germination, seedling establishment and transplant stages when plant stress is most likely to strike. Omex Bio 20 furnishes a full complement of essential plant nutrients boosted by biostimulation from the inclusion of a specific and special seaweed extract. This organically-active combination contained in Omex Bio 20 promotes root growth and development to maximise uptake of water and nutrients to overcome physiological stresses (e.g. high temperature and/or drought) or stress caused by pests and disease. Omex Bio 20 is widely and successfully used on outdoor and greenhouse-grown salad crop vegetables, grapes and a wide range of other fruit crops including pomegranate.
Omex Kingfol Zinc
Omex Kingfol Zinc is a dedicated, stand-alone and soluble, high-zinc product containing 70% w/v (weight/volume) of this essential micronutrient. Zinc is the most widely distributed and frequently found micronutrient in soils but not always ‘ready and available’ to plant roots. In some areas natural soil supplies may be exhausted by continual cropping without fertilizer replenishment, while in others zinc is ‘locked up’ and unavailable to plant roots; and especially when at low levels in phosphorous-rich soils, where zinc reacts with phosphate to form insoluble zinc phosphate.
Omex Kingfol Zinc with 70% w/v soluble zinc and applied as a foliar spray ‘short circuits’ any soil-related zinc shortfall. Zinc is integrally involved within a broad range of enzyme activity and thus vital to plant physiology, growth and development throughout the whole crop cycle. However, zinc’s specific role in root growth makes the product particularly pertinent to the early crop stages, while an association with calcium in the crop maturation stage helps to alleviate fruit quality problems such as bitter pit in apples. Zinc deficiency is especially common in grapevines with leaf mottling and in citrus which displays a range of symptoms including chlorosis (yellowing) in the interveinal areas of the evergreen citrus leaves.
Omex Sequential 2
Omex Sequential 2 is a broad-based nutrient product containing a range of essential nutrients but especially ‘rich’ in potassium the so-called ‘gatekeeper’ nutrient due to its basic and intrinsic role in plant water relations. This is achieved by control of stomatal movement and the transport of soluble sugars and thus with a crucial role in governing the osmotic potential of plant cells and tissue. During periods of high potassium requirement, such as reproductive growth and development, Omex Sequential 2 supplies large amounts of potassium while maintaining the required levels of other macro and micronutrients.
Light sandy soils typically chosen for greenhouse cultivation of salad crop vegetables are among the most frequently deficient in magnesium, a component of the chlorophyll molecule and therefore key to photosynthesis and contained at 1.5% w/v in Omex Sequential 2. This fully water soluble emulsion fertilizer with NPK, magnesium and chelated micronutrients is widely established for use as a foliar feed in tomato and capsicum pepper, strawberries and a wide range of vegetable crops.
Omex soluble nutrient products are widely used on strawberries whether grown in greenhouses or outdoors (Picture Omex Agrifluids)
Omex Calcium Boron
Boron is the least well-known and understood micronutrient and required in ‘minimalist’ amounts, even by normal micronutrient standards, but essential nevertheless for proper plant growth and development. Boron has deep involvement and crucially important roles in transport of sugars across cell walls as well as the synthesis of cell wall material, with an additional positive influence on stages and mechanisms in sexual reproduction including flowering, pollination and fruit formation. For instance, grapes are acutely susceptible to impaired flower fertilisation when boron supplies are inadequate. Boron deficiency is commonly encountered in crops grown on dry soils with a pH >6.5 (increasingly alkaline). Boron is combined with calcium in Omex Calcium Boron for use as a foliar spray specifically in grapes, strawberries and more widely in fruit and vegetable crops including legumes (peas and beans) and carrots.
Omex Calmax Gold and Omex DP98
This pair of Omex products is considered together due to the high synergistic activity achieved when they are used in tandem as a foliar spray. As the name implies Omex Calmax Gold is especially high in soluble calcium (24% w/v) alongside nitrogen, magnesium, micronutrients and amino acids. This unique water-soluble suspension product is targeted at the flowering and fruiting stages. The high calcium component ensures tissue strength and integrity via a cell wall resilience role as calcium pectate which cements cell walls together, thus minimising physiological disorders like pulp spot in avocado fruit and stem dieback and shot berry in grapes.
Calcium in Omex Calmax Gold additionally acts as a bulwark against development of pathogen inspired problems in the post-harvest fruit stage such as anthracnose of avocado and mango fruits. Blossom end rot in tomato, capsicum pepper and cucumber though principally plant physiological problem can open the way to infection and disease development by pathogens such as Phytophthora parasitica to cause ‘watery wound rot’.
Soils invariably contain sufficient calcium but not always sufficiently plant-root available due to the inherent lethargy of calcium ions which are poorly mobile in both soils and plants. By using Omex Calmax Gold as a foliar spray, fruit and vegetable growers can avoid soil-based problems affecting movement and supply because calcium ions enter the plant via its leaves. However, the inherent ‘lethargy and laziness’ shown by calcium ions means entry into the leaves is invariably slower than it could or should be.
This is where the combined use of Omex Calmax Gold and Omex DP98 comes into play. With its high phosphorous content (37.5% w/v) and critically as the phosphite ion, Omex DP98 enhances foliar uptake of calcium ions and their movement around the plant for utilisation in the fruit formation, development and maturation phases of the crop cycle. Now finding favour with growers around the world this unique pair of products used in tandem are providing major gains in the quality and finish or harvested commodities, including top fruit (apples and pears), stone fruit (plums and peaches), soft fruit (strawberries and raspberries), salad crop vegetables, beans, melons and grapes.
Omex soluble nutrient products are tailored to the production of greenhouse-grown salad crop vegetables such as the plum-shaped tomatoes shown here (Picture Omex Agrifluids)
Omex Agrifluids will be exhibiting at KISAN India’s largest agricultural exhibition from 11th – 15th December 2019 at Moshi, Pune in Maharashtra State. Managing Director Peter Prentis looks forward to meeting with delegates and attendees on the Omex Agrifluids stand.
For more information:
Peter Prentis (Managing Director)
Saddlebow Road, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, PE34 3JA, United Kingdom
T: +44 1553 817500
F: +44 1553 817501