News & Events


FERTILISING PRODUCTS THAT ARE CULTIVATED IN PROTECTED AND SHELTERED AREAS - 11 September 2018

Cultivating crops in a sheltered environment has various advantages. It allows one to produce crops out of the normal growing season and establish more plants per hectare, ensuring a larger overall production. It can also assist with enhancing the quality of crops. On average, this kind of farming does produce higher and better quality yields at an overall lower cost per unit.

Various crops are produced in this manner. They are planted within structures or in areas covered over by plastic sheeting or netting. Typical crops cultivated like this include various types of tomato, sweet peppers and greenhouse (English) cucumbers. Other crops cultivated in a greenhouse or sheltered environment are green beans, brinjals, baby squash and salad leaves, to name a few of the plentiful options.

Young plants can be placed directly in the soil. However, more commonly, they are first kept in containers filled with sawdust shavings, charcoal, coconut hair or other natural substrates, or alternatively synthetic mediums such as “Rockwool” (which is manufactured from volcanic rocks and imported into South Africa.)

All newly planted crops are best watered through a drip irrigation system using water that has been enriched with fertiliser. If using soils previously cultivated for other crops, a thorough soil analyses should be done prior to replanting new crop. Lime or gypsum supplements should also be added as needed.

We strongly recommend the use of high quality organic fertilisers at this stage. Not only should plant nutrient needs be carefully considered, but also the long-term soil requirements for optimal cultivation and crop yields. Keeping the soil’s beneficial microorganisms fed and healthy is essential. If this process is not managed, harmful pathogens can develop in the soil and affect the growing environment negatively within a single growing season.

We advise the use of Bio Ocean or Bio Ganic to help avoid pathogen development. Dosage amounts and choice of fertiliser are dependent on crop variety.

Using irrigation water enriched with water-soluble fertiliser is also important and the fertiliser used should contain all necessary elements including micronutrients. It is essential that the product used contain no impurities that could have a negative impact on sensitive newly established crops. The mixture used needs to be very carefully balanced, especially because in growth mediums other than soil this is the only mean to feed plants. Impurities can cause toxicity if one continues application.

It is pivotal that the correct ratio and amounts are used and specialist knowledge of experts is required for this process. Atlantic Fertilisers has two mixes available, HydroPonic and HydroSol used along with Calcium nitrate as a complete solution ideal for almost any crop variety. The key is that our experts mix this ‘recipe’ at different levels of intensity and in different ratios. This ensures optimal nutrient levels for each specific variety during different stages of growth.

Results at large commercial growers have been very successful and it proves to be both user-friendly and cost effective. Direct dosage of concentrated (“stock”) mixes, as well as diluted dosages can be applied. We are proud to provide the knowledge of 20 years’ field experience to help our farmers reach their growth targets.

 

Achieve greater success with soil samples and support services - 30 April 2018

Achieve greater success with soil samples and support services

The methods followed by Atlantic Fertilisers allow us to deliver results that can be practically applied in a cost effective manner and which assist farmers with practical fertilisation planning for soils and crops.

Our full range of services is as follows:

  • Taking GPS-supported, representative soil samples
  • Using accredited laboratories for analysis
  • Interpreting results on your behalf
  • Putting farm’s information in order
  • Recommendations for fertilisation
  • Advice on product choices
  • Interpretation of leaf samples
  • Follow-ups and management of your fertilisation programme

According to our experience, we recommend giving more focus to:

  • The judicious application of lime and gypsum
  • Support of microbial activity and feeding
  • Greater focus on sulphur, available calcium, boron and trace elements
  • Placing fertiliser in the correct target areas
  • Using effective and responsible concentrated amounts of fertiliser in application
  • Effective irrigation schedules
  • Practices that support effective nematode control
  • Greater use of leaf sample analyses to improve farming practices

Allow us to do what we do best, and that which we specialise in. That way, you have more time to do what you’re good at!

And together we make a better team

 

February 2018 - 28 February 2018

Post-harvest practice according to water availability

If less water is available for post-harvest irrigation, fertiliser application should be adjusted to ensure correct nutrient concentration. If enough water is available, apply normal fertiliser quantities.

The following guidelines are given for the application of post-harvest fertilisation:

  • Prior fertilisation program

    If normal rates of fertiliser were applied in veraison, less fertiliser is required during post-harvest than if the application was reduced in the veraison period.

  • Time of Application

    Nutrient uptake is dependent on the period of availability. It is, therefore, better to split fertiliser application into two: an application directly after harvest and a second application 2 – 3 weeks later. Should available water be limited, the second application of fertiliser can be decreased accordingly.

  • Quantity of fertiliser applied

    The quantity of fertiliser applied depends on the production and vigour of the crop. It is therefore based on the nutrients removed by the crop, taking soil fertility into account as determined by soil and leaf analyses.

  • Fertiliser Concentration

    The supply of irrigation will determine the concentration of nutrients. Fertiliser application must, therefore, be adjusted accordingly. 

    A too low concentration of nutrients would be ineffective, while too high application of fertiliser will have a detrimental effect, especially if acerbated by poor water quality. The electric conductivity of irrigation water and chemical solutions must be determined and adjustments to prevent possible harmful effects.

  • Lead applications

    The preservation of leaf surface area is important for translocation of nutrients. In cases where lack of fertiliser application due to water shortages occur, consideration should be given to leaf applications to support the crop in the post-harvest period.

In summary, it would be more responsible to apply less fertiliser if water availability is limited. The consequence of less fertiliser applied in the post-harvest period must be borne in mind, and compensated for in the new season to redress the shortage of fertiliser application in the post-harvest period.

The Atlantic Fertilisers team offers support and advice in the planning and execution of your post-harvest and new season fertiliser strategy.

Please contact Atlantic Fertilisers:

Charl du Plessis   Crop and Fertiliser specialist   072 574 6922

Pieter Beyers   Technical and Marketing Manager   082 843 4531

Alwyn Badenhorst   Area Manager               072 574 6923

Johann Moller   Area Manager               083 259 7211

 

Gravel & Grape - 27 April 2015