Materials used in this chapter are published in book Biostimulant Albit for increasing yields and protection of agricultures against diseases, A.K. Zlotnikov, Ed. Prof. À. Melkumova. All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection, Russia, 2006.
One important feature of Albit is its positive influence on yield quality. Nowadays, one of the main problems in agriculture is gluten content in grains which determines its market price. Treatments with fungicides, herbicides and insecticides causes stress and retardation of plant growth, that leads to considerable decrease of gluten content. Finally, harvested yield has low quality. To relieve stress and increase yield quality, it is necessary to use liquid nitric fertilizers (that is quite expensive) or antistressors.
According to results of 500 field trials, Albit increases gluten content in wheat by 0.5-5.3 abs. %, sugar content in sugar beet on average by 0.3-2.5 abs. %, oil content in canola by 0.2-3.6 abs. %. After Albit treatment, fraction of commercial yield of potato tubers increases up to 34% over control. Fraction of commercial yield of grapevine increases by 10-25%, organoleptic characteristics and flavour of grapes are improved, losses of flavouring and aroma are decreased by 75% during storage, residual amount of pesticides decreases on average by 50%. In vegetables vitamin content increases by 6–25%, nitrate content decreases by 16–26%. In field trial, conducted in experimental station ACPEL (France), among all tested plant growth regulators and fungicides, only Albit increased fraction of commercial yield of melons. Also, Albit reduces of mycotoxin content in grain crops by 20-70%.
Presowing seed treatment with Albit influences mostly the productivity of plants; to increase gluten content, using of foliar sprayings is more effective. For example, in trials on winter wheat performed by Kursk Regional Plant Protection Station (2001-2003), presowing seed treatment with Albit increased the average gluten content in grain by 0.8% whereas foliar spraying in EC stages 20-49 increased it by 3.8%. In southern regions of Russia (Rostov oblast, Krasnodar kray), high effectiveness for increase of gluten content was demonstrated by 2nd recommended foliar spraying in EC stages 50-69.
Joint using of Albit with liquid urea and some plant growth stimulators also effectively increases yield quality. As it was shown by Agrochemical Department of Moscow State University (2000), application of Albit increased gluten content in spring wheat by 0.5%, whereas using of Albit/urea combination increased it by 0.8%.
High effectiveness of application of Albit together with urea might be explained through the tact that usual application rates of urea used in field conditions is up to 30 kg/hectare, or 10% solution approximately, whereas concentration of even 1% is considered to be toxic for plant growth. Albit relieves this toxic influence on plant growth while urea nitrogen is maximally used for protein (gluten) synthesis in grain.
Joint using of Albit with humates, as it was shown in trials in Krasnodar kray, increases average gluten content up to 5.3%, though such effect can not be provided by Albit or humates separately (mutual enforcement of action, aka synergism phenomenon).
It is well known that infestation of grain crops with root rots leads to decrease of gluten content in grain. Thus, the high efficiency of Albit against these diseases might also contribute to improvement of yield quality. Next, there is a speculation that biologically active sulfur and boron of Albit also participates in increase of yield quality since sulfur and chelate boron are also known to be a factors of gluten content increase. There are plenty of examples of successful Albit application to increase of gluten content.
There are a lot of field trials with results of effective application of Albit, increasing of gluten content in crop (Table 1, 2). Seeds of winter wheat were treated with Aibit + halved dose of chemical seed treatment agent. Albit was also applied together with fertilizing. The average yield in 1999-2002 was 45-49 centners/hectare, gluten content was 26-29%, gluten deformation index was 65-95. Neighbor farms which did not use Albit, harvested grain mostly of forage quality. In tests performed by Kursk Regional Plant Protection Station on winter wheat in 2002, gluten content in set with application of Albit was 30.4% that is 4.8% higher than in control (25.6%), tensility of gluten increased from 13 to 14 cm. Presowing seed treatment of spring wheat with Albit increased gluten content by 1.4% whereas foliar spraying increased it by 2,1%. In experiments of Kurgan Institute of Grain Growing, treatment of spring wheat with Albit increased gluten content from 23.4 to 26.3% in 1997, in 2001 gluten content increased by 5.1%. In Ryazan oblast (Experimental Farm Aleshkinskoe, 1998), Albit treatment increased content of protein in grain from 13.8 to 15.2%, gluten content - from 26,1 to 28.1%. Nowadays, some dealers of Albit make treaties with farms on terms of guaranteed increase of gluten content (to 28-30%) and yield on the assumption of their general scientific guidance.
Table 1. Influence of Albit application on gluten content in winter wheat
Table 2. Influence of Albit application on gluten content in spring wheat
Application of Albit on beer barley often raises a question about possible influence of this bioformulation on protein content in yield (analogously to wheat). Till now there were no cases of protein content excess over critical brewing threshold of 12%. Possibly, different reaction of barley and wheat to Albit treatment (regarding to protein content) depends on genetically determined features of these cultures.
Under Albit treatment the content of mycotoxins in yield is significantly decreased on such cultures: oats, wheat, barley (for details, see here).
Besides eared cereals, Albit also increases yield quality of the other agricultures:
Content of vitamins in vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, vegetable marrows, peppers, eggplants, lettuce, carrot, table beet) is increased averagely by 2-25 relative % under the influence of Albit; increase of ß-carotin and ascorbic acid (vitamin Ñ) (Table 3). In field trial VNIISSOK on onion of open ground, Albit treatment increased the content of vitamin Ñ in production by 6-41 %, in field trial Mendel University in Brno (Brno, Czech Republic) on lettuce – by 6-22 % (and total antioxidative capacity (ÒÀÑ) of lettuce leaves – by 43-257 %). In leaves of lettuce, Albit increases ascorbic acid content simultaneously with decrease of nitrates content. As result, relation between ascorbic acid and nitrates becomes higher than medical safety threshold of 2:1, i.e. Albit makes plants grown in greenhouse conditions safe for human consumption. Analogous effect was detected on Chinese cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers and onion (data of All-Russia Institute of Vegetable Selection and Seed Breeding, 2001-2004). Under the influence of Albit, nitrate content decreases by 16-26 relative % in majority of vegetables. Decrease of nitrate content in leaves of onion might reach of 74-77 relative %. Also, Albit provokes increase of dry weight of onion leaves (by 7.4-10.7%), that indicates increase of their nutritive value.
Table 3. Influence of Albit application on content of vitamins in vegetables and berries
Trials performed by North-Caucasian Institute of Horticulture and Viticulture of Krasnodar kray demonstrated that Albit increases weight and plumpness grape bunch by 21-24%. Field trials of Crimea (National Institute of Grapevine and Wine «Magarach», Yalta) demonstrated that use of Albit improves of organoleptic properties and gains of variety aromas of berries of table varieties of grape vine (total organoleptic score is increased by 21,5 %) (Fig. 1). Biochemical base of this effect - under Albit treatment in berries of grape vine the content of main flavonoid compounds is increased (flavonols by 5,9 %, anthocyanins by 24,4 %, stilbenes by 32.8 %). The trace amount of pesticides in production is decreased by 51,5 %. Albit inhibits sugar and organic acids decay during storage: losses of flavouring and aroma are decreased by 75 %, decrease of berries weight is observed by 39,5 % (National Institute of Grapevine and Wine «Magarach», 2014).
Fig. 1. Influence of Albit on parameters of quality of grapevine yield (average data of all studied table and technical varieties, growing on boghara and in conditions of drip irrigation, "Magarach", Crimea, 2014)
In apples, currant and gooseberries due to the treatment with Albit, content of vitamin C is increased by 5.8-13.8%; quality and marketability of apples and berries is also improved. Treatment with Albit decreases number of rotten and dried berries of currant and cherry and increases size of berries by 10-20% (Data of All-Russia Institute of Plant protection and All-Russia Institute of Vegetable Selection and Seed Breeding, 2001-2003). In farm Keith Smith (Georgia, USA, 2015) under Albit treatment increase of vitamin C content in blueberry is observed during industrial cultivation by 13,8 %. Weight of a particular strawberry is increased averagely by 1.3 g (All-Russia Institute of Horticulture, 2002). In field trial ACPEL (Chatelroux, France, 2014) yield of commodity products of melon under Albit treatment increased by 6 % (at the same time, in variants with use the most of biological and chemical standards –decreased by 4-25 %). In farm Terkin Seraphimovsky region of Volgograd oblast under Albit treatment wholesale price of watermelons in 2010 increased by 2 rubles/kg, in 2011 by 1,25 rubles due to increase of fraction of commercial yield.
Treatment of flowers (roses, gladioluses, pinks, cyclamens. Kaffir lily, amaryllis, violets, etc.) with Albit besides induction blossoming improves decorative appearance, increases of number of flowers per plant, increases production of top-quality flowers (by 10-15%), provides more bright and saturated coloration of flowers and increases resistance to diseases.