Materials used in this chapter were published in the 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.
On millet Albit is applied as antidote for reducing of phytotoxic effect of pesticides. Also Albit increases germination, activates growth and development, increases resistance to disease, to unfavorable climate conditions, increases yield, improves yield quality.
Influence of Albit on millet was examined in more than 7 field trials in many regions of Russia (Saratov, Oryol oblasts and others). Trials have been carried out since 1999 by All-Russia Institute of Leguminous and Groat Crops, Agricultural Scientific Institute of South-East, Saratov Regional Plant Protection Station on millet varieties Krupnoskoroye, Blagodatnoye, Saratovskoye-10, Saratovskoye-6 and Saratovskoye-8 and in others institutes and farms on different varieties. For many years, Albit has been successfully used on millet in agricultural practice of farms of Saratov oblast.
Averagely, according to results of all performed trials, treatment with Albit provided yield increase of 0.14-0.62 t/ha over control (0.35 t/ha on average). This yield increase is due to increase of: seed number from one plant by 9-17, weight of 1000 seeds by 0.21-0.59 g, weight of seeds from one plant by 0.15-0.4 g.
In the conducted field trials economical or biological effectiveness of Albit was not inferior to that of formulations based on benomyl, carboxin and thiram.
Biological efficiency (BE) of Albit against head smut of millet is just 2-50%, that obviously is not enough for effective control of this disease. On the other hand, as it was found by number of scientific institutions, presowing seed treatment of millet with combination of halved dose of chemical protectant and Albit provides total (100%) disinfection of seeds from smut, that considerably decreases cost of treatment (Table 13). Thus, Albit can be effectively used for presowing seed treatment of millet against smut in combination with 50% decreased application rates of chemical fungicides.
Application recommendations. It is recommended to perform presowing seed treatment (50 mL/t of seeds, application rate of working solution - 20 L/ha) and foliar spraying at the stage EC 20-30 (30 mL/ha, application rate of working solution - 200-300 L/ha).
Presowing seed treatment with Albit provides efficient plant growth stimulation in early stages of development. It is especially important, because unlike other crops millet seed contains few nutrients and millet germs is very sensitive to different environmental factors. Presowing treatment increases germination by 5.7-7%, development of rootage by 7-20%, that, in turn, increases water supply and drought resistance of plants.
Though stimulating influence of presowing seed treatment is observed during all vegetation period, the most efficient type of millet treatment is foliar spraying. It increases efficiency of presowing seed treatment approximately in 2.5 times and can be used separately without preceding seed treatment. Foliar spraying increases drought resistance, provides growth of well developed panicle, increases panicle length (approx. 1.5 fold), increases number and weight of seeds from one plant, weight of 1000 seeds.
Application of Albit on millet is very economically efficient. According to reports of All-Russia Institute of Leguminous and Groat Crops, extremely low sowing rates of millet (20-30 kg/ha) take negligible hectare rates. However, yield increase due to seed treatment with Albit is 1250 roubles of profit. Subtracting expenses of the harvesting and transportation of this additional yield, the net profit of Albit application on millet is 1100 roubles per hectare. In other words, each invested rouble brought 110 roubles of profit. According to Agricultural Scientific Institute of South-East (2004), foliar spraying with Albit provided net profit of 636 roubles per hectare, whereas presowing seed treatment provided net profit of 283 roubles per hectare. However, due to low cost of hectare rate of Albit presowing treatment, its profitability was 8600%, whereas that of foliar spraying was 960%. Thus, foliar spraying with Albit provides maximal agricultural efficiency (yield increase), whereas presowing seed treatment provides maximal economical one. Profitability of presowing seed treatment with chemical standard fungicide based on benomyl was 1610%, whereas profitability of treatment with Albit + halved dose of benomyl-based fungicide was 5300%.
For all available reports, please see corresponding table on Russian webpage