Rice farmers in Spain experience two major problems with their rice crops:
- After the flooding and fertilisation of the rice fields algal growth rapidly develops and covers the surface of the water in the paddy. This greatly reduces the availability of sunlight received by the seedlings until they have grown above the water level. This results in early stage plant loss which can be severe. The use of chemical treatment to control the algae is now being prohibited for environmental reasons.
- Later in the growth cycle the crop can be subject to fungal attack which occasions wilt and further crop losses.
Cleveland Biotech’s product Amnite A100 has already been shown to be extremely effective in hydroponics in improving plant growth and appearance and inhibiting pathogen attack. It was also noted that in run to waste systems A100 cleared algal growth from run-off ponds. A decision therefore was taken in March to carry out field trials with the product to see if the algal problem in the Spanish rice fields could be controlled
A trial site was selected. This was a 2 hectare field with no water outlet situated in the Ebro valley. Adjacent fields were used as contols. A product activation system was established on site and an activation and dosing regime was established. The fields were flooded between 10 and 13 April. Fertilisation with Potassium (100Kg/Ha) and Urea 46% (300Kg/Ha) was carried out on 20 April and dosing of A100 commenced on the same day. Sowing was carried out on 23 and 24 April.
During the early growing period the application of Amnite A100 proved to be a very effective in controlling algal growth. No algae was evident in the trial field during the critical first six weeks of the trials while the adjacent fields were affected. The farmer was delighted with the results. The trial has been rated as a major success by the participating parties.