A major vegetable grower in Lantokia, Fiji, using soilless culture systems began to trial Amnite A-100. His crops consisted principally of lettuce, tomatoes, capsicums, cucumbers, zucchinis and melons. Before the trials they had been plagued with root diseases, mosaic virus and insect attack, control of which required constant use of pesticides and ultraviolet lighting.
The first trials commenced in July on lettuce seedlings which had been transplanted to the growing benches a week previously and the trials were subsequently extended to include tomatoes, capsicums and cucumbers. The Amnite A-100 was added to the nutrients reservoirs in the greenhouse run-to-waste trickle system. The application of product being made by the daily addition of 2 litres of solution from a ‘breeding tank’ to each new tank of nutrient mix. After one week of treatment, using no pesticides or ultraviolet light, the plants were significantly more healthy and vigorous than those not treated. Prompted by this it was decided to treat 60 benches of head lettuce (approx.11000 plants). Within this planting there were 8 varieties of fancy lettuce.
The following is an extract from the field report received from the grower in August -
- “This crop has been an inspiration to us as we have watched the plants grow evenly and with magnificent vigour, rich colour and shine. They will be harvested this week or 30 days from transplant. There were around 1500 ‘Red Coral’ lettuce planted in the system on the same day and these plants obtained maturity and were harvested 14 days from transplant.”
- The temperature during these trials was 27o- 30oC during the day and 18o- 22oC at night. The grower also noted that the plants do not wilt during the hot weather as they used to. They stay fresh and healthy looking, probably due to their high transpiration rates as they draw water during their increased growth rate.
Normally it would be the practise to sterilise out the system at the end of the crop, however, this practise has been discontinued and continuous cropping is being practised. Regarding the run to waste systems growing tomatoes, capsicums, zucchinis, rock melons and honeydew melons the results have shown a much higher and better quality fruit. Further to this, where normally the harvesting period would be cut short because of severe infection by mosaic virus and powdery mildew, this has not happened but the plants have continued bearing top quality fruit.
Conclusions after three months of using Amnite A-100:
a. No pesticides are now being used.
b. No ultraviolet lights are being used.
c. Dumping of nutrient solutions less frequent.
d. Less sterilising of systems.
a. Healthier, larger and shinier plants.
b. Much shorter growing time for lettuces and better quality fruits.
c. Much longer harvesting period for other crops
d. Dramatically lower plant losses.
The system not only reduces the outlays on pesticides, but improves crop yields, lowers plant failure rates and, because of its environmentally friendly action, allows higher prices to be obtained as the plants are organically grown. The economic benefit of the system speaks for itself.