Products

Herbicides
Floriculture
Foliar Fertilizers
Insecticides
Fungicides

Diseases are a major source of crop and plant damage that can be caused by a number of plant pathogenic (disease-causing) organisms. Fungi are the number one cause of crop loss worldwide. Symptoms resembling those caused by pathogens can be caused by abiotic (non-living) factors, such as nutrient deficiency and air pollution.

Fungicides are biocides chemical compounds or biological organisms used to kill or inhibit fungi or fungal spores. Fungi can cause serious damage to plants, resulting in critical losses of yield, quality, and profit. Fungicides are used in Agriculture to fight fungal infections.

Plant diseases are best managed by integrating a number of control practices with the application of fungicides. Fungicides are often a vital part of disease management as they control many diseases satisfactorily. Fungicides need to be applied before disease occurs or at the first appearance of symptoms to be effective since the damage caused by diseases on plants often does not go away, even if the pathogen is killed. This is because plants grow and develop differently. Fungicides can only protect new uninfected growth from diseases. Also, few fungicides are effective against pathogens after they have infected a plant. Fungicides are applied as dust, granules, gas, and most commonly, liquid. Fungicides kill fungi by damaging their cell membranes, inactivating critical enzymes or proteins, or by interfering with key processes such as energy production or respiration.

Fungicides are categorized in several ways based on different characteristics. The most common characteristics used and categories are; Contact Fungicides (Protectants) remain on the surface of plants. Many contacts are potentially phytotoxic (toxic to plants) and can damage the plant if absorbed. Contacts are products suited for preventive (prophylactic) use as they work by contact action on the surface of the plant to which they have been applied. Repeated applications are needed to protect new growth of the plant and to replace material that has been washed off by rain or irrigation, or degraded by environmental factors such as sunlight. Sometimes contacts are referred to as "residual" products because the deposited fungicide remains on the plant surface, occasionally as a visible residue, for several days. Typically, older contact fungicides have multi-site activity and thus usually affect many fungi in different classes. Systemic (Penetrants) are absorbed into plants. Some systemic move very short distances from the site of application, such as across a leaf blade from one surface to the other (local systemic or translaminar). Some fungicides are weakly systemic and can move further from the application site than local systemic. Most systemic are more extensively when moving because they are mobile in xylem tissues. When applied to the root zone, these are absorbed by roots and then move upward through the plant with the transpiration stream (xylem-mobile systemic). Xylem-mobile systemic applied to leaves move throughout the leaf where deposited, but cannot be redistributed out of that leaf; however, any material deposited on stems can move upwards into leaves. Phloem-mobile systemic (also known as "true" or amphimobile systemic) have bi-directional mobility, some material moves in phloem out of the leaf where deposited upwards to other leaves and downwards to roots. Systemic cannot move again after translocation. Due to their ability to penetrate plants, some systemic possess both preventive and curative (eradicate or kick-back) activity, thus affecting the pathogen after infection.

Through the development of in vivo screens, and due to the increase in the stringency and number of regulatory tests required to register a new active ingredient, fungicide manufacturers have found it easier to develop single-site systemic recently. As a result, fungicide resistance has become a more important concern in disease management.

Insecticides are substances used to kill insects. They include ovicides and larvicides used against insect eggs and larvae, respectively. Insecticides used in Agriculture, claimed to be a major factor behind the increase in Agricultural 20th century’s productivity.

Insecticides can be classified in different ways;

Systemic Insecticides are incorporated by treated plants. Insects ingest the insecticide while feeding on the plants.

Contact Insecticides are toxic to insects when brought into direct contact. Efficacy is often related to the quality of pesticide application, with small droplets (such as aerosols) often improving performance.

Natural Insecticides such as Nicotine, Pyrethrum and neem extracts are made by plants as defenses against insects.

Plant-incorporated Protectants (PIPs) are systemic insecticides produced by transgenic plants. For instance, a gene that codes for a specific Baccilus Thuringiensis Biocidal Protein was introduced into corn and other species. The plant manufactures the Protein which kills the insect when consumed.

Inorganic Insecticides are contact insecticides that are manufactured with metals and include Arsenates, Copper and Fluorine Compounds, which are now seldom used, and Sulfur, which is commonly used.

Organic Insecticides are contact insecticides that comprise the largest numbers of pesticides available for use today. The mode of action describes how the pesticide kills or inactivates a pest. It provides another way of classifying insecticides. Mode of action is important in understanding whether an insecticide will be toxic to unrelated species, such as fish, birds and mammals.

Foliar Feeding is a technique of feeding plants by applying liquid fertilizer directly to their leaves. Plants are able to absorb essential elements through their leaves. The absorption takes place through their stomata and also through their epidermis. Transport is usually faster through the stomata, but total absorption may be as great through the epidermis. Plants are also able to absorb nutrients through their bark. The fertilizing elements in this method are true solutions, soluble, and thus very plant available. This is in contrast to soil applied (solid) fertilizer, which is applied as a powder or granules to the soil in dry form. This then, has to be dissolved, by moisture (rain) to be plant available via the roots. In other words, it has to dissolve into the soil solution to be available.

Modern Foliar Fertilizers are concentrated solutions using very high grade technical elements, in which the Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium are combined to the desired ratio in a controlled environment. Many different NPK formulation combinations can be made, depending on the application required. The same elements that make up Foliar Fertilizers are required for plant growth and development, and are formulated to meet quite specific plant requirements

Foliar Feeding has been used as a means of supplying supplemental doses of minor and major nutrients, plant hormones, stimulants, and other beneficial substances. These essential elements are divided into two groups: The Macronutrients; those required in relatively large quantities including Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and Sulphur. The Micronutrients; those required in small quantities, including Iron, Chlorine, Manganese, Boron, Zinc, Copper and Molybdenum. Observed effects of foliar fertilization have included yield increases, resistance to diseases and insect pests, improved drought tolerance and enhanced crop quality. Plant response is dependent on species, fertilizer form, concentration and frequency of application as well as the stage of plant growth.

Foliar applications are often timed to coincide with specific vegetative or fruiting stages of growth and the fertilizer formula is adjusted accordingly. Applications may also be used to aid plants in recovery from transplant shock, hail damage, or the results of other weather extremes. In terms of nutrient absorption, Foliar Fertilization can be from 8 to 20 times as efficient as ground application.

One of the touted benefits of Foliar Fertilization is the increased uptake of nutrients from the soil. This notion is based on the belief that Foliar Fertilization causes the plant to pump more sugars and other exudates from its roots into the rhizosphere. Beneficial microbial populations in the root zone are stimulated by the increased availability of these exudates. In turn, this enhanced biological activity increases the availability of nutrients, disease-suppressive biochemical, vitamins, and other factors beneficial to the plant.

It is this rationale, in good part that reinforces the use of Foliar Fertilization in organic agriculture, where the philosophy of “feed the soil, not the plant” prevails. While Foliar Fertilization is being used on a wide variety of crops, its economic value is generally deemed greater for horticultural than for agronomic crops. This is because horticultural crops are of higher value and their nutrient status is more carefully monitored.

Yellow Long Life Film

LDPE sheeting manufactured in a thickness of 180 µ (720 gauge) with a special anti-UV additive pack based on Ni/Benzophenone, which gives the film a yellow/green colour.

Mechanical Properties:

  • High resistance to traction, impact and tearing, providing optimum performance in aggressive climatic conditions, such as rain, hail, wind etc.

Optical Properties:

  • High transmission of visible light, increasing the interior temperature of the greenhouse and stimulating the development of the plant.
  • Good light diffusion, eliminating areas of shade inside the greenhouse and distributing the light evenly for each plant.
  • High resistance to degradation due to solar radiation as well as degradation due to chemical attacks caused by the use of agrochemicals.

The use of this film is not recommended in areas with great variations between day and night temperatures as it does not contain a thermo-insulating additives pack.

White Long Life Film

LDPE sheeting manufactured in a thickness of 180 µ (720 gauge) with a special UV radiation-stabilizing additive pack based on HALS impeded amines, which gives the film a translucid white tone.

Mechanical Properties

High resistance to traction, impact and tearing, providing optimum performance in aggressive climatic conditions, such as rain, hail, wind, etc.

Optical Properties:

  • High transmission of visible light, increasing the interior temperature of the greenhouse and stimulating the development of the plant.
  • Good light diffusion, eliminating areas of shade inside the greenhouse and distributing the light evenly for each plant.
  • High resistance to degradation due to solar radiation as well as degradation due to chemical attacks caused by the use of agrochemicals.

The use of this film is not recommended in areas with great variations between day and night temperatures as it does not contain a thermo-insulating additives pack.

Yellow Thermal Film

LDPE sheeting manufactured in a thickness of 200 µ (800 gauges) with a special anti-UV additive pack based on Ni/Benzophenone, which gives the film a yellow/green colour. It also contains IR additives, providing it with high thermicity.

Mechanical Properties

  • High resistance to traction, tearing and impact.

Optical Properties

  • Good transmission of visible light: this allows warming of the cultivation area, stimulating the development of the plants.
  • Optimum thermo-insulation effect: the IR additives pack acts as a barrier to long infrared radiation, released from the ground during the night. In this way, brusque falls in temperature are avoided at night and the risk of thermal inversion prevented (which would endanger the life of the plant), keeping the interior temperature a few degrees higher than that of the exterior.

WHITE THERMAL FILM

LDPE sheeting manufactured in a thickness of 200 µ (800 gauge) with a special UV radiation-stabilizing additive pack based on HALS impeded amines, which gives the film a translucid white tone. It also contains IR additives, providing it with high thermicity.

Mechanical Properties

 

  • High resistance to traction, tearing and impact

 

Optical Properties

  • Good transmission of visible light: this allows warming of the cultivation area, stimulating the development of the plants.
  • Excellent light diffusion: it avoids areas of shade inside the greenhouse, reducing irregular development by uniform light distribution throughout the cultivation area.
  • Optimum thermo-insulation effect: the IR additives pack acts as a barrier to long infrared radiation, released from the ground during the night. In this way, brusque falls in temperature are avoided at night and the risk of thermal inversion prevented (which would endanger the life of the plant), keeping the interior temperature a few degrees higher than that of the exterior.
  • High resistance to degradation caused by solar radiation as well as that caused by chemical applications made inside the greenhouse.

INDASOL FILM

LDPE trilayer extrusion sheeting manufactured in a thickness of 200 µ (800 gauge). As with al trilayer films, its philosophy is to take advantage of the materials used in each layer, while reducing any disadvantages.

Mechanical Properties

The flexibility of resins with a high EVA content, placed in the central layer, is combined with the rigidity and resistance to tearing of the external layers.

Optical properties

  • The intermediate and internal layers provide the film with a high degree of transparency and thermicity due to their high EVA content. The thermicity is reinforced by the thermal charge which also provides a good percentage of diffusion. The external layer is specially designed to avoid the adherence of dust to the film and so good light transmission is maintained throughout the life of the plastic. Very good light diffusion which prevents shadow forming within the greenhouse and spreads the light evenly for all the plants.
  • High resistance to degradation due to both solar radiation and lo chemicals used as pesticides inside the greenhouse.
  • When used in climates similar to that of Almeria, Spain (145 Kly) the minimum service life will be 3 seasons.
  • The external layer provides very good resistance to degradation thanks to its increased content of anti-UV agents, and the internal layer is reinforced with co-stabilizers resistant to chemical attacks.

TRITERMIC FILM

Trilayer coextrusion sheeting manufactured in a thickness of 200 µ (800 gauge). As with all trilayer films, its philosophy is to take advantage of the materials used in each layer, while reducing any disadvantages.

Mechanical properties

  • The flexibility of resins with a high EVA content, placed in the central layer, is combined with the rigidity and resistance to tearing of the external layers

Optical properties

The intermediate and internal layers provide the film with a high degree of transparency and thermicity due to their high EVA content. The thermicity is reinforced by the thermal charge which also provides a good percentage of diffusion. The external layer is specially designed to avoid the adherence of dust to the film thus good light transmission is maintained throughout the life of the plastic.

High resistance to degradation; Due to both solar radiation and chemicals used as pesticides inside the greenhouse (the external layer provides very good resistance to degradation thanks to its increased content of anti-UV agents, and the internal layer is reinforced with co-stabilizers resistant to chemical attacks).

Anti-fog effect: Prevents the formation of droplets on the sheeting resulting from condensation from humidity inside the green house. Instead of droplets, a continuous sheet of water is formed which slides towards the sides of the greenhouse and so prevents the water from falling onto the plants, which may result in disease. The absence of droplets also improves light transmission, avoiding the total reflection effect, which increases the warmth inside the greenhouse especially during the first hours of daylight.

Especially recommended for cold climates and /ones with low light intensity due to its high thermicity and transparency.

PHOTOSELECTIVE FILM

In its constant quest for innovation in the field of agricultural plastics, SOLPLAST has developed a photoselective film with anti-virus properties.

Most of the viruses which appear inside greenhouses are propagated by insects such as whitefly (Bemisia Tabaci), which act as vectors, carrying the disease from one plantation to another.

These insects are able to see in a radiation band of between 290 and 380 nm (UV-B). If a screen is installed which prevents the penetration of this UV-B radiation to the interior of the greenhouse, these insects will become disoriented and reduce their activity, thus preventing the spread of plant diseases.

It must be remembered that the screening of this radiation can have a negative effect on beneficial insects in greenhouses (bees and bumblebees used as pollinators) as they too will become disoriented.

UV-B radiation is responsible for the releasing of spores in certain pathogenic fungi such as Botrytis Cinerea. Screening this radiation inhibits the spore release process of the above mentioned fungi thus interrupting its development at this point.

PHOTOSELECTIVE FILM

Film manufactured from LDPE and LLDPE (Linear) in thicknesses of 25 µ (100 gauge) onwards. Its anti-UV and photoselective additives package provides it with very special features.

Properties

  • Protects crops from atmospheric agents which might damage them.
  • The photoselective additives package impedes part of the visible light (responsible for photosynthesis) from passing through, with subsequent reduction in weed growth.
  • The photoselective additives allow the penetration of thermal radiation which warms the soil, thus increasing its temperature and enhancing root development.
  • Its anti-UV additives package provides it with a long service life

Floriculture, or Flower Farming, is a discipline of horticulture concerned with the cultivation of Flowering and Ornamental plants for gardens and for floristry, comprising the floral industry. The development, via plant breeding, of new varieties is a major occupation of floriculturists.

Floriculture Crops include bedding plants, houseplants, flowering garden and pot plants, cut cultivated greens, and cut flowers. As distinguished from nursery crops, floriculture crops are generally herbaceous, plants that have leaves and stems that die down at the end of the growing season to the soil level. They have no persistent woody stem above ground. Herbaceous plants may be annuals, biennials or perennials.

Flowering plants are largely sold in pots for indoor use. The major flowering plants are Poinsettias, Orchids, Florist Chrysanthemums, and finished Florist Azaleas. Foliage plants are also sold in pots and hanging baskets for indoor and patio use, including larger specimens for office, hotel, and restaurant interiors.

Cut Flowers are usually sold in bunches or as bouquets with cut foliage. The production of cut flowers is specifically known as the Cut Flower Industry. Farming flowers and foliage employs special aspects of floriculture, such as spacing, training and pruning plants for optimal flower harvest; and post-harvest treatment such as chemical treatments, storage, preservation and packaging.

Floriculture, or Flower Farming, is a discipline of horticulture concerned with the cultivation of Flowering and Ornamental plants for gardens and for floristry, comprising the floral industry. The development, via plant breeding, of new varieties is a major occupation of floriculturists.

 Floriculture Crops include bedding plants, houseplants, flowering garden and pot plants, cut cultivated greens, and cut flowers. As distinguished from nursery crops, floriculture crops are generally herbaceous, plants that have leaves and stems that die down at the end of the growing season to the soil level. They have no persistent woody stem above ground. Herbaceous plants may be annuals, biennials or perennials.

 Flowering plants are largely sold in pots for indoor use. The major flowering plants are Poinsettias, Orchids, Florist Chrysanthemums, and finished Florist Azaleas. Foliage plants are also sold in pots and hanging baskets for indoor and patio use, including larger specimens for office, hotel, and restaurant interiors.

 Cut Flowers are usually sold in bunches or as bouquets with cut foliage. The production of cut flowers is specifically known as the Cut Flower Industry. Farming flowers and foliage employs special aspects of floriculture, such as spacing, training and pruning plants for optimal flower harvest; and post-harvest treatment such as chemical treatments, storage, preservation and packaging.

Yellow Long Life Film

LDPE sheeting manufactured in a thickness of 180 µ (720 gauge) with a special anti-UV additive pack based on Ni/Benzophenone, which gives the film a yellow/green colour.

Mechanical Properties:

  • High resistance to traction, impact and tearing, providing optimum performance in aggressive climatic conditions, such as rain, hail, wind etc.

Optical Properties:

  • High transmission of visible light, increasing the interior temperature of the greenhouse and stimulating the development of the plant.
  • Good light diffusion, eliminating areas of shade inside the greenhouse and distributing the light evenly for each plant.
  • High resistance to degradation due to solar radiation as well as degradation due to chemical attacks caused by the use of agrochemicals.

The use of this film is not recommended in areas with great variations between day and night temperatures as it does not contain a thermo-insulating additives pack.

White Long Life Film

LDPE sheeting manufactured in a thickness of 180 µ (720 gauge) with a special UV radiation-stabilizing additive pack based on HALS impeded amines, which gives the film a translucid white tone.

Mechanical Properties

High resistance to traction, impact and tearing, providing optimum performance in aggressive climatic conditions, such as rain, hail, wind, etc.

Optical Properties:

  • High transmission of visible light, increasing the interior temperature of the greenhouse and stimulating the development of the plant.
  • Good light diffusion, eliminating areas of shade inside the greenhouse and distributing the light evenly for each plant.
  • High resistance to degradation due to solar radiation as well as degradation due to chemical attacks caused by the use of agrochemicals.

The use of this film is not recommended in areas with great variations between day and night temperatures as it does not contain a thermo-insulating additives pack.

Yellow Thermal Film

LDPE sheeting manufactured in a thickness of 200 µ (800 gauges) with a special anti-UV additive pack based on Ni/Benzophenone, which gives the film a yellow/green colour. It also contains IR additives, providing it with high thermicity.

Mechanical Properties

  • High resistance to traction, tearing and impact.

Optical Properties

  • Good transmission of visible light: this allows warming of the cultivation area, stimulating the development of the plants.
  • Optimum thermo-insulation effect: the IR additives pack acts as a barrier to long infrared radiation, released from the ground during the night. In this way, brusque falls in temperature are avoided at night and the risk of thermal inversion prevented (which would endanger the life of the plant), keeping the interior temperature a few degrees higher than that of the exterior.

WHITE THERMAL FILM

LDPE sheeting manufactured in a thickness of 200 µ (800 gauge) with a special UV radiation-stabilizing additive pack based on HALS impeded amines, which gives the film a translucid white tone. It also contains IR additives, providing it with high thermicity.

Mechanical Properties

 

  • High resistance to traction, tearing and impact

 

Optical Properties

  • Good transmission of visible light: this allows warming of the cultivation area, stimulating the development of the plants.
  • Excellent light diffusion: it avoids areas of shade inside the greenhouse, reducing irregular development by uniform light distribution throughout the cultivation area.
  • Optimum thermo-insulation effect: the IR additives pack acts as a barrier to long infrared radiation, released from the ground during the night. In this way, brusque falls in temperature are avoided at night and the risk of thermal inversion prevented (which would endanger the life of the plant), keeping the interior temperature a few degrees higher than that of the exterior.
  • High resistance to degradation caused by solar radiation as well as that caused by chemical applications made inside the greenhouse.

INDASOL FILM

LDPE trilayer extrusion sheeting manufactured in a thickness of 200 µ (800 gauge). As with al trilayer films, its philosophy is to take advantage of the materials used in each layer, while reducing any disadvantages.

Mechanical Properties

The flexibility of resins with a high EVA content, placed in the central layer, is combined with the rigidity and resistance to tearing of the external layers.

Optical properties

  • The intermediate and internal layers provide the film with a high degree of transparency and thermicity due to their high EVA content. The thermicity is reinforced by the thermal charge which also provides a good percentage of diffusion. The external layer is specially designed to avoid the adherence of dust to the film and so good light transmission is maintained throughout the life of the plastic. Very good light diffusion which prevents shadow forming within the greenhouse and spreads the light evenly for all the plants.
  • High resistance to degradation due to both solar radiation and lo chemicals used as pesticides inside the greenhouse.
  • When used in climates similar to that of Almeria, Spain (145 Kly) the minimum service life will be 3 seasons.
  • The external layer provides very good resistance to degradation thanks to its increased content of anti-UV agents, and the internal layer is reinforced with co-stabilizers resistant to chemical attacks.

TRITERMIC FILM

Trilayer coextrusion sheeting manufactured in a thickness of 200 µ (800 gauge). As with all trilayer films, its philosophy is to take advantage of the materials used in each layer, while reducing any disadvantages.

Mechanical properties

  • The flexibility of resins with a high EVA content, placed in the central layer, is combined with the rigidity and resistance to tearing of the external layers

Optical properties

The intermediate and internal layers provide the film with a high degree of transparency and thermicity due to their high EVA content. The thermicity is reinforced by the thermal charge which also provides a good percentage of diffusion. The external layer is specially designed to avoid the adherence of dust to the film thus good light transmission is maintained throughout the life of the plastic.

High resistance to degradation; Due to both solar radiation and chemicals used as pesticides inside the greenhouse (the external layer provides very good resistance to degradation thanks to its increased content of anti-UV agents, and the internal layer is reinforced with co-stabilizers resistant to chemical attacks).

Anti-fog effect: Prevents the formation of droplets on the sheeting resulting from condensation from humidity inside the green house. Instead of droplets, a continuous sheet of water is formed which slides towards the sides of the greenhouse and so prevents the water from falling onto the plants, which may result in disease. The absence of droplets also improves light transmission, avoiding the total reflection effect, which increases the warmth inside the greenhouse especially during the first hours of daylight.

Especially recommended for cold climates and /ones with low light intensity due to its high thermicity and transparency.

PHOTOSELECTIVE FILM

In its constant quest for innovation in the field of agricultural plastics, SOLPLAST has developed a photoselective film with anti-virus properties.

Most of the viruses which appear inside greenhouses are propagated by insects such as whitefly (Bemisia Tabaci), which act as vectors, carrying the disease from one plantation to another.

These insects are able to see in a radiation band of between 290 and 380 nm (UV-B). If a screen is installed which prevents the penetration of this UV-B radiation to the interior of the greenhouse, these insects will become disoriented and reduce their activity, thus preventing the spread of plant diseases.

It must be remembered that the screening of this radiation can have a negative effect on beneficial insects in greenhouses (bees and bumblebees used as pollinators) as they too will become disoriented.

UV-B radiation is responsible for the releasing of spores in certain pathogenic fungi such as Botrytis Cinerea. Screening this radiation inhibits the spore release process of the above mentioned fungi thus interrupting its development at this point.

PHOTOSELECTIVE FILM

Film manufactured from LDPE and LLDPE (Linear) in thicknesses of 25 µ (100 gauge) onwards. Its anti-UV and photoselective additives package provides it with very special features.

Properties

  • Protects crops from atmospheric agents which might damage them.
  • The photoselective additives package impedes part of the visible light (responsible for photosynthesis) from passing through, with subsequent reduction in weed growth.
  • The photoselective additives allow the penetration of thermal radiation which warms the soil, thus increasing its temperature and enhancing root development.
  • Its anti-UV additives package provides it with a long service life

Foliar Feeding is a technique of feeding plants by applying liquid fertilizer directly to their leaves. Plants are able to absorb essential elements through their leaves. The absorption takes place through their stomata and also through their epidermis. Transport is usually faster through the stomata, but total absorption may be as great through the epidermis. Plants are also able to absorb nutrients through their bark. The fertilizing elements in this method are true solutions, soluble, and thus very plant available. This is in contrast to soil applied (solid) fertilizer, which is applied as a powder or granules to the soil in dry form. This then, has to be dissolved, by moisture (rain) to be plant available via the roots. In other words, it has to dissolve into the soil solution to be available.

Modern Foliar Fertilizers are concentrated solutions using very high grade technical elements, in which the Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium are combined to the desired ratio in a controlled environment. Many different NPK formulation combinations can be made, depending on the application required. The same elements that make up Foliar Fertilizers are required for plant growth and development, and are formulated to meet quite specific plant requirements

Foliar Feeding has been used as a means of supplying supplemental doses of minor and major nutrients, plant hormones, stimulants, and other beneficial substances. These essential elements are divided into two groups: The Macronutrients; those required in relatively large quantities including Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and Sulphur. The Micronutrients; those required in small quantities, including Iron, Chlorine, Manganese, Boron, Zinc, Copper and Molybdenum. Observed effects of foliar fertilization have included yield increases, resistance to diseases and insect pests, improved drought tolerance and enhanced crop quality. Plant response is dependent on species, fertilizer form, concentration and frequency of application as well as the stage of plant growth.

Foliar applications are often timed to coincide with specific vegetative or fruiting stages of growth and the fertilizer formula is adjusted accordingly. Applications may also be used to aid plants in recovery from transplant shock, hail damage, or the results of other weather extremes. In terms of nutrient absorption, Foliar Fertilization can be from 8 to 20 times as efficient as ground application.

One of the touted benefits of Foliar Fertilization is the increased uptake of nutrients from the soil. This notion is based on the belief that Foliar Fertilization causes the plant to pump more sugars and other exudates from its roots into the rhizosphere. Beneficial microbial populations in the root zone are stimulated by the increased availability of these exudates. In turn, this enhanced biological activity increases the availability of nutrients, disease-suppressive biochemical, vitamins, and other factors beneficial to the plant.

It is this rationale, in good part that reinforces the use of Foliar Fertilization in organic agriculture, where the philosophy of “feed the soil, not the plant” prevails. While Foliar Fertilization is being used on a wide variety of crops, its economic value is generally deemed greater for horticultural than for agronomic crops. This is because horticultural crops are of higher value and their nutrient status is more carefully monitored.

Herbicides, also commonly known as Weedkillers, are pesticides used to kill unwanted plants. Selective Herbicides kill specific targets, while leaving the desired crop relatively unharmed. Some of these act by interfering with the growth of the weed and are often synthetic mimics of natural plant hormones.

Non-Selective Herbicides are used to clear waste ground, industrial sites, railways and railway embankments kill all plant materials with which they come into contact. Smaller quantities are used in forestry, pasture systems, and management of areas set aside as wildlife habitat. Herbicides are widely used in Agriculture and landscape turf management Herbicides can be grouped by Activity, Use, Chemical Family, Mode of Action, or Type of Vegetation controlled.

By Activity: Contact Herbicides destroy only the plant tissue in contact with the chemical. Generally, these are the fastest acting Herbicides. They are less effective on perennial plants, which are able to regrow from rhizomes, roots or tubers.

Systemic Herbicides are translocated through the plant, either from foliar application down to the roots, or from soil application up to the leaves. They are capable of controlling perennial plants and may be slower-acting, but ultimately more effective than contact herbicides.

By Use: Soil-applied herbicides are applied to the soil and are taken up by the roots and/or hypocotyl of the target plant. The three main types are:

Preplant Incorporated Herbicides are soil applied prior to planting and mechanically incorporated into the soil. The objective for incorporation is to prevent dissipation through photodecomposition and/or volatility.

Pre-Emergence Herbicides are applied to the soil before the crop emerges and prevent germination or early growth of weed seeds.

Insecticides are substances used to kill insects. They include ovicides and larvicides used against insect eggs and larvae, respectively. Insecticides used in Agriculture, claimed to be a major factor behind the increase in Agricultural 20th century’s productivity.

Insecticides can be classified in different ways;

Systemic Insecticides are incorporated by treated plants. Insects ingest the insecticide while feeding on the plants.

Contact Insecticides are toxic to insects when brought into direct contact. Efficacy is often related to the quality of pesticide application, with small droplets (such as aerosols) often improving performance.

Natural Insecticides such as Nicotine, Pyrethrum and neem extracts are made by plants as defenses against insects.

Plant-incorporated Protectants (PIPs) are systemic insecticides produced by transgenic plants. For instance, a gene that codes for a specific Baccilus Thuringiensis Biocidal Protein was introduced into corn and other species. The plant manufactures the Protein which kills the insect when consumed.

Inorganic Insecticides are contact insecticides that are manufactured with metals and include Arsenates, Copper and Fluorine Compounds, which are now seldom used, and Sulfur, which is commonly used.

Organic Insecticides are contact insecticides that comprise the largest numbers of pesticides available for use today. The mode of action describes how the pesticide kills or inactivates a pest. It provides another way of classifying insecticides. Mode of action is important in understanding whether an insecticide will be toxic to unrelated species, such as fish, birds and mammals.

Diseases are a major source of crop and plant damage that can be caused by a number of plant pathogenic (disease-causing) organisms. Fungi are the number one cause of crop loss worldwide. Symptoms resembling those caused by pathogens can be caused by abiotic (non-living) factors, such as nutrient deficiency and air pollution.

Fungicides are biocides chemical compounds or biological organisms used to kill or inhibit fungi or fungal spores. Fungi can cause serious damage to plants, resulting in critical losses of yield, quality, and profit. Fungicides are used in Agriculture to fight fungal infections.

Plant diseases are best managed by integrating a number of control practices with the application of fungicides. Fungicides are often a vital part of disease management as they control many diseases satisfactorily. Fungicides need to be applied before disease occurs or at the first appearance of symptoms to be effective since the damage caused by diseases on plants often does not go away, even if the pathogen is killed. This is because plants grow and develop differently. Fungicides can only protect new uninfected growth from diseases. Also, few fungicides are effective against pathogens after they have infected a plant. Fungicides are applied as dust, granules, gas, and most commonly, liquid. Fungicides kill fungi by damaging their cell membranes, inactivating critical enzymes or proteins, or by interfering with key processes such as energy production or respiration.

Fungicides are categorized in several ways based on different characteristics. The most common characteristics used and categories are; Contact Fungicides (Protectants) remain on the surface of plants. Many contacts are potentially phytotoxic (toxic to plants) and can damage the plant if absorbed. Contacts are products suited for preventive (prophylactic) use as they work by contact action on the surface of the plant to which they have been applied. Repeated applications are needed to protect new growth of the plant and to replace material that has been washed off by rain or irrigation, or degraded by environmental factors such as sunlight. Sometimes contacts are referred to as "residual" products because the deposited fungicide remains on the plant surface, occasionally as a visible residue, for several days. Typically, older contact fungicides have multi-site activity and thus usually affect many fungi in different classes. Systemic (Penetrants) are absorbed into plants. Some systemic move very short distances from the site of application, such as across a leaf blade from one surface to the other (local systemic or translaminar). Some fungicides are weakly systemic and can move further from the application site than local systemic. Most systemic are more extensively when moving because they are mobile in xylem tissues. When applied to the root zone, these are absorbed by roots and then move upward through the plant with the transpiration stream (xylem-mobile systemic). Xylem-mobile systemic applied to leaves move throughout the leaf where deposited, but cannot be redistributed out of that leaf; however, any material deposited on stems can move upwards into leaves. Phloem-mobile systemic (also known as "true" or amphimobile systemic) have bi-directional mobility, some material moves in phloem out of the leaf where deposited upwards to other leaves and downwards to roots. Systemic cannot move again after translocation. Due to their ability to penetrate plants, some systemic possess both preventive and curative (eradicate or kick-back) activity, thus affecting the pathogen after infection.

Through the development of in vivo screens, and due to the increase in the stringency and number of regulatory tests required to register a new active ingredient, fungicide manufacturers have found it easier to develop single-site systemic recently. As a result, fungicide resistance has become a more important concern in disease management.

Floriculture, or Flower Farming, is a discipline of horticulture concerned with the cultivation of Flowering and Ornamental plants for gardens and for floristry, comprising the floral industry. The development, via plant breeding, of new varieties is a major occupation of floriculturists.

Floriculture Crops include bedding plants, houseplants, flowering garden and pot plants, cut cultivated greens, and cut flowers. As distinguished from nursery crops, floriculture crops are generally herbaceous, plants that have leaves and stems that die down at the end of the growing season to the soil level. They have no persistent woody stem above ground. Herbaceous plants may be annuals, biennials or perennials.

Flowering plants are largely sold in pots for indoor use. The major flowering plants are Poinsettias, Orchids, Florist Chrysanthemums, and finished Florist Azaleas. Foliage plants are also sold in pots and hanging baskets for indoor and patio use, including larger specimens for office, hotel, and restaurant interiors.

 

Cut Flowers are usually sold in bunches or as bouquets with cut foliage. The production of cut flowers is specifically known as the Cut Flower Industry. Farming flowers and foliage employs special aspects of floriculture, such as spacing, training and pruning plants for optimal flower harvest; and post-harvest treatment such as chemical treatments, storage, preservation and packaging.