Trials carried out by agri-science and technology company, Syngenta have confirmed that a crop biostimulant it produces can deliver savings of between 30kg and 50kg of applied nitrogen N/ha when used to maintain an average yield target in both feed wheat and barley crops.

The trials were carried out to evaluate the impact of its crop biostimulant, Vixeran.

The company said that the product can be used to boost crop yields when accompanying a recommended N fertiliser application regime with cereals.

Vixeran is not being recommended for use on malting barley crops at the present time.

Vixeran crop biostimulant

Syngenta field technical manager, Andy Cunningham, spoke at a recent technical briefing.

Cunningham confirmed that Vixeran can boost feed wheat and barley yields by 0.3t/ha, when used in tandem with a full fertiliser N regime.

He said: “It is applied as a foliar spray between growth stages 21 to 31. The application rate is 50g/ha.

“Vixeran is fully compatible with many other tank mix constituents that are applied to crops at this stage in their development, including plant growth regulators.”

The active ingredient within the biostimulant is a bacterium called azobacter salinestris. Once added to a crop, it multiplies across the leaves and the roots, supporting plants throughout the entire season.

According to Syngenta, Vixeran can be successfully applied to beans – as it acts to complement the N-fixing capacity of the legume late in the growing season.

N-fixing nodules are normally formed within bean plants three-to-five weeks post-emergence. These start to fix N as soon as they are formed.

Given that pulses are a great source protein, the demand for N is highest exactly when the nodules have senesced off.

This means the plant preferentially robs the required nitrogen from leaves.

By supplementing the nitrogen-need with Vixeran, it reduces the burden on the leaves according to the company. This allows the plant to carry on photosynthesising.

Trials, carried out in 2023, have confirmed that the application of Vixeran can boost bean yield by up to 0.53t/ha.

Syngenta is also claiming that the biostimulant can boost grass silage yields significantly. Trials points to a 10% increase in yield across first and second silages.

The company also confirmed that silages made from Vixeran-treated grass can be safely fed to ruminant livestock.