Day 1 :
MD, ReXil Agro BV, Netherlands
Time : 10:55 - 11:25
Henk-Maarten Laane is a MD starting his professional career in 1967 at the University of Amsterdam in the field of Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology. Worked as GP and Coroner for the City of Amsterdam (1973-2000). Since 1990 involved in medicine research for HIV/AIDS. Degree in Social Medicine. Since 2000 research on the health effects of Silicon on humans and animals, resulting in the registration and introduction of (patented) silicic acid as food supplement. Based on these supplements also experiments were started on plants. The results showed very positive growth stimulating effects due to the as well the soil as foliar application: the Silicic Acid Agro Technology (= SAAT) was ‘born’. Based on ongoing experiments since 2001 we have shown that (stabilized) silicic acid is very effective as biostimulant, next to its effect on biotic and abiotic stress factors resulting in (much) higher yields with higher quality.
For optimal growth all relevant nutrients are needed. Among the nutrients, silicon is an ignored nutrient due to the common opinion that plants do not suffer from Si deficiency. In most soils there is an abundant presence of Ai as silicates, silicon dioxide or biogenic silica. But silicates, SiO2 are hardly/not plant available. Only (mono-) silicic acid is plant available, but its concentration in the soil is very low causing a silicic acid deficiency. This is due to several reasons like the instability of this molecule which polymerizes very fast. Based on patented production processes stabilized, plant available and plant active silicic acid is now used in agriculture: the silicic acid agro technology. SAAT can be used as foliar spray and as soil and hydroponic amendment. In many trials since 2003 this stabilized SA has shown to be very effective on almost any plant. Increases in yield, biomass and quality has been shown in many crops, as well monocots as dicots, like rice, sugarcane, sweet corn, tobacco, okra, watermelon, tomato, chili peppers, grapes, etc. Results on several crops will be presented. SA is speeding up plant growth by a larger root system, longer and thicker tillers/stem, larger leaf surface with higher chlorophyll content, etc. SA decreases as well abiotic as biotic stresses resulting in healthier plants allows reducing the use of pesticides significantly. The shelf life is increased and the post-harvest losses are decreased. SAAT is safe (for the plant, the soil and the consumer), ecofriendly and cost-effective. Silicic acid is a bio-stimulant, a fertilizer as well as a plant protectant.
President of the International Society for Silicon in Agriculture and Related Disciplines
Time : 11:25 - 11:55
Dr. N. B. Prakash, Professor of Soil Science at University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India, has dedicated research on Silicon in Agriculture. He has contributed immensely in identifying silicon deficient areas and categorization in different soils of South India. Dr. Prakash organized the Indo US workshop on Silicon in Agriculture during 25-27 February 2010 and the 8thPSILPH at UAS, Bangalore during 18-22 October 2012. He has guided 14 master and 4 PhD students in soil science. He has contributed for release of silicon based technology (Recycling of rice hull ash and foliar silicic acid) in the package of practices of UAS, Bangalore. He has more than 40 publications published in national and international journals to his credit. Being President of the International Society for Silicon in Agriculture and Related Disciplines since 2014, he will be involved in organising 7th International Conference on Silicon in Agriculture in 2017 at UAS, Bangalore, India
Silicon (Si) is found beneficial in many crops and promotes the growth and development of plants under abiotic and biotic stresses. In the past decade, studies have focused on a better understanding of the mechanism involved in the Si transport and confirmed Si uptake by plants at the molecular level. Weathering reactions, leaching and intensive cultivation of high yielding cultivars can reduce the concentration of plant available Si in soil. This emphasizes the need for a good Si source in agricultural and horticultural crops.
The addition of silicate materials to crops started in Japan in the early 1950s and is commonly used in many parts of the world such as Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Sri Lanka, Brazil, South Africa, USA and other countries. Wollastonite (CaSiO3), iron and steel mill slags or their derivatives, K and Na silicates, foliar/ liquid formulations, Si minerals, calcium silicate hydrate, silica gel, thermo-phosphate, Diatomite, rice straw, rice hull, rice hull ash, sugarcane bagasse and other Si rich crop residues are the commonly used Si sources in different crops. But, for field application an ideal Si source should possess attributes like local availability, cost effectiveness, easy to handle, Si solubility and improve plant available Si and Si bioavailability, environment friendly and improve crop growth and yield. In India, the preliminary experiments using Si fertilization have given promising results in field crops like rice, maize, finger millet, sugarcane and potato and horticultural crops like grapes, tomato, pomegranate and banana. Calcium silicate and rice hull ash applied @ 2 to 4 t Si ha-1 and foliar silicic acid @ 2- 4 ml L-1 were found to improve Si content and crop yield. Application of slag improved the Si and Zn nutrition of rice with a favourable benefit: cost (B:C) ratio over calcite application