When growing short-season crops like brassicas and leafy greens, we often see strong benefits from the biochemistry in Foundation LM when added to a grower's standard practice. In a series of block trials with some growers, we were able to capture some of the benefits that Foundation provides to growers by making nutrients more available and helping to improve plant performance.
The first trial was conducted in cos (romaine) lettuce. Cos is a sturdy, dark green, and fast growing variety of lettuce that is a staple in many Australian diets. The second trial was conducted on wombok (Chinese cabbage). It is also a favorite with Australians because of its tender leaves and nutritional qualities.
In the trials, Foundation LM was applied with the grower's standard practice (GSP) one week after planting at 10 litres per hectare through fertigation. Early tissue test results and results of first and second pickings showed exceptional responses from one application Foundation LM.
Optimal production of brassicas and leafy greens requires a balance of macronutrients and micronutrients with special importance on nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium. In both crops, we saw that the biochemistry in Foundation LM was getting these essential nutrients into the crop more efficiently and more effectively than the other treatments based on tissue testing.
As the season progressed, it was evident that the biochemistry in Foundation LM improved availability of nutrients and uniformity at harvest. In the pictures below, you can see a drastic difference in the amount of cos lettuce harvested in the first cut in Foundation LM treated blocks versus the other treatment blocks, as well as the size difference in wombok.
In cos lettuce, 92% of plants in the Foundation LM treated blocks were able to be harvested in the first cut, an increase of 8% compared to the GSP + competitor biologic and 15% compared to the GSP alone (% calculated is based on 120,000 plants/Ha). In wombok, we saw a 20% increase in harvested plants with Foundation LM after the first and second cuts compared to the GSP, and a 15% increase compared to the GSP + competitor biologic. This increase in uniformity at harvest is particularly important because brassicas and leafy greens are harvested by hand, and each additional picking incurs added labor costs.
Learn more about Foundation LM in brassicas, leafy greens and other horticulture crops by accessing the Foundation LM hort crop booklet.