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Sili-Max Improves Wheat Yield and Quality, Research Report (HG) ENG

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1331 W. Houston Avenue, Gilbert, AZ 85233 | 800.961.1220 | Fax 480.425.3061 | info@humagro.com | www.humagro.com ©2018, Trademarks and registered trademarks are property of Bio Huma Netics, Inc. Research Report Liquid Sili-Max ® Improves Wheat Yield at Much Higher Efficiency Than Conventional Dry Silicon Fertilizers Research by Brenda Tubana, PhD, Louisiana State University Objective This objective of this study was to compare, for use in Louisiana wheat production, the efficacy of a liquid silicon (Si) fertilizer (Huma Gro ® Sili-Max ® ) with a commonly used dry Si source (steel slag) and another Si source (wollastonite) often used in research as a suspension. Silica deposition is an important barrier for foliar fungal diseases. Materials and Methods The wheat field study was conducted at Louisiana Ag-Center Research Stations. Silicon (Si) treatments presented in Table 1 were replicated four times and arranged in a randomized block design. There were 2 Huma Gro ® Sili-Max ® (10% Si) treatments (as a foliar band, and as foliar broadcast sprayed evenly over the entire plot). Each treatment was applied twice within 2 weeks at the onset of internode elongation (Feekes growth stage 5). The dry silicon sources (wollastonite [23% Si] and steel slag [11% Si]) were applied and incorporated into the soil prior to planting. Wheat leaf samples were collected one week after the application of silicon solution sources and evaluated for silica bodies (phytolith) deposition and percentage using scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive x-ray analysis. The measured parameters were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) using PROC MIXED in SAS; mean separation procedure using pdiff option was conducted for parameters that were affected by the treatment at 95% confidence level (P ≤ 0.05). Table 1. Details of the Si Treatments Used Treatment No. of Applications Si Rate, lb/acre Total Si Applied, lb/ac Control — — — Lime — — — Wollastonite 1 250 250 Steel Slag 1 250 250 Sili-Max ® Foli- ar Band 2 0.032 (4 oz/ac of Sili-Max ® ) 0.064 Sili-Max ® Foli- ar Broadcast 2 0.064 (8 oz/ac of Sili-Max ® ) 0.128 Results Sili-Max ® foliar band and Sili-Max ® foliar broadcast increased grain yield by 10 and 7 bu/ac, respectively, in reference to the control plot (Fig. 1). It is important to note that the total silicon applied using Sili-Max ® solution was substantially lower (0.064 to 0.128 lb Si/ac) than the dry wollastonite and steel slag silicon sources (250 lb Si/ac). The state average wheat yield was low that year due to a mild winter that affected the wheat vernalization. Sili-Max ® foliar band had the numerically highest straw yield at 7,941 lb/ac (Fig. 2). HG-180702-02 10 20 30 40 0 Grain Yield bu/ac Sili-Max® Foliar Band Silicon Sources Steel Slag Wol- lastonite Sili-Max® Foliar Broadcast Lime Control a ab abc abc abc d Figure 1. Silicon Source Effect on Grain Yield The accumulated silica bodies (phytolith) were 0.69% and 0.60% with Sili-Max ® foliar broadcast and Sili-Max ® foliar band treatments, respectively while the control had 0.53% (Fig.3). Conclusions Huma Gro ® Sili-Max ® applied as foliar band at a rate 3,900 times less than the dry silicon sources contributed to higher grain yield and straw yield, while the application of Sili-Max ® as a foliar broadcast at a rate 1,900 times less than the dry silicon sources led to high Si deposition in wheat leaves. Figure 2. Silicon Source Effect on Straw Yield 2,000 4,000 6,000 8,000 0 Straw Yield lb/ac Sili-Max® Foliar Band Silica Sources Steel Slag Wol- lastonite Sili-Max® Foliar Broadcast Lime Control abc abcd abcde bcde def f 7,000 5,000 3,000 1,000 Figure 3. Relative percentage silicon content based on energy dispersive x-ray analysis on leaf samples (silica bodies per 1 mm 2 ). 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 0 Relative % Si Steel Slag Silica Sources Wol- lastonite Sili-Max® Foliar Broadcast Control 0.7 0.5 0.3 0.1 Sili-Max® Foliar Band

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