Frost protection for flowering fruit crops - Fruit & Vine

Frost protection for flowering fruit crops

A natural plant biostimulant is helping to minimise or eliminate crop damage caused by late frosts, by stimulating the production of natural plant Anti-Freeze Protein (AFP) in flowering fruit crops

ICEAAX from UK bio-technology company AminoA, is an easy-to-use liquid L-isomer amino acid complex that stimulates the production of AFP.

By applying at flowering, immediately before a frost event, the OF&G registered biostimulant lowers the freezing point of the cell cytoplasm, enabling the crop to resist the late frost.

Richard Robinson, a Bramley apple grower based in Northern Ireland, has been using ICEAAX for the last two seasons, during which time his crop has faced some relentless frosts.

“We have applied ICEAAX both the day before the frosts came in, and also a few days later if the frost temperature started to get quite low again. I believe by doing so, ICEAAX has saved a higher percentage of our crop,” he says.

Managing sites with various levels of frost risk across the UK, national vineyard and winery consultancy Vinescapes has been using ICEAAX on some of its higher risk sites over the last two years.

“We have found ICEAAX has worked well as part of an integrated frost protection strategy,” says Joel Jorgensen, Vinescapes’ managing director
for viticulture.

“Without quantified results, we are confident that using ICEAAX has provided an extra layer of protection,” he adds.

The soft fruit team at AJ & CI Snell have been using the range of AminoA products for at least the last eight seasons.

Farm manager Tom Deards explains: “We initially used ICEAAX at times of frost risk and sustained cold periods, but have since also introduced AminoA Flo from the range, helping with periods of heat stress under polytunnels.

“We use AminoA Flo in tank mixes with fungicides and foliar feeds, allowing for optimal time of application directly when needed.”

“Our entire range of biostimulants provide significant frost tolerance in soft and top fruit crops, but ICEAAX uses a high concentration of L-isomer amino-acids to provide reliable results down to -3°C, depending on RH and duration,” comments Richard Phillips, AminoA managing director.

“Our products are deliberately designed to have broad spectrum activity, as they contain every essential amino-acid that plants synthesise throughout their growth cycle.

“Properly formulated biostimulants can reduce grower costs and improve profits, as well as reducing the environmental impact of agrochemicals,” he concludes.

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