How One Biostimulant is Tackling Pod Shatter to Maximise Yield and Security

What is the challenge?

Unsynchronized pod shatter in crops, has damaging worldwide effects on oil crop yields, contributing to huge economic losses for growers. Reports have shown in the UK, that one of the world’s most important crops, oilseed rape, has a 15-25% pod shattering associated seed loss, in normal growing conditions. Another mass-produced oil crop, soybean, has seed losses that range anywhere between 5% to 100%, due to pre harvest pod shattering, that are associated with adverse weather conditions such as drought, heat, and wind, which can weaken pod structure and cause premature shattering.

How does early pod shattering affect crops?

Oil crop harvesting times can be volatile for farmers, with unpredictable ripening of fruits leading to early pod shattering causing seeds to fall in the field, reducing growers yields and volunteers growth that will be competing with next season crop. Crops such as WOSR, have prolonged flowering periods, lasting up to one month. This leads to non-uniform pod opening and in consequence, seed yield loss and volunteers growth.

How is Brandon Bioscience helping reducing pod shatter?

Our first CE marked biostimulant, SEALICIT® is incorporated with a molecular signature, PSI® 759, specifically formulated to increase pod strength and to tackle early pod shattering. Formulated through our proprietary hot extraction process using the seaweed, Ascophyllum nodosum, SEALICIT® strengthens pods to be less fragile, which prevents early shattering and respectively, increases seed yield. The effectiveness of Sealicit® is attributed to the downregulation of a key pod shattering gene, INDISHESCENT (IND). In oil crops, such as WOSR, when IND expression is reduced, lignification is reduced, thus making pods less brittle, more elastic and reduces early pod shattering. When SEALICIT® is applied before flowering stage, pods produced are more shatter resistant.  Pod ripening becomes uniform across the crop, from the top of the plant to the bottom, reducing yield losses and gives growers extra time during harvesting period. SEALICIT® is safe for tank mixing and can be combined with other crop protection products (e.g., pesticides and fungicides).

In over 100 field tests carried out across Europe with WOSR, SEALICIT® has proven its effectiveness in enhancing fruit firmness and improving seed yield. In soybean trials, SEALICIT® has demonstrated its ability to reduce seed loss through increasing seed yield by, on average, 9.8%, with an increase in pod robustness and pod shattering resistance. Such high efficacy of the product is determined by strict quality control of the biochemistry of the final product, which is routinely performed in our lab.

SEALICIT® as a biostimulant has been proven to reduce pod shattering through its well-defined MOA.  This added resilience to the pods has been shown to deliver more yields and have a greater ROI for growers. SEALICIT® buys time by allowing for full ripening of pods without shattering. SEALICIT acts as an insurance for the farmer to save seeds that would be lost due to adverse weather conditions. SEALICIT® reduces stress during growing season by providing new level of harvest flexibility, with a longer harvesting window for growers.

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