Wheat

Wheat is one of the most important crops to humankind as it is a staple of many diets around the world. From the results of studies on fossil wheat kernels found in various countries of the Middle East, it is assumed that the beginning of wheat cultivation can be traced back to a few millennia B.C. In the Fertile Crescent, a geographical area situated between the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, and Persian Gulf once known as “Mesopotamia”, the earliest cultivated wheat was emmer wheat. Emmer wheat was first cultivated in 8500 B.C. In Western Europe Wheat spread in the Stone Age (8,000-5,000 B.C.). In the Americas, wheat has a recent history. In the first half of the sixteenth century, it was grown in Mexico, Peru, and Chile. Nowadays, the global trade of wheat is greater than all other crops combined. China produces more wheat than any other country, followed by India, Russia, and the United States.

Wheat is belonging to the grass family. There are many species and subspecies of wheat, but species of agronomic and economic interest are just two: soft wheat (Triticum aestivum) and durum wheat (Triticum durum). Wheat is an annual plant, with an erect stem, with cylindrical section, formed by 5-8 nodes and internodes, depending on the species and variety. The number of leaves per plant varies from 5 to 8, the leaf blade has a linear-lanceolate shape. The importance of the last leaf is noteworthy, a flag leaf in the filling phase of the kernels. Wheat has a fibrous root system, with primary roots and adventitious roots that originate from the basal nodes of the main stem and of the tillers. The inflorescence is an ear, and the pollination is anemophilous. The fruit is a caryopsis with an elliptical, oval shape and an accentuated ventral furrow.

The biological cycle of wheat, as in many other annual plants, coincides with the productive one. The main phenological stages are:

Sowing-emergency: it begins with the germination of the seed and proceeds with the development of the seedling until it emerges from the surface of the soil (emergence). Under optimal conditions, this phase lasts for 10-15 days.

Leaf development and beginning of tillering: after the emergency, development proceeds with the emission of new leaves. At the axilla of each leaf, a bud develops that exactly repeats the structure of the main stem and which, as it develops, gives rise to a tiller. During the tillering phase, the growth of the root system also proceeds, each stem in fact differentiates its own root system.

Tillering-beginning of stem elongation: the emission of the tillers proceeds with a rhythm depending on the temperatures. During tillering, the plants have a bushy appearance. The number of culms per plant present at this time largely exceeds the number that will be brought to maturity. The latter represents the tillering index which in normal cultivation conditions varies from 0,5 to 2.

Stem elongation: in this phase a rapid elongation of the internodes occurs, starting from the basal ones. The internodes gradually reach greater lengths, rapidly bringing the ear upwards. At this stage, the last leaf called the flag leaf is also clearly visible.

Flowering: flowering lasts an average of 4-8 days and after fertilization the development of the caryopsis begins.

Growth and ripening: in this phase the caryopsis first increase in size, accumulate reserve substances (starch and protein substances) and finally quickly lose moisture until the maturation phase, suitable for harvesting.

Wheat is a micro-thermo cereal, different adaptation mechanisms dependent on the reaction to low temperatures and the photoperiod allow it to synchronize the different phases of the production cycle to the most favorable periods of the year for environmental conditions. The ideal temperatures for growth and production are around 18-20 °C (64.4-68 °F). Sensitivity to frost is high in the germination and emergence phases. Cold resistance increases between emergence and the fourth leaf, reaching its maximum in full tillering. Wheat adapts to a wide range of soil conditions. The ideal conditions are in clayey soils, with a good structure and well-endowed with organic substance. Wheat benefits from the alternation with other species, in fact already in the first year of thanks or re-growth, that is, when it returns to the same soil, the reduction in grain yields is marked. Renewal crops, such as corn, tomato, potato, tobacco, sunflower, are good crop precessions for wheat, as this cereal can very well exploit the residual fertility that these crops leave in the soil.

The quantity of nutritional elements needed by the plant varies according to genetic factors and environmental conditions. The higher the product yields, the greater the quantities of nutrients absorbed.

Today it is necessary to optimize fertilization, to make the crop absorb most if not all the elements supplied with the fertilizers, avoiding underdoses that limit production or overdoses that represent an economic loss for the farmer as well as a potential risk from an environmental standpoint.

Among the essential nutrients for the plant, nitrogen is the one that is most frequently found in the soil in insufficient quantities to meet the needs of the wheat. Nitrogen fertilization is therefore of primary importance in the cultivation of this cereal and is almost always necessary to obtain high product yields.

Nitrogen influences the production of wheat in several ways. An abundant availability of the element delays the senescence of the foliar apparatus, resulting in a longer duration of assimilation and increases leaf expansion with a direct effect on the photosynthetic capacity. Furthermore, optimal availability of this element produces greater tillering, lower mortality of the stems and better fertility of the ears. The absorption rate of nitrogen from the soil reaches its maximum during stem elongation and normally decreases until it stops during caryopsis growth and ripening.

The plant also needs to find a good concentration of phosphorus in the soil, especially in the first weeks after sowing, even if the greater share absorbs it during stem elongation. Also, for potassium, the largest amount is absorbed during stem elongation.

The crop also benefits from the application of products with a biostimulant action, based on beneficial microorganisms and vegetable protein hydrolysates. These products are able to stimulate the emergence and root development in the early stages of seedling development, to improve the availability of nutrients in the soil, to increase the yield from a quantitative and qualitative standpoint, to reduce the negative impact of climatic stresses and to increase the nutrient use efficiency (NUE). The application of biostimulants increases the environmental and economic sustainability of the production system.

Sample Fertilization Plan

Hello Nature wheat seed coating

Seed coating

Improve emergence and root development

OR

Improve emergence and root development
Enhance nutrient availability and provide useful bacteria
Hello Nature wheat before sowing

Before sowing

Improve soil fertility (chemical, physical and biological)

OR

Improve soil fertility (chemical, physical and biological)
Hello Nature wheat emergence

Emergence

Enhance nutrient availability and provide useful bacteria
Hello Nature wheat 3 leaves

Ear 1 cm

Enhance nutrient availability and provide useful bacteria
Hello Nature wheat stem elongation

Stem elongation

Enhance nutrient availability and provide useful bacteria
Increase tolerance to abiotic stress
Improve NUE
Hello Nature wheat flowering

Flowering

Improve final quality of the grain
Increase tolerance to abiotic stress
Apply with UAN for quality

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PRODUCT BENEFITS

Our seed treatment strategy is the best solution to start your cultivation. It is the sustainable basis of the entire crop cycle, allows for better germination, increases the resistance of plants to abiotic stresses, the availability of nutrients and the root development. Our seed treatments solutions have polyvalent and high persistence action that stimulate and support the development of the plant throughout the entire crop cycle. COVERON STIM is an innovative biostimulant specifically designed for seed treatment. It is rich in peptides 100% of vegetal origin and contains the exclusive peptide LRPP (Lateral Root Promoting Peptide), that has a strong and direct action on germination and roots development. COVERON is an innovative biostimulant for seed treatment containing different selected, patented, and proprietary beneficial microbials. It is the first commercial formulation combining mycorrhizae and Trichoderma atroviride, also suitable for organic farming.

Organic fertilization provides organic matter and plant essential nutrients to the soil. It is important to reduce the necessity of repeated application of synthetic fertilizers to maintain soil fertility. For this reason, it is important to use organic fertilizers in pre-sowing, capable of improving the physical, chemical, and biological fertility with a high level of phosphorus, a fundamental element in the early stages of crop development. SONAR 7-15-3 or GUANITO 6-15-3 + 2 MgS are the ideal solutions for the organic fertilization of wheat in pre-sowing. SONAR guarantees a great quantity of nutrients during the entire growth cycle of the plant, due to the gradual release of organic nitrogen and phosphorus. It is suitable for fertilization of grains thanks to a favorable ratio between N and P. GUANITO is the organic fertilizer designed to supply a high quantity of organic nitrogen and 100% assimilable phosphorus, also suitable for organic farming.

The protein content in both hard and soft wheat is the most important parameter for obtaining quality harvests and for guaranteeing a high-value product for the milling industry. The interest in the protein content of wheat derives from the fundamental importance played by gluten (which constitutes about 80% of the protein content) in determining the technological characteristics of the doughs, and therefore of the derivatives, of wheat flour. For the final quality of the crop and its protein content it is essential to treat during the heading / flowering phase to stimulate the plant metabolism and the production of amino acids. OASI N22 is developed to supply a high quantity of nitrogen of 4 different forms: organic, nitric, ureic and ammoniacal, mixed in a balanced ratio and 100% assimilable. TRAINER containing vegetal peptides which have a strong ability to boost plant metabolism.

Nutrients in the soil are often unavailable for plants but specific bacteria are able to solubilize mineral elements and make them available for plant uptake. Besides, vegetal protein hydrolysates can modify the microbiome on plant tissues increasing the microbial biodiversity and especially plant growth promoting bacteria. GLYSS is a new generation plant biostimulant based on the combination of beneficial bacteria and vegetal protein hydrolysates including Plant Stimulating Peptides (PSP) enriched with Lateral Root Promoting Peptide (LRPP). GLYSS is suitable for seed treatment, but it can also be applied as foliar spray with herbicides. Glyss enhancing nutrient availability and providing useful bacteria increases the yield and quality, with positive impact also on soil biodiversity.

All growers, conventional and organic, have an interest in gaining back the yield potential lost due to abiotic stresses.  It’s proven that on the average, farmers can harvest only 50% of the yield potential. The yield gap can be caused by biotic and abiotic stresses with a stronger negative impact of abiotic stresses. In fact, abiotic stresses like heat, cold, salt, drought and flooding caused from 65 to 75% of the yield gap, while biotic stress only 25 to 35%. TRAINER has been shown to consistently help plants better recover from stress events by increasing antioxidant supply, stimulating antioxidant biosynthesis, and activating antioxidant defense enzymes. PSPs maintained higher photosynthetic activity and a better nutritional status in the shoot tissues leading to a higher crop performance. There are many protein hydrolysate products on the market, however, the composition of the products varies widely. With TRAINER, the concentration of peptides is the key and peptides have high availability to plants because they are in a ready-to-use form.
Nowadays, sustainable fertilization management is essential to increase the overall performance of cropping systems by providing economically optimum nourishment to the crop while minimizing nutrient losses from the field and supporting agricultural system sustainability by increasing Nutrient Use Efficiency (NUE). NUE is directly linked to the crop yield and generally defined as the yield of harvestable product per unit of nutrient available from the soil and fertilizer. TRAINER containing vegetal peptides, which we called Plant Stimulating peptides, improves NUE by enhancing both the uptake and utilization efficiency of nutrients. For instance, promoting the fine root growth, stimulating root enzymes involved in nutrient uptake, or upregulating genes encoding for enzymes involved in plant assimilation of inorganic nutrients such as nitrates. Foliar application of TRAINER on wheat, directly and indirectly improve NUE especially under low nutrient availability.

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