SilicaMax – BD 501 Horn Silica
SilicaMax intensifies the light processes within the plant, causing a more upright growth and often more compact and smaller wavey leaves. Therefore it is best used after an application of Etherics 1000 or Etherics Seaweed, which stimulates a larger more vibrant growth. These two products work together. Etherics pushes from below providing strength, while SilicaMax can be seen to push from above, creating a strong compact resilience in the plant.
SilicaMax is made from groundup quartz crystals, which is then composted through the summer period, within a cows horn. It is then homeopathically diluted to make its application easy. Unlike traditional Horn Silica, SilicaMax does not need further stirring before use. Just dilute and spray.
Etherics can be sprayed over a plant at transplanting time and around a week later once the plant is established and gaining a growing momentum, SilicaMax can be applied. The plant should then take on a upright robust form. Depending on the life cycle of the plant, and the seasonal climate, further applications can be made. In cloudy wet seasons , monthly applications of SilicaMax can be made, while in normal seasons on perrrennial crops like fruit trees, 3 applications evenly spaced throughout the season will be enough, for increases in plant strength and quality such as better taste, strong fruit skins and colour, will be evident. For annual vegetables, two applications , a month or so apart, are usually enough.
On dairy farms we suggest using SilicaMax once in the early Spring and once in the early Autumn. In both cases it enhances the light processes at these low light periods, helping with the feed quality of the grass. Etherics can be applied just after the cows leave the paddock, while SilicaMax is applied once the grass starts growing strongly again, about one week later. It is not uncommon to see the cows only each half the grass in the next feeding round , due to its higher nutritional value.
SilicaMax is usually applied in the morning, before the heat of the day.
Scientific evidence of SilicaMax effect.
Our colleague Gill Bacchus has done a study in 2010
AN EVALUATION OF THE INFLUENCE OF BIODYNAMIC PRACTICES INCLUDING FOLIAR-APPLIED SILICA SPRAY ON NUTRIENT QUALITY OF ORGANIC AND CONVENTIONALLY FERTILISED LETTUCE (LACTUCA SATIVA L.)
1 30 Bennett St., Paeroa 3600, New Zealand.
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Evidence for the role of silica in plants is reviewed with respect to the application of silicate based sprays in biodynamic agriculture. There is research indicating improved resistance to pests, disease, drought and other stresses on plants from application of silica fertilisers and sprays. There is also evidence of improved nutrient uptake.
Experiments with field grown lettuce were undertaken to evaluate the effects of the biodynamic field-spray preparations and organic composts on lettuce yield, nutrient uptake, nitrogen metabolism, antioxidant activity and soil organism activity. Higher fresh yields of field lettuce were observed with organic composts than with a mixture of diammonium phosphate and calcium ammonium nitrate applied at similar N and P application rates.
Although lettuce yields were higher when the compost and plants were treated with biodynamically prepared silica sprays, the variation in lettuce fresh yield in the field was high (c.v. 28%) and the effects of the sprays were not statistically significant (p 0.05). Irrespective of fertiliser source, composts or soluble fertiliser, silica sprays produced lettuce at harvest (47 DAT) with higher dry matter content and crude protein in fresh leaves. However, application of silica spray had no statistically significant effect on lettuce fresh head yield, N uptake, plant sap nitrate concentrations, NO3 to TKN ratio, and amino acid content.
Further investigation of management practises, such as the use of biodynamic field sprays, which may contribute to nutrient uptake and assimilation and improved product quality within an organic system, is recommended.
A further study was done in Eygpt.
Evaluation of some biodynamic applications on cotton, sesame and wheat under Egyptian conditions
Dr. Zakaria El-Haddad Professor of Agriculture Engineering and Systems, Banha Univ. Egypt
Director of the Egyptian Biodynamic Association, Sekem group
Presented in the International conference of “Plant nutrient management under stress conditions”, National Research Center, Cairo, Egypt, November 2008.
4- Discussion and conclusion
The yield increase was 40, 27 and 59% for the three crops respectively, as a result of applying the three tested parameters i.e. timing the operations with the biodynamic calendar, applying BD500 and BD501. These results agree with the reported figures of Maria Thun (2003) which indicate that timing cultivation activities according to biodynamic calendar significantly increased crop yield by 11, 20, 44 and 83% for sunflower, canola, clover and strawberries respectively.
European research on the biodynamic preparations shows an affects on soil structure, root development, yield and crop quality. The influence of the timing the operation with the calendar alone increased yield by 17% for both cotton and sesame trails .The difference of the yield of the two crops between the full package and the calendar alone is the biodynamic preparation Applying horn preparation has increased yield by 27%, 46%, 7% and 13% for potato, onion, beans and cucumber. For same crops applying quartz preparation increased yield by 21, 20, 25 and 31 % respectively (M. Thun 2003)
De Vries (1988) reported a balanced development of grass in spring and a stimulation of grass growth in autumn after applying the field –spays 500 and 501. Von Mackesen (1994) studied the effects of the preparation on strawberries and reported a rich setting of a fruit, good aroma and fungus free growth 30 higher yields, and 8-10 days earlier harvest when the horn silica preparation was sprayed after harvest of the last crop and not in spring. He discussed the polar effects of this preparation as related to environmental factors of soil, light, intensity and moisture. by stimulating one phase in the plants growth one can help the polar opposite phase to reach its full potential (Von Mackensen 1994) Bloksma ,(1995) found that young apple trees in pots in a nursery showed more balanced growth and developed less side branches if the preparation 500 and 501 were applied Crop yield and root growth were studied in a 6- year trail comparing conventional, organic and biodynamic methods of fertilization. Intense use of a set of preparations, including a nettle-containing compound preparation, was found to have a balancing effect on the yield of maize and winter wheat, this effect may have been caused by greater root growth and improved root health. Goldstein .Wand .Barber, 2005
In the cotton tried increasing the number of quartz application (BD501) from 3 to 5 times increased yield production by almost 10 % also changing the timing of the application in the wheat has shifted the yield increase from grain to straw. These results need further investigation. Bisterbosch(1994) found in her research on lettuce , which included extensive phenomenological observation and food tests , that application of preparation 500 and 501 more than once during the growth season negatively affected product quality . She concluded that a healthy ordering of live processes was disturbed
From the previous results the full package of the biodynamic applications, i.e. following the agenda timing and applying the preparations gave very significant increase in all measures parameters for the three crops, cotton, and sesame and wheat
Further research should be conducted to show how the preparations function, to better understand how they produce such great influence on crop productivity,