For stronger & healthier crops
Zeme is a pioneering new product that improves strength, health and vigour of crops and protects against stress. Zeme uses Si-X technology to help plants transport and distribute silicon, a nutrient that can improve quality but is poorly taken up and distributed by plants.
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Silicon has the potential to improve growth, strengthen and protect crops but problems in uptake and distribution of silicon have limited the potential of silicon fertilizers to improve crops. Soils contain as much as 50% silicon, and the small soluble fraction that is available should be more than enough to provide good levels to crops. However for most crops this is not the case with large differences in silicon uptake leading to huge variations in content between crops, with some species like rice containing as much as 15% silicon, but most other cereal crops only 1-3% and most dicots (fruits, vegetables and potatoes) only 0.1-0.5%. Indeed the vast majority of silicon released into soil water leaches into the sea without ever being taken up by plants.
So why do plants take up so little of the silicon available to them, and can this teach us how to improve it?
Silicon is not phloem mobile, so like other non-mobile elements (calcium and boron) plants move it through xylem with water. This means silicon transport moves up and through the plant from roots and is not evenly distributed. This is made worse by limitations in xylem loading. To get into and out of xylem silicon has to pass through a surrounding layer called the ‘Casperian strip’ which is impervious to silicon. Plants ‘pump’ silicon into xylem in the roots, and back out into leaves, shoots and fruit using influx and efflux transporters.
Although all crops use the same transporters, some do it more efficiently than others. This is why crops like rice can accumulate upto 15% silicon, whilst many fruit and vegetable crops can have as little as 0.1% silicon. The lack of transport leads to a traffic jam in the roots, and providing more silicon does little to improve uptake.
Better transport and distribution of silicon
To help make silicon more effective, Levity have developed Si-X technology (patent applied), which stimulates influx and efflux of silicon from xylem. This Si-X technology used in Zeme ensures that plants can efficiently take up and distribute silicon making it work far more effectively.
Because the silicon in Zeme is more mobile in the plant it can be applied at low levels (1L/Ha) and less frequently than conventional silicon fertilisers.
More metabolically active silicon
Another limitation of silicon application to crops is the fast conversion to inert forms. When silicon is deposited in leaves
(or applied to leaves in a foliar spray) it rapidly forms opals, thin layers of silica gel.
These opals give the plant a degree of physical toughness and protection, but are chemically inert. Once they are formed the silicon can no longer be redistributed and can no longer have any growth stimulant or anti-stress effects.
The Si-X technology used in Zeme slows down the process of silica gel formation, which when combined with improved transport allows a more long lasting and greater growth stimulation and anti-stress effect. Levity’s research demonstrates superior growth response when compared to conventional silicon applications.
Zeme makes metabolically active silicon rapidly available, in strong healthy growth. Research shows Zeme improves flower / grain development, stem thickness and height, and produces a stronger more upright crop.
Strengthens crops against damage
Silicon gives plant tissue physical toughness that helps plants resist damage. The Si-X technology used in Zeme improves the distribution of silicon, giving better and more long-lasting strength to the crop.
Improves growth during stressful growing conditions
Silicon elicits a strong anti stress response in crops, but only when metabolically active. The Si-X technology used in Zeme keeps silicon metabolically active for longer stimulating a powerful anti-stress effect.
Improves post-harvest shelf life
Pre harvest applications of zeme are an effective way of extending post-harvest shelf life in leafy vegetables and fruit crops.