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Could any of these 3 mistakes during the flowering stage be reducing your profitability?

Flowering is a brief but decisive period when it comes to defining the season’s yield potential. To maximise production, one must take the utmost care to ensure that flowering reaches its full potential.

Factors such as climate conditions, the crops nutritional and water status, as well as previous post-harvest management, all combine to determine potential flowering success, which of course has a high impact on the potential profitability that growers will gain at harvest. Below we discuss the three most common factors that can impact flowering success.


1. Discounting climate effects?

Flowers are extremely specialised, highly sensitive organs. This is why most plants have evolved so that their flowering is concentrated during periods when the weather is usually mild, to try reduce the risk of extreme climate conditions disrupting the pollination and fruit set process.

Unseasonal temperatures or large day / night variations, frosts, heavy rain, or sudden changes in environmental conditions, for example in air humidity during flowering, can reduce flowering success and thus the yield potential and / or quality. Some well-known examples are uneven pollination in grape, that later leads to “Coulure” (shatter) and “Millerandage” (hen and chick) in the bunches, increased fruit abortion in citrus, fewer fruits in the case of tomatoes…

Although each crop has precise requirements for optimum flowering, improving their tolerance to abiotic stresses before, during, and after flowering helps to maximise flowering success. To achieve this, the use of biostimulants is a must and their application at the optimum time and dose are key for maximum profitability.

A fundamental step is the use of preventive agronomic management strategies against abiotic stress, such as the highly effective Primactive effect from our Phylgreen range. Primactive prepares plants for any possible oncoming abiotic stress. Should a high stress situation occur, growers still have the opportunity to reduce its negative effects on flowering using curative strategies via our Curactive products. These products help to stimulate crop metabolism and enable it to more quickly minimise any potential negative impact on flowering that could result from these stresses.

With the high impact of climatic stress in flowering and eventually on profitability, it is more than useful to remember the saying “prevention is better than cure”. This is why during this key growth stage Tradecorp emphasise the importance of abiotic stress prevention using Primactive products as the fundamental step in stress management. Of course, thinking about stress management is going to be more profitable if the crop is receiving balanced nutrition to power itself through the flowering stage.


2. Discounting balanced nutrition?

Optimum nutrition throughout the crop cycle, with a specific awareness of the nutritional needs at the different growth stages, is essential to achieve consistent flowering success. While each crop has different requirements during flowering, there are basic common nutritional and agronomic practices that apply to all crops during this stage, such as ensuring plants’ leaves have the correct green hue for the time of year (N, Mg, Fe, Zn, Mn) and that nutrients closely related to flowering success (P, B, Mo, Zn) are available in both sufficient quantities and the correct proportions.

Nutrition can be tackled most appropriately in advance of flowering. This supply of nutrients can be done either alone or, more conveniently, through their application in combination with Biostimulant products that are optimised to present the Primactive effect, which should also be applied before flowering. When the crop is optimally fertilised, and has a stress prevention program in place, it is well positioned to invest maximum energy into flowering success.

Macronutrients Impact on flowering success
Nitrogen Optimally applied (not in excess) impacts flowering time
Phosphorus Energy supply for vigorous flowering
Magnesium Maximise chlorophyll for high energy production and combined with Phosphorus for energy transport


Boron Pollen germination and viability, carbohydrate (energy) transport
Iron Maximise chlorophyll for high energy production
Manganese Optimise use of energy, and energy reserves, for vigorous flowering
Molybdenum Correct flower morphology, prevent excess nitrate which reduces flowering success
Zinc Cell division, in flowers, pollen and setting fruit
Copper Pollen fertility, especially in cereals

Along with the multiple nutrients that all crops require during flowering, they also use a great deal of energy to ensure a vigorous flowering and pollination. As a consequence, it is important to ensure that the crops’ energy factories are operating at full capacity right from the post harvest stage to before flowering begins, to ensure crop energy reserves are at a maximum to successfully power through this stage. This is achieved through both nutrition and optimum agronomic management.


3. Discounting crop energy requirements?

For crops flowering is one of the most intensive growth stages from an energy consumption point of view. For example, mango trees consume a large amount of energy during flowering and can also lose 0.3% of their Nitrogen during this stage alone due to flower petal fall. In all crops there is often a net consumption of energy reserves during this period. This means that the plant is drawing down on its existing reserves of stored energy and carbohydrates to fuel through this stage.

Beginning at post harvest, and importantly in the run up to flowering, the crop must be managed to maximise its ability to produce and store its own energy. For this, balanced nutrition, as mentioned previously, is the key: high chlorophyll density in the leaves (Mg, Fe, Zn, Mn, N) will enable maximum energy production (P, Mg), and transport to where it is needed (K, B), where it can be utilised (Mn) to ensure optimum pollination (B, Mo, Zn) with Cu also of high importance in cereals.

In addition to internal energy production and transport, that is optimised from a nutritional perspective, Biostimulant solutions that can bring external and readily available energy sources to the crop, or that reduce the energy needed to complete metabolic pathways, such as a reduction in the energy required to produce proteins, are important during this phase. Here, products that bring both balanced nutrition optimised for flowering, as well as an energy boost to the crop, can be a great asset for successful flowering.

Avoiding the 3 mistakes: Solutions for a successful flowering

1. Solutions to counteract climatic effects:

Agronomic management strategies against abiotic stress are essential to maximise flowering success. Tradecorp usually recommend two different, but complementary, ways of combating abiotic stress.

Phylgreen and Phylgreen Wave exhibit the Primactive effect, thus preparing plants for any possible oncoming abiotic stress.
Key Crops: Apply before abiotic stress in all crops.

Vegenergy and Delfan Plus present the Curactive effect. If an intense abiotic stress situation occurs, growers can reduce its negative effects by applying curative strategies with these two solutions.
Key Crops: Apply during or after abiotic stress in all crops.


2. Solutions for a balanced crop nutrition:

Optimum nutrition throughout the crop cycle is critical for flowering success. For grower convenience, Tradecorp recommend applying key flowering nutrients combined with biostimulant products that have the Primactive effect in advance of flowering.

Phylgreen Atlas (Ecocert CE) / Phylgreen Mira – Magnesium, Boron + Primactive Effect
Key Crops: All Perennial Crops (e.g. Grape, Apple, Pear, Stone Fruit, Kiwi, etc.) and intensive Horticultural Crops (e.g. Berries, Cucurbits, Salad Leaves, etc.)

Phylgreen B-Mo – Boron, Molybdenum + Primactive Effect
Key Crops: Annual Crops (e.g. OSR / Canola, (Sugar)Beet, Sunflower, Legumes and Brassica) Perennial Crops – Nut Crops


3. Solutions to provide the necessary energy:

Florastart brings both balanced nutrition optimised for flowering, as well as an energy boost to the crop.
Key Crops: All annual and perennial flowering crops


In conclusion, although it is a very brief growth stage, flowering has the largest impact on potential profitability aside from (trans)planting and the actual harvest itself. A tight integration of agronomic management practises that accounts for the potential effects of adverse climate, while also optimising the nutrition, as well as energy availability, that the crop requires during this stage, will contribute to maximum flowering success, and the potential for an optimal harvest and profitability.