Magic Bloom – Green
Growth of world population in the past few decades has forced the agricultural sector to increase crop productivity to satisfy the needs of billions of people. Widespread cultivation in nutrient deficient soils and over-cultivation has resulted in great economic loss for the farmers and resulted in significant decrease in the nutritional and overall quantity of food available for humans and livestock. Large-scale application of chemical fertilizers aimed at increasing the crop productivity has not proved a suitable option in long run because the chemical fertilizers are a double-edged sword, which on the one hand increased the crop production but on the other disturbs the soil mineral balance and decreased soil fertility. Large-scale application of chemical fertilizers and pesticides has caused irreparable damage to the soil structure, mineral cycles, soil microbial flora, plants and even gets into the food chain crossing the soil ecosystem leading to inheritable mutations in generations of humans and animals.
In recent years nano technology has shown its relevance in plant science and agriculture. Advancement in nanotechnology has paved way for large-scale production of nano particles of physiologically important metals which are now being used to:
- Improve fertilizer formulations
- Increase uptake in plant cells
- Minimize nutrient loss
Nano particles have high surface area, good adsorption capacity and controlled-release kinetics at target sites making them an effective smart delivery system. Nano structured fertilizers increase the nutrient efficiency through mechanisms such as targeted delivery, slow or controlled release. They release the active ingredients in response to environmental triggers and biological demands. In lab level investigations it is shown that nano-fertilizers help to improve crop productivity by increasing the rate of seed germination, accelerating seedling growth, increasing photosynthetic activity, nitrogen metabolism of carbohydrate and protein synthesis. Nanotechnology has made revolutionary breakthrough in various fields such as electronics, energy, automobile, space technology and life sciences. It has great potential in biological and medical applications such as gene and drug delivery, bio sensing, diagnostic and tissue engineering.
Nano materials have unique properties which makes them highly useful in agriculture and food sciences for solving numerous problems. Nano particles have potential applications in agriculture like controlled delivery of pesticide, fertilizers, nutrients, and genetic material. And can act as nano architects in formation and binding of cellular structure. Nano particles also result in modification of plant gene expression and associated biological pathways which increase plant growth and health. There is an urgent need for developing smart materials that can release fertilizers to specific targeted sites in plants providing nutrition as and when required. Advancement in nano-technology has opened up methods for affordable large-scale production of nano particles from critical plant-nutrient materials, for creating a smart delivery system, which will improve fertilizer delivery to :
- Optimize nutrient addition
- Delivery of required nutrients over longer period of time
- Increase uptake by the plant cell
These nano-fertilizer based smart delivery system form the backbone of the Magic Bloom Green system. When using conventional Fertilization methods very less nutrients reaches the target area due to leaching of chemicals, drift, runoff, evaporation, hydrolysis by soil moisture, and photolytic and microbial degradation. About 40–70 % of nitrogen, 80–90 % of phosphorus, and 50–90 % of potassium content of applied fertilizers is lost in the environment and do not reach the plant, but these unused chemicals adversely impact the environment, soil biomes, and cause undue economic loss to the farmer. These problems are amplified by every repeated use of the fertilizer and pesticide, adversely affecting the inherent nutrient balance of the soil. large-scale use of chemicals as fertilizers and pesticides have affected the normal soil flora and fauna, excess use of fertilizers and pesticide also increase pathogen and pest resistance, reduce soil micro flora, diminishes nitrogen fixation, contributes to bio accumulation of pesticides, destroying habitats of bees and birds affecting pollination and propagation. It has become very important to find alternate methods for chemical fertilization to fulfill crop nutrient requirements with minimum environmental impact. It calls for a drastically different approach to fertilization to provide adequate and necessary nutrients for the growth and yield of plants while keeping the soil in its naturally healthy condition at reduced cost to the farmer.
Nano technology has provided us with an opportunity for a novel approach. By using nano structured materials with controlled-release kinetics as the fertilizer carrier the efficiency of nutrient delivery is greatly enhanced leading to reduction in cost and environmental impact. In Magic Bloom Green, fertilizer molecules are held to a silica nanostructure, which due to its high surface area and surface tension carry the other nutrients along with it and help in targeted delivery and controlled release of the nutrients. Its advanced delivery system for agrochemical substances like macro and micronutrients to the plants is an important application of nanotechnology in agriculture.
Use of Magic Bloom Green ensure high dispersion, stability, delayed release kinetics and targeted delivery of nutrients in required concentrations. Nano particles have great potential to deliver nutrients to specific target sites in living systems. The loading of nutrients on the nano particles is done by absorption of the nutrients into the nano structure of Silica, a nutrient itself. The nano structured silica produced using the Stöber process with mesoporous and micro porous structures form an ideal delivery system for macro-micro nutrients in Magic Bloom Green. This will also help in carrying all other nutrients that is added to it, prior to using as a foliar spray.
Silicon apart from being a nano structured carrier for other nutrients in Magic Bloom Green, is a very important nutrient itself, though little was known about the multiple roles of silicon until recently except that it was known to be present in every soil. It has become less bio available and extremely deficient nutrient, leading to a host of problems. In the last decade, silicon has become the most discussed and researched nutrient in the soil science community. Researchers have presented hundreds of papers at the International Silicon Conferences in Brazil and South Africa. This neglected mineral is now becoming recognized as a key player in proactive pest and disease management and the production of nutrient rich food. The cell wall in plants is a substantial barrier that must be breached to gain access to the food available within. A fungal pathogen must drill through this wall with its hyphae to be able to tap into the nutritious cell centre. Once the cell walls are breached, the pest has the food source for multiplication and spreading. When the cell walls are strengthened so that the hyphae cannot breach it, the disease germ cannot gain a foothold and will not be able to multiply and spread. Leaf eating insects are also deterred by the silicon-strengthened cells of the leaf.
Many published papers have now confirmed the increased disease and insect resistance through good silicon nutrition. The silicon-enriched plants had more vigorous roots and canopies. When a disease begins, the plant directs all available silicon to attack site to strengthen the surrounding cells and stop or slow down the spread of the pathogen. However, silicon is immobile once incorporated into the cell wall. It must be in constant supply so that the plant can utilise it at these times. Most soils contain very less of bio available silicon so there are significant benefits in foliar spraying silicon at the first sign of any disease. This will help stop the spread of the disease.
Photosynthesis is the most important process on the planets and the leaf is essentially a solar panel. The underside of leaf serves to capture the CO2 gas as it rises from the soil life. Silicon strengthens the stem and holds that panel in perfect position to maximise photosynthesis. The plant is less likely to drop in warm conditions, as nano structured silica also help to retain water for a longer period. Minerals also play a major role in photosynthesis. Silicon has a big impact upon mineral uptake. Phloem and xylem pathways that govern mineral absorption and the translocation of minerals within the plant is built from silicon and their performance will improve with sufficient availability of Silica. Use Magic Bloom Green for stronger cell walls and more stress-resistant plant, whether the stress is from pathogens or non-living factors.