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New mycorrhiza dosing system for established orchards


Agrovista has been promoting the benefits of mycorrhizal inoculant RGPro Horti when planting new orchards for several seasons.

Growers impressed by the success of this treatment, in terms of tree vigour, have enquired whether it is possible to apply it to existing orchards. Thanks to the efforts of fruit agronomist Tom Johnson, the answer is yes.

The benefits of these soil-dwelling fungi are well established. Mycorrhiza attach themselves to tree roots, enabling an enormous expansion of the system, which results in increased nutrient and water uptake, as well as the potential to increase resistance to pathogens.

There are many mycorrhizal products on the market, mainly manufactured overseas. RGPro is produced in Kent by Plantworks and contains pure mycorrhiza only, using fungal strains isolated from UK soils.Until recently, it has only been possible to apply RGPro during the planting of new orchards, incorporating it into the planting hole or using it as a root dip.

Mr Johnson has developed a system that allows existing orchards to be inoculated and so benefit from RGPro.

"The system, which is mounted on a root pruning machine, provides extremely accurate dosing," says Mr Johnson. "The product is delivered via a tube to the base of the pruning blade, which is inserted to the required depth.

"The operation could be carried out as part of a root­pruning operation or as a straightforward inoculation system, simply by adjusting the positioning of the blade," he adds.

Agrovista is offering the inoculation service in partnership with Loddington Farm.


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