04 December 2018
The Brittany-based Olmix Group, which recently acquired UK-based Micromix, a firm specialising in foliar nutrition and biostimulants, believes seaweed technology could be the answer to boosting crop yields at a time of declining chemical efficacy, with scientific breakthroughs revealing the multiple benefits of algae.
The Olmix Group has invested tens of millions of euros into algae research and innovation since 2012. It harvests seaweed from the Breton coast once it has reached the end of its lifecycle. Given the high tidal reach of the area, the seaweed is particularly strong, which is reflected in its biochemical make-up and stress tolerance.
When broken down into its components: Carbohydrates, proteins, sulphated polysaccharides and nutrients, the seaweed can then be used to boost crop and soil health, according to Didier Blin, plant care manager at Olmix. He said “Each has a different action on the plant, from growth stimulation to boosting the plant’s natural defence mechanisms against stress.”
Research projects manager, Maria Matard-Mann, said the product, when combined with micronutrients, inorganic acids, or clay, the product can be applied at different growth stages for maximum effect. “We are using seaweed as a complement to crop and soil health, not the only part of nutrition. That’s what makes the difference – having both a nutritional and biological activity.”
There are more than 9,800 species of seaweed, with a greater genetic diversity than fungi and animals combined.