“I really appreciate the World Focus view,” says Herlu Smit of Boomplaas near Jacobsdal in the Western Freestate. “They do not pester you to peddle their product – their aim is to improve the health of the soil on your land, which will result in eventual higher production. There is a great truth in the saying Look after your soil, then your trees will look after you.”

In 2016 Herlu took over some badly neglected pecan nut plantations. The orchard blocks were between three and seven years old. He consulted Tinus Berg, local distributor of World Focus products, and entered into a pact with the company with a view to the future.

One of the main reasons for his decision was the fact that the company markets organic products, which boded well for the future he had in mind. Not only are the World Focus products organically produced, but also of high quality, says Herlu.

As the plantations were not yet paying their way, Herlu could not follow the recommendations to the letter. However, even with lower applications of World Focus products, the trees proved the value of the system after the first year.

Nut grading: 2016 vs 2017 (No medium or small nuts for 2017)

Another major advantage of the products is that smaller volumes are applied compared with traditional chemicals. The effect of five kilograms of micro fine lime equals one ton of gypsum. There is even a further saving: One does not have the expenditure of physical transport, machinery and labour to spread and then mix the lime with the soil – it can now be done with crop sprayers or through the irrigation system!

Herlu Smith of Jacobsdal indicates that the tree is five years old.

The World Focus plan for the new Boomplaas groves

According to the World Focus report the land was in a critical condition. At van Schalkwyk says: “Before we became involved or make any recommendations, we take soil samples all over for specific analysis. The results then enable us to compile a short, medium and long term fertilisation program for recommendation to the farmer.”

The Boomplaas analyses indicated that most of the blocks suffered from a lack of phosphate (P), excessively high magnesium (Mg), and far too little calcium (Ca). The extremely high magnesium resulted in the absorption of potassium being detrimentally affected.

The phosphate deficiency was corrected with micro rock phosphate, while the calcium deficiency was replenished with ultrafine micro fine calcific lime (Complex Calsus) and ultrafine micronised gypsum (Complex Calsul). The replenishment was done with 5 kg/ha Complex Calsus, combined with 5 kg/ha Complex Calsul dissolved in water and sprayed with a weed sprayer on the root zone of the young trees. Micro fine products were used to ensure much faster reaction and also more efficient reactivity compared with conventional products.

The average particle size of the ultrafine micronised lime is:

5 – 15 µm (1 000 times finer than 80% of conventional lime).

Complex Calsus (B4682): Ca. 406 g/kg; Mg. 29 g/kg, organic component 30 g/kg.

Complex Calsul (B4990): Ca. 230 g/kg, Mg.140g/kg, Organic component 30g/kg,

In order to contribute further to plant health and vitality, and to supplement nutritional deficiencies, an organic growth stimulant, Gliosense, was used. Gliosense contains ETP, an enzyme derived from microorganisms and is propagated in a controlled environment. The Gliosense is applied as a foliage spray before flowering, during fruit set and will again be sprayed during the last phases of nut fill.

In the meantime a product with the name Glionut has been registered. Glionut is a growth stimulant with an organic base, enriched with micro- and trace elements, as well as nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn). It is specifically indicated for use with pecan nuts.

Gliosense: ETP…1,5 µm/ml, B…7 g/l, Cu…8 g/l, Fe…9,8 g/l, Mn…30 g/l, Zn…21 g/l.

Glionut: ETP…1,5 µm/ml, ZN…105,99 mg/kg, Mo…3 mg/kg, Cu…17,99 mg/kg, Fe…112 mg/kg, B…20,99 mg/kg, Mn…118 gm/kg, Ni…1 226,95 mg/kg.

Two further products were used as leaf sprays – SuperZn with additional zinc, and SuperK with additional potassium and nitrogen. Both products are the nutrient element in a unique combination of organic acids, amino acids and chelated enzymes.

Contact At van Schalkwyk on 082-452-8983 or at@molcastagri.com or visit the website www.molcastagri.com.