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    Untitled Document

    Comparative Efficiency and Reproducibility of Albit®

    Cereals Potatoes Maize Flax Sunflower Sugar beet Grain crops and panicled cereals Legumes Fodder crops Vegetables Horticultures and berries Vine Decorative and other cultures


    This text is rendered according to the book: Bioformulation Albit for crop increasing and plant protection: experiences, recommendations, results of application / Zlotnikov A.K., Alehin V.T., Andrianov A.D. et al. // Acad. Mineev V.G. (ed.). Moscow, Agrorus Publishing. – 2008. – pp. 30–41.

    Development and implementation of pesticides with living organisms or their metabolic products as active ingredients is a rapidly developed field of agricultural biotechnology at the present moment. The annual increase of bioformulations production in the world is up to 10-15%, whereas for traditional chemical pesticides, the increase equals 1-2% [1]. Bioformulations have a number of benefits in comparison with traditional plant-protecting chemical formulations, among of them are: ecological compatibility, low toxicity level, low prices, versatility of use and wide spectrum of effect. In recent years, in accordance with The list of pesticides and agrochemicals allowed for use on the territory of the Russian Federation, the amount of registered biogenic formulations has increased to approximately 10% of the total amount of registered pesticides. According to the figures from the Economic laboratory of the All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection, consumption of biological formulations increased by 2.7 times compared to 1999, and 26 different formulations were used in total. The biological load consisted of 0.008 kg/ha of agricultural land, whereas in 1995-1999 biological load of bioformulations equaled 0.003 kg/ha [2].

    At the same time, at the present moment it is not possible to state with certainty that bioformulations are able to compete with chemically synthesized pesticides as an equal. Among the disadvantages of bioformulations are: their short shelf life, strict requirements for storage and application procedures and low compatibility with standard chemical plant-protecting agents. In terms of application effectiveness, the competitiveness of bioformulations is critically affected by 2 factors, according to many researchers:

    1. Effectivity of bioformulations is still inferior to that of chemical formulations. Though in a number of tests bioformulations are as good as or even better than chemical formulations, general figures are not in favor of bioformulations, and that restrains their wider implementation;
    2. Even when effective, bioformulations have a second substantial disadvantage — low reproducibility of their effect. The behavior of living microorganisms in biological environment when put on the plants is influenced by a variety of factors (temperature, humidity, state of natural microbial community, the phase of plant development, etc.), so the effect of their use is often low or unpredictable. Even if microbes are often highly efficient against pathogens in the laboratory conditions, there is no guarantee of their high efficiency when transferred to the root area or on the surface of plants, where they get into stressful environmental conditions and have to compete with indigenous microorganisms.

    During the development of Albit, very close attention was paid to overcoming the above-mentioned "birth defects" of bioformulations.

    Firstly, it was possible to abandon the use of live bacteria in the product — the basis of the formulation was formed by individual active substance of microbial origin (poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate, PHB). As we know from the experience of other pesticide development, this method helps to increase their effectiveness. For example, chemically pure pyrethroids have a higher insecticidal activity than decoction of chamomile (Pyrethrum corymbosum) leaves, from which they were first extracted. On the basis of active substances extracted from microorganisms, two new classes of chemical fungicides were proposed: cyanopyrroles and strobilurines originally discovered in bacteria, Pseudomonas, and fungus Strobilurus (Marasmius) [3], respectively. On this basis, the company Syngenta developed an effective formulation called Maxim, and the company BASF developed formulations named Strobi and Quadris.

    Fig. 1. Reproducibility of action of Albit and other types of pesticides (averaged results of all field trials).
    Reproducibility of Albit is taken for 100%.

    Secondly, in development of the Albit formulation, in contrast to its predecessors (Agat-25 and Agat-25k), a pure culture of bacteria was not used for production of poly-hydroxybutyrate, but an association of two bacterial strains (Pseudomonas aureofaciens and Bacillus megaterium). Many examples have previously shown that the use of associations provides higher efficiency of bioformulations than pure cultures [4]. It was also proved that associations provide higher reproducibility of the effect compared to pure bacteria [5]. However, despite these obvious advantages of associations, until recently they were little used in the development of fungicidal bioformulations, and plant-growth regulators. For development of the Albit formulation, a high potential of microbial associations was used, which allowed, in particular, to increase the content of the active substance (PHB) by about 1.5 times.

    Effectiveness and reproducibility of Albit in comparison with other formulations were quantitatively evaluated in a series of comparative field tests. Field (plot and large scale field) experiments comparing Albit with reference products were carried out in 1997-2004 in the following soil-climatic zones of the Russian Federation: North-West, Central, Central Chernozem, North Caucasus, Volga-Vyatka, Volga, Ural, East Siberia and West Siberia. In general, for comparing Albit and reference samples, registration trials data were used (registration trials are tests where it is mandatory to use reference samples), and also data from similar tests carried out in accordance with generally accepted guidelines for pesticide testing [6]. The area of the test sites for plot tests ranged from 5 to 100 m², for field tests – 1.0–2.5 ha, with 3 to 5 times replications.

    As Albit is registered in Russia as a plant-growth regulator and fungicide (including fungicidal seed-pretreatment formulation), it was compared with pesticides having a similar effect: the most commonly used in practice plant-growth regulators, biofungicides, chemical fungicides and seed-pretreatment formulations. In 125 field trials, the protective effect of Albit and reference samples was evaluated, 162 trials of growth-stimulation (yield increase) effects were compared.

    Comparative Efficiency of Albit

    The following specifications were used as criteria for comparative effectiveness of formulations:

    1. as a characteristic for agricultural efficiency (growth-stimulating effect) – a ratio of the yield increase to a control provided by Albit to increase in the case of the reference [7];
    2. as a characteristic for biological efficiency against diseases (fungicidal effect), a ratio of the biological control efficacy (BE) of Albit to the BE of the reference was used;
    3. as a characteristic for economic efficiency, analogous relationship of net income per hectare (RUR/ha) in cases for Albit and reference was used [8].

    The data obtained have been averaged for each formulation separately. The results of all field tests of Albit in comparison to the reference are summarized in Table 1. Taking into consideration scientific ethics, we labeled the formulations with their active substances instead of the commercial brands, and the formulations were assigned notional numbers.

    For example, the table indicates that Albit has been compared to fungicide No. 1 in the tests by the All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection, conducted in 2003 and 2004. The tests were conducted with potato. The yield increase upon treatment with Albit on average surpassed the reference in 1.13 times, and net income per hectare (economic efficiency) — in 3.41 times. The fungicide effect of Albit appeared to be weaker than with the reference, i.e. Albit’s biological efficacy against diseases on average accounted for just 0.89 (89%) of the reference.

    Table 1. Comparative efficiency of Albit and standards in the field experiences
    (Chemical fungicides are italicized; (–) - no data)
    Reference products
    (active ingredients)
    Average Comparative Efficiency (Albit/Standard) Crops used in field trials Institutions where the trials were held
    Agricultural Biological Economic
    (1) Aphytora with
    etilentiuram disulfide
    + oxadixyl
    1.13 0.89 3.41 potato All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection, Voronezh oblast (2003, 2004)
    (2) Pseudomonas
    aureofaciens
    1.79 1.13 2.30 white cabbage, potato, carrot, cucumbers, sweet pepper, winter wheat, spring wheat, sugar beet, red beet, tomato, winter barley, black currant All-Russia Institute of Selection and Seedfarming for Vegetable Crop (2001, 2003), All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection (2002, 2004), Kurgan Institute of Plant Protection (1997, 1998), Bashkirian State Agricultural University  (2001-2002), Central Institute of Agrochemical Services, Russian  Academy of Agricultural Sciences (1998, 1999), All-Russia Institute of  Biological Plant Protection (2004), Kirov (2004) and Kurgan (2000) Stations of Plant Protection
    (3) tebuconazole 0.80 0.93 1.33 winter wheat, winter barley Lipetsk (2002-2003) and Tula (2003) Stations of Plant Protection, Lipetsk State Seed-trial Station (2002-2003)
    (4) Bacillus subtilis 1.42 1.15 winter barley Kirov Station of Plant Protection (2004)
    (5) cyproconazole 1.67 0.84 4.92 winter wheat, spring wheat, spring barley Soil Science Institute (2002), Kursk Station of Plant Protection (2001-2003)
    (6) propiconazole +
    cyproconazole
    0.45 0.61 winter wheat All-Russia Institute of  Biological Plant Protection (2004)
    (7) triadimefon 0.85 0.89 grape All-Russia Institute of vine-growing and winemaking (2002-2003)
    (8) bischofite 3.33 winter wheat Closed Corporation Agricultural Manufacture  «Rus’» Stavropol Krai (2001-2002)
    (9) thiabendazole +
    diniconazole-M
    1.17 0.94 1.80 sunflower Institute of Agriculture of South-East (2003)
    (10) thiabendazole +
    tebuconazole
    0.75 0.28 1.01 spring wheat Kemerovo Station of Plant Protection (2004)
    (11) thiabendazole +
    flutriafol
    5.90 0.68 spring wheat Kurgan Agricultural Institute, Central Institute of Agrochemical Services, Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences (1997-1998)
    (12) carboxin + thiram 0.43 0.88 1.57 spring barley, winter wheat Institute of Agriculture of South-East (2004), All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection, St.-Petersburg (2004-2005)
    (13) vitathiuram 0.79 0.90 1.70 spring wheat Tuva Station of Plant Protection (2001)
    (14) humates 3.27 winter wheat, buckwheat All-Russia Institute of grain legumes and cereal crops (2002-2003), Uvarov’s and Bryzgalin’s Farms at Stavropol Krai (2002), Agro firm «Niva» (Timashevsky Oblast of Krasnodar Krai) (2004)
    (15) difenoconazole +
    cyproconazole
    4.17 0.72 1.01 spring barley, winter and spring wheat Vladimir, Kemerovo and Kirov Stations of Plant Protection (2003-2004), All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection, St.-Petersburg (2004-2005)
    (16) arachidonic acid 2.23 1.17 corn, black currant, winter wheat All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection (2002-2004)
    (17) carbendazim +
    carboxin
    0.80 0.63 0.90 spring wheat Institute of Agriculture of South-East (2002)
    (18) trietanolammonium salt of orthocresoxiacetic acid 2.00 1.53 2.32 winter and spring wheat All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection (2004), Kurgan Station of Plant Protection (2001)
    (19) dihydroquercetin 1.90 1.05 1.21 spring wheat Kemerovo Station of Plant Protection (2004)
    (20) triterpenic acids 4.34 1.74 11.68 winter and spring wheat, spring barley Lipetsk (2002-2003) and Kemerovo (2004) Stations of Plant Protection, All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection (2004)
    (21) Pseudomonas
    fluorescens
    6.61 5.02 7.88 spring wheat, spring barley, potato, black currant All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection (2002), Bashkirian State Agricultural University  (2001-2002), St.-Petersburg (2001), Kirov (2004) Station of Plant Protection
    (22) Pseudomonas
    aureofaciens
    6.89 2.53 winter and spring wheat, winter barley All-Russia Institute of Biological Plant Protection (2004), Kurgan Station of Plant Protection (2000), Chapaev breeding farm of Krasnodar Krai (2003), Uvarov’s and Bryzgalin’s Farms at Stavropol Krai (2002)
    (23) tebuconazole 0.98 0.90 6.16 spring wheat, spring barley All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection (2004), Soil Science Institute (2002), Kursk (2002), Lipetsk (2002) and Kemerovo (2004) Stations of Plant Protection
    (24) epoxiconazole 0.43 0.64 winter wheat All-Russia Institute of Biological Plant Protection (2004)
    (25) iprodione 1.55 1.18 sunflower All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection (2002)
    (26) sulfur 1.58 1.74 grape All-Russia Institute of vine-growing and winemaking (2002, 2003)
    (27) triterpenic acids 2.10 3.21 5.10 spring wheat, spring barley, soy Kurgan Agricultural Institute (2001), Central Institute of Agrochemical Services (2001), Kurgan (2001) and Lipetsk (2002) Stations of Plant Protection, Ryazan State Agricultural Academy (2001)
    (28) diniconazole-M 1.18 0.74 spring barley, winter wheat All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection (2002), All-Russia Institute of Biological Plant Protection (2004)
    (29) hymexasol 1.00 0.64 sugar beet All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection (2003)
    (30) tellura-M 2.01 1.41 1.19 spring wheat Kemerovo Station of Plant Protection (2004)
    (31) propiconazole 1.11 0.77 10.00 winter wheat, spring barley All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection (2002, 2004)
    (32) thiram 1.44 0.96 2.53 pea, potato, corn, sugar beet, soy, spring wheat All-Russia Institute of grain legumes and cereal crops (2001-2003), All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection (2003, 2004), Bashkirian State Agricultural University (2001, 2002), Kemerovo  Station of Plant Protection (2004), Experimental Glasshouse Firm «Meristem cultures» of Stavropol Krai (2003)
    (33) Trichoderma
    lignorum
    1.53 1.53 1.57 spring wheat, winter wheat All-Russia Institute of Biological Plant Protection (2004), Tuva (2001) and Krasnodar (2003-2004) Stations of Plant Protection
    (34) spiroxamine +
    tebuconazole +
    triadimenol
    0.69 0.89 5.39 spring wheat, winter wheat, spring barley All-Russia Institute of Biological Plant Protection (2004), Lipetsk Station of Plant Protection (2002-2003)
    (35) carboxin + thiram 1.13 0.93 1.53 fiber-flax, millet All-Russia Flax Research Institute  (2002-2004), All-Russia Institute of grain legumes and cereal crops (2002, 2003)
    (36) Bacillus subtilis 1.21 2.36 spring wheat, winter wheat Kurgan Station of Plant Protection (2001), All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection, St.-Petersburg (2004-2005)
    (37) benomyl 1.98 0.89 3.14 sunflower, strawberry, millet All-Russia Institute of Certification (2002), Institute of Agriculture of South-East (2003-2004)
    (38) arachidonic acid 2.95 1.24 winter wheat All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection, Voronezh (2004), Stavropol State Seed-trial Station (2002)
    (39) epibrassinolide 2.11 2.22 potato, cucumbers, sweet pepper, salad, sugar beet, red beet, tomato, kidney bean, onion, roses, winter wheat All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection, Voronezh (2002, 2004), All-Russia Institute of Selection and Seedfarming for Vegetable Crop (2001-2004)

    From the data of the table we conclude that by the effect on plants' yield that Albit was proven to be more effective than 29 of the studied formulations (74%) and 10 references (26%) surpassed Albit. The economic efficiency of Albit surpassed its peers in the great majority of cases (96%).

    Summarizing the data for the two groups of formulations shown in the table, it was found that Albit on average is 2.24 times better in terms of yield compared to peer bioformulations and underperforms chemical fungicides by a factor of just 1.06 times. The biological efficacy of Albit was 76% of the chemical fungicides’ effect and 160% of other bioformulations and growth stimulators. To conclude, the economic efficiency of Albit surpassed both chemical (by 1.89 times) and biological (by 2.24 times) peers. Despite certain approximation of the examined averages, it nevertheless presents the general idea of Albit’s placement among other plant-protecting formulations.

    Comparative reproducibility of the effect of Albit

    When characterizing virtually every pesticide, one may showcase specific successful tests, where the formulation performance compared to controls and references was high. Such tests you may often find in especially in marketing brochures of their manufacturers. More representative is an aggregated approach, when test series under different conditions are utilized, and on these grounds a general vision of a substance’s average efficiency is constructed. Such an attempt to examine the average efficiency of Albit was taken in the previous chapter.

    But apart from the average characteristics of efficiency, reproducibility of effects from formulations is also of great importance. Stability and reproducibility of the effect in various soil, agrochemical, agro-climatic and phytosanitary conditions is an important issue especially for formulations of biological origin. Many of them, specifically those produced from live microorganisms, enjoying relatively high average efficiency, are subject to high degree of variation in the results in real circumstances depending on specific agrochemical and agro-climatic conditions. With reference to published data, we know that the effect from treatment with bioformulations may vary greatly – from yield increase by 40% to its reduction by 20% depending on the conditions of treatment [9]. The main cause for low reproducibility of microorganisms’ activity is the great influence of environmental conditions on their physiological processes and high probability of elimination of introduced populations not able to compete with natural microorganisms of the phyllosphere and rhizosphere [10].

    The vast accumulation of comparative data for Albit and references from field tests allows a comparison of the reproducibility of its effect (Table 2). Here the same indicators as for average efficiency were used: yield increase to control (in %) and biological efficacy against diseases (in %).

    For a quantitative estimation of field tests sample variation in natural science research, variance is more often used [11], according to the formula:

     
    , where

    – variance,
    n – number of observations (trials),
    xi – result of an i observation,
    xñð – arithmetic mean of all observations.

    Standard deviation s is also widely used, that is a positive square root of the variance:

    Standard deviation is a main estimator for variation of characteristics. This parameter is not dependant on the number of observations, and that is why it may be used for comparative estimation of the variation of homogeneous characteristics. However, the average mean square is not widely used as an estimator for variation of characteristics because the output is a denominate number. So, for the most appropriate estimation of variation of characteristics without respect to units of measurement, it is a common practice to express as a percentage of an arithmetic average [12]. The output of such transformation is called coefficient of variation (designated as CV or V) and is calculated as:

    , where

    V – coefficient of variation, %,
    s – standard deviation,
    xñð – arithmetic mean of all trials.

    Coefficient of variation V is a characteristic for let say ‘hitting a target’, the ability of a formulation to demonstrate stable average efficiency from one test to another, not deviating significantly under different factors (Fig. 2). The higher the V ratio, the more significant the dispersion of treatment results with a specific formulation, and the lower the reproducibility of its efficiency. The coefficient of variation is an inverse parameter for reproducibility: the higher the ratio, the farther are the outputs of field tests from the average, resulting in a lower reproducibility.

    Fig. 2. Formulations with high (à) and low (b) reproducibility of action. Big circle – average efficiency, small circle – results of single experiments

    Examination of the growth-stimulating and protective effects of Albit and reference formulations was conducted in field tests (Table 2). To compare the coefficient of variation V for each pair of a reference formulation (VR) and Albit (VA) the ratio (VR / VA) was used. Formulations with a value of VRVÀ above 1 are more variable (with lower reproducibility of the effect) compared to Albit. While examining variation in order to receive statistically representative data the formulations with at least 3 comparative tests with Albit were taken into account. Reproducibility of an economic effect was not estimated due to the fact that the insignificant number of observations compromised statistical accuracy.

    Table 2. Comparative variability of Albit and reference producta in field trials
    (Chemical fungicides are italicized; (–) - no data)
    Formulations
    (active ingredients)
    Average Comparative Variability (VR/) Crops used in field trials Institutions where the trials were held
    crop diseases
    (1) Aphytorawith
    etilentiuram disulfide
    + oxadixyl
    1,04 potato All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection, Voronezh (2003, 2004)
    (2) Pseudomonas
    aureofaciens
    1,24 1 ,22 white cabbage, potato, carrot, cucumbers, sweet pepper, winter wheat, spring wheat, sugar beet, red beet, tomato, winter barley, black currant All-Russia Institute of Selection and Seedfarming for Vegetable Crop (2001, 2003), All-Russian Institute of Plant Protection (2002, 2004), Kurgan Institute of Plant Protection (1997, 1998), Bashkirian State Agricultural University (2001-2002), Central Institute of Agrochemical Services (1998, 1999), All-Russian Institute of  Biological Plant Protection (2004), Kirov (2004) and Kurgan (2000) Stations of Plant Protection
    (3) tebuconazole 1,19 0,37 winter wheat, spring barley Lipetsk (2002-2003) and Tula (2003) Stations of Plant Protection, Lipetsk State Seed-trial Station (2002-2003)
    (4) cyproconazole 1,23 0,55 winter wheat, spring wheat, spring barley Soil Science Institute (2002), Kursk Station of Plant Protection (2001-2003)
    (5) triadimefon 0,26 grape All-Russian Institute of vine-growing and winemaking (2002-2003)
    (6) thiabendazole +
    diniconazole-M
    2,87 sunflower Institute of Agriculture of South-East (2003)
    (7) carboxin + thiram 1,27 spring barley Institute of Agriculture of South-East (2003)
    (8) humates 1,49 winter wheat, buckwheat All-Russian Institute of grain legumes and cereal crops (2002-2003), Uvarov’s and Bryzgalin’s Farms at Stavropol Krai (2002),  Agro firm «Niva» (Timashevsky region of Krasnodar Krai) (2004)
    (9) difenoconazole +
    cyproconazole
    1,73 0,69 spring barley, spring wheat Vladimir, Kemerovo, Kirov Stations of Plant Protection (2003-2004)
    (10) arachidonic acids 0,31 1,28 corn, black currant, winter wheat All-Russian Institute of Plant Protection (2002-2004)
    (11) trietanolammonium salt of orthocresoxiacetic acid 0,62 spring wheat, winter wheat All-Russian Institute of Plant Protection (2004), Kurgan Station of Plant Protection (2001)
    (12) triterpenic acids 0,48 0,98 spring wheat, winter wheat, spring barley Lipetsk (2002-2003) and Kemerovo (2004) Stations of Plant Protection, All-Russian Institute of Plant Protection (2004)
    (13) Pseudomonas
    fluorescens
    1,96 6,50 spring wheat, spring barley, potato, black currant All-Russian Institute of Plant Protection (2002), Bashkirian State Agricultural University  (2001-2002), St.-Petersburg (2001), Kirov (2004) Station of Plant Protection
    (14) Pseudomonas     
    aureofaciens
    8,39 spring wheat, winter wheat, winter barley All-Russian Institute of Biological Plant Protection (2004), Kurgan Station of Plant Protection (2000), Chapaev breeding farm (2003),  Uvarov’s and Bryzgalin’s Farms at Stavropol Krai (2002)
    (15) tebuconazole 1,74 0,86 spring wheat, spring barley All-Russian Institute of Plant Protection (2004), Soil Science Institute (2002), Kursk (2002), Lipetsk (2002) and Kemerovo (2004) Stations of Plant Protection
    (16) iprodione 0,57 sunflower All-Russian Institute of Plant Protection (2002)
    (17) sulfur 0,87 grape All-Russian Institute of vine-growing and winemaking (2002, 2003)
    (18) triterpenic acids 1,35 1,64 spring wheat, spring barley, soy-bean Kurgan Agricultural Institute (2001), Central Institute of Agrochemical Services (2001), Kurgan (2001), Lipetsk (2002) Stations of Plant Protection, Ryazan State Agricultural Academy (2001)
    (19) diniconazole-M 1,40 0,87 spring barley, winter wheat All-Russian Institute of Plant Protection (2002), All-Russian Institute of Biological Plant Protection (2004)
    (20) propiconazole 1,35 0,68 winter wheat, spring barley All-Russian Institute of Plant Protection (2002, 2004)
    (21) thiram 0,66 0,73 pea, potato, corn, sugar beet, soy-bean, spring wheat All-Russian Institute of grain legumes and cereal crops (2001-2003), All-Russian Institute of Plant Protection (2003, 2004), Bashkortostan State Agricultural University (2001, 2002), Kemerovo  Station of Plant Protection (2004), Experimental Glasshouse Firm «Meristem cultures» of Stavropol Krai (2003)
    (22) Trichoderma
    lignorum
    1,27 0,60 spring wheat, winter wheat All-Russian Institute of Biological Plant Protection (2004), Tuva (2001) and Krasnodar (2003-2004) Stations of Plant Protection
    (23) spiroxamine +
    tebuconazole +
    triadimenol
    0,65 0,26 spring wheat, winter wheat, spring barley All-Russian Institute of Biological Plant Protection (2004), Lipetsk  Station of Plant Protection (2002-2003)
    (24) carboxin + thiram 0,82 0,59 fiber-flax, millet All-Russian Flax Research Institute  (2002-2004), All-Russian Institute of grain legumes and cereal crops (2002, 2003)
    (25) Bacillus subtilis 1,18 spring wheat Kurgan Station of Plant Protection (2001)
    (26) benomyl 1,82 0,84 sunflower, strawberry, millet All-Russian Institute of Certification (2002), Institute of Agriculture of South-East (2003-2004)
    (27) epibrassinolide 1,13 3,20 potato, cucumbers,  sweet pepper, salad, sugar beet, red beet, tomato, kidney bean, onion, dog rose, winter wheat All-Russian Institute of Plant Protection, Voronezh (2002, 2004), All-Russia Institute of Selection and Seedfarming for Vegetable Crop (2001-2004)

    The majority of studied formulations demonstrated higher dispersion of values and, consequently, lower reproducibility compared to Albit (VR/VÀ > 1). Taking the reproducibility of growth-stimulating effect, Albit surpassed 14 reference formulations (74% of the total) and 5 formulations performed better than Albit (26%). Just some chemical formulations and bioformulations, No. 10 and No. 12, showed lower variability in yield increase than Albit. The reproducibility for the formulations created from individual chemical substances (No. 10, No. 27, Albit, chemical fungicides) was generally higher compared to formulations with live microorganisms as active substances (Nos. 13, 14, 22).

    The same situation was encountered for the reproducibility of the fungicide effect from formulations. Even bioformulations with high average efficiency and with official statuses of fungicides (formulations on the basis oå Pseudomonas aureofaciens, Ps. fluorescens, Bacillus subtilis), have demonstrated 1.2-6.5 times lower reproducibility of the fungicide effect compared to growth regulators on the basis of metabolites.

    For the final estimation of the reproducibility of effect for the pesticides, we may average the values of their coefficients of variation V (Table 3). Aggregated values of variation ratios clearly indicate already noted tendencies and provide their quantitative estimation for different groups of formulations. The highest value for V was recorded for bioformulations and growth-stimulators (average 130% for yield), but strictly for bioformulations (with microorganisms as active substances) the value is even higher – 225%. Accounting for fungicide effect, generally lower variability across all types of formulations was noticed. Variability for Albit is behind those for bioformulations and approximately equals those of chemical synthesis formulations.

    Table 3. Mean coefficients of variation (V) for different groups of formulations
    Preparations V, % (yield increase) V, % (diseases)
    min max average min max average
    Bioformulations and growth regulators* 15 631 130 20 103 48
    including bioformulations 23 631 225 20 103 52
    Albit 10 140 52 5 60 33
    Synthetic chemical fungicides 12 135 59 3 118 29
    * — except Albit

    The results obtained can be obviously interpreted in the following way: yield increase thanks to Albit may vary by 0.5 times from year to year, for other bioformulations the variation is 1.3 times, for chemical fungicides – 0.6 times on average. For example, if a farm has received a yield increase of 5 centners of wheat on a hectare thanks to Albit, the next year the yield is expected between 2.5 and 7.5 c/ha. The same holds for the treatment with a ‘statistically average’ pesticide from a group of bioformulations and growth stimulators: if the yield increase is 5 centners/ha, the next year it's going to be between an increase of 11.5 centners/ha and a decrease by 1.5 centners/ha compared to the control.

    For the purpose of comparative characteristic of variability of Albit and other formulations, we considered it advisable to average the values by VR / VÀ (Table 2). In the same way, for the purpose of comparative characteristic of the average efficiency, we averaged the ratios Albit/Reference (Table 1). The final outputs are represented in Table 4.

    Table 4. Relative agricultural (growth promoting), biological and economic efficiency of Albit and reference products (average of all field trials)
    Parameter Criteria Efficiency of references
    related to Albit, %
    Efficiency of Albit
    related to references, %
    Chemical fungicides Bioformulations and growth regulators Chemical fungicides Bioformulations and growth regulators
    Efficiency Biological (fungicidal) Biological efficacy against diseases, % 131*** 62*** 76 160
    Agricultural Increase in yield to the control, % 106 45*** 94 224
    Economic Net profit from hectare (RUB/ha), % 53*** 45*** 189 224
    Variability of action Biological (fungicidal) Coefficients of variation (V)  of biological efficacy against diseases, % 83* 191** 120 52
    Growth stimulating Coefficients of variation (V) of yield increase to the control, % 126** 196* 79 51
    Notice: * – the difference from Albit is statistically significant with probability 80%, ** – 95%, *** – 99%. Estimation was made by Student’s t-test.

    In this way, it is possible to conclude with a high probability (99%) that Albit surpasses peer bioformulations in fungicide effect (their mean fungicide effect is just 62% of that for Albit) and is less effective than chemical fungicides (131% of Albit efficiency). Albit is able to provide approximately the same yield increase compared to chemical formulations (variation is not statistically significant). But in growth-stimulating effect, Albit greatly surpassed its peers (bioformulations demonstrated an average of 45% of increase of Albit).

    In economic efficiency, Albit surpasses both chemical and biological formulations in the field tests (P = 99%).

    The vast field test material acquired proves that the development of Albit with the use of brand new approaches enabled a result of reproducibility both for growth-stimulating and protective effects two times higher compared to peer bioformulations and growth regulators (Table 4). In this way, one of the major drawbacks of bioformulations has been overcomed – the reproducibility of Albit’s effect has reached the level of chemical fungicides.

     

    References and notes:

    1. Menn J.J. biostimulants: has their time come? / J.J. Menn // Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part B — pesticides, food contaminants, and agricultural wastes. — 1996. — Vol. 31. — P. 383-389.
    2. Slobodyanyuk V.M. Application of pesticides: somewhat of statistic / Slobodyanyuk V.M., Kricina V.I. // Plant protection and quarantine. — 2004. — ¹ 7. — p. 13-14.
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