Some late season considerations for Soft Fruit Growers

20 September 2016
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Some late season considerations for Soft Fruit Growers

As the 2016 soft fruit season draws towards its close there is need to make sure that losses of any remaining fruit to be picked are minimized and also that protection of plants is maximized, particularly in the situations where those plants will be required for production in the 2017 season.

Within the ICL UK product portfolio there are three biologically orientated products from Lallemand Plant Care that are well worth considering to significantly help within late season soft fruit programmes. These products are Cilus®Plus, IntraCell® and Prestop® all of which have no re-entry restrictions, no harvest intervals, no residues and no MRL issues associated with them. Between them these innovative products can help with establishment, reinvigoration, protection - against root, stem, foliar and fruit diseases - and reduction of the impact of stresses on the crops leading to the enhancement of growth, fruit yield and quality.

Cilus Plus and Prestop are based on pure cultures of specially selected, naturally occurring, beneficial micro-organisms and are produced in industry-leading facilities to exacting standards which removes the threat of them containing any harmful contaminants. In addition to points mentioned already they have the following major benefits to offer:-

  • Both are very safe for users and the environment;
  • Both are totally compatible with biological and integrated pest management (IPM) programmes;
  • Both are usable in programmes with other biological control agents;
  • Both are not harmful to beneficial insects, natural enemies of crop-pests, pollinators or beneficial nematodes;
  • Both are usable in programmes with conventional fungicides, other agrochemicals or nutrient products;
  • Both are well proven at improving plant health via various modes of action, disease prevention in the case of Prestop (which can be a major contributor to anti-resistance strategies) and biofortification in the case of Cilus Plus (which comes from the enhancement of overall plant structural integrity with stronger plants then being able to withstand and/or recover from various challenges);
  • Both have the credentials to qualify as organic cropping inputs should the wish be to pursue that type of usage and Prestop already has clearance for use by Organic Farmers & Growers (OF&G).


IntraCell is based on a pure, very high concentration, natural osmoprotectant, which is produced via a patented extraction procedure. In addition to points mentioned already the product has the following major benefits to offer:-

  • Very safe for users and the environment;
  • Easy to mix and apply as a foliar spray, drench or through fertigation systems;
  • Recommended for use with foliar feeds or agrochemicals to improve efficacy;
  • Well proven at improving plant health via biostimulation where a number of useful natural processes are enhanced to the benefit of overall plant productivity and structural integrity (plants are then more efficient at delivering desired outputs and stronger to withstand and/or recover from various challenges);
  • Widely tested on a number of crops under commercial cultivation;
  • Has the credentials to qualify as an organic cropping input should the wish be to pursue that type of usage.


IntraCell contains pure, naturally produced, high concentrations (>97%) of the small N-trimethylated amino acid known as Glycine Betaine, which is a powerful osmolyte (osmoprotectant). Once applied to plants it penetrates through the plant surface translocating and circulating systemically throughout the plant within 24 hours and remains unmetabolized, in the intracellular plant regions, to perform its useful functions for 3 to 4 weeks after application. This active substance has the following major benefits to offer:-

  • Helps plants cope with and overcome a wide range of stresses.
  • Helps plants maintain optimum growth.
  • Assists plants in defending themselves which can reduce the impact of diseases.
  • Helps reduce cellular necrosis (which can result from individual or combined stresses, nutrient shortages and/or physiological disorders).
  • Improves flower and fruit retention.
  • Helps reduce fruit cracking and weeping.
  • Improves fruit firmness post harvest.
  • Contributes significantly to post-harvest conservation improving storageability and shelf life.

*It is recommeded that an adjuvant is used at application for optimal penetration into plants. The most efficient way to use IntraCell is prior to anticipated stress occurrences thereby preventing the impact of the many stresses that can occur. IntraCell should be used at 2-4 Kg/ha

- for up to 500 L of water use a minimum of 2 Kg/ha

- for >500 L of water use 0.4% of IntraCell w/w.*


Cilus Plus contains the spores of a specially selected soil-dwelling, spore-forming, rhizobacterium (Bacillus amyloliquefaciens bacterial Strain IT45) which aggressively colonises the area around the plant roots (rhizosphere) and feeds on root exudates that are readily supplied by healthy plants. In return they stimulate root growth by secreting growth metabolites and solubilise phosphorus as well as making iron bioavialable by secreting enzymes (phytases). This beneficial micro-organism regularly has the following useful effects:

  • Deprivation through rapid colonization and competition of the living space and food needed for pathogenic organisms to establish, grow or thrive.
  • Stimulation of quicker root establishment and more root development which increases absorption and use of water and nutrients.
  • Facilitation with starting young plants off or reinvigorating older plants so larger rootmasses are produced.
  • Escalation of trace element phytoavailability providing marked improvements in plant growth, health and production outcomes especially yield and quality.


Prestop* contains the mycelia and spores of a naturally occurring, highly aggressive, soil-borne fungus (Gliocladium catenulatum fungal Strain J1446) which survives in the rhizosphere and on the aerial parts of plants for several weeks affecting a wide range of pathogens. This beneficial micro-organism regularly has the following useful effects:

  • Deprivation, through rapid colonization and aggressive competition, of the living space and food needed for pathogenic organisms to establish, grow or thrive.
  • Inhibition and prevention of pathogens through the multiple modes of action of hyperparasitism via enzyme activity (β 1,3 glucanase and chitinase) and the ability to rapidly colonize as well as aggressively compete over all plant surfaces.
  • Protection against Damping-off and Root or Base Rots caused by Pythium spp., Phytophthora spp., Rhizoctonia spp. and Fusarium spp..
  • Protection against aerial incidence of Grey Mould or Stem Cankers caused by Botrytis spp..
  • Facilitation with repair of wounds on all plant surfaces through saprophytic activity on dying or dead tissue.

*Prestop is a registered biofungicide (MAPP No. 17223) and the most efficient way to use Prestop is as a preventative treatment. The product has flexible application options via incorporation, drenching or drip irrigation and as a foliar spray, ULV treatment and even in hydroponic mixtures. Whichever application method is used the Prestop suspension used must be at a concentration of 0.5% taking into account the maximum individual dose that is allowed with the product which does differ depending on what crop is being treated and how application is being done (check Approval and EAMU documentation). It is recommended that all types of application should be repeated every 3 to 4 weeks.*



Always keep in mind that crops become stressed by a very wide range of factors:

Environmental - cold, heat, drought, salinity, radicular asphyxia (root suffocation especially from excessive water), low relative humidity, frosts, hail, wind.

Crop management - transplantation, root damage from cultivations, phytotoxicity from product applications, pruning and picking.

Phenological - rapid growth, budding, blooming, fruit setting and fruit ripening.

Biotic - pests and diseases.