TRANSFORMER is a soil conditioner with a highly effective ability to improve the infiltration, distribution, and drainage of irrigation water and rain into the soil. It overcomes differences in soil density and even hydrophobic soil to move the spray solution throughout the soil profile.
TRANSFORMER is a blend of surfactants that act as a soil conditioner. The product provides a method for increasing the wetted soil volume available for water utilization by plant roots as well as the improvement of water distribution in the soil.
TRANSFORMER can modify soil-water relations at a macro and micro-scale since it can lower the surface tension of water allowing changes in the cohesive forces, as well as the adhesive forces between soil and water, consequently also modifying the interaction of water with the soil surface. This modification to the soil-water relationship results in changes to some key soil hydraulic properties; such as infiltration, drainage, hydraulic conductivity, soil water retention and hydrophobicity. By improving these soil properties, moisture efficiency can be improved as the applied water is available to the plant and is not lost through run-off, channeling or uneven wetting of the soil profile.
Soil applied chemicals (such as herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides, soluble fertilizers or biostimulants. Trials have shown improved root growth and stimulation of Rhizobium nodules on legume crops as a result of better aeration and drainage of the soil.
Regular use of TRANSFORMER through driplines will keep them free of algae and reduce or avoid blocking caused by crystallization and soil particles which pass the micro filters.
TRANSFORMER has a favorable toxicological profile, has a low risk to humans and the environment, but will irritate if it gets into your eyes. Should this occur, wash the eyes with copious amounts of water. TRANSFORMER is a soil conditioner and is not taken up by the roots. Nevertheless, root crops grown on treated soil are likely to be larger and are suitable for sale in local and export markets.
Virtually all crops including cereals, vegetables, root crops, orchards, vineyards, crops under protective cover, and turf can benefit from soil treated with TRANSFORMER. Plants grown in substrate or in pots or bags can benefit from the even distribution and better water efficiency given by TRANSFORMER.
Germination of seeds is often enhanced because TRANSFORMER reduces and softens soil crusts and clods.
TRANSFORMER can be applied at any convenient time, during irrigation or just prior to or during rain so that it washes into the soil. However, excessive irrigation or heavy rain during application must be avoided. In non-permanent crops, the application can be done just before seeding or planting, or at the beginning of the crop growth cycle. In the case of permanent crops with a dormancy period, the best time for the application would be shortly before a root flush or the beginning of the new growth cycle. Specific applications during the season can induce different results (shoot growth, early flowering, fructification, fruit growth and early ripening). Applications before the period of maximum water demand of plants will lead to less plant stress during that period.
The effect of TRANSFORMER in the soil can be seen soon after the application by noting the behavior of water in the soil (visual assessments, probes, penetrometer, etc). However, the perceptible effect on the crop growth and development may be delayed until the next growth flush.
Available data shows the effects lasting for at least a season. The need for repeat applications depends on the soil, cultivation practices (such as tilling, earthing up of ridges or transit of heavy machinery) and the objective of the application. If the soil compacts easily again, such as in heavy or high magnesium soils, more regular treatments may be necessary.
The dose rate depends on the soil, the crop, and the target of the application. The regular rate in orchards is between 10 and 20 l/ha and in annual and perennial crops between 5 and 10 l/ha, depending on other parameters as mentioned before. Ongoing research is being performed to gather more information on this matter and your advisor should be consulted. Always follow the label recommendations relevant to your country.
It is critical that TRANSFORMER be applied on a moist soil to avoid product loss on the soil surface due to the attachment of the surfactants to the dry soil particles. Application through an irrigation system, (whether drip-irrigation, micro-sprinkler, overhead) is ideal. Inject TRANSFORMER into the irrigation system in the second half of the irrigation cycle and irrigate into the soil. TRANSFORMER can be applied by directed boom sprayer onto the berm in an orchard situation but should be washed in by micro-irrigation or overhead irrigation shortly after application. In the case of non-irrigated crops, TRANSFORMER can be applied onto bare soil pre-planting, at planting or post-planting with a boom sprayer. However, the product needs to be washed into the soil by rainfall shortly after application. It is therefore advisable to do the application when rainfall is imminent or ideally during rainfall. Do not apply TRANSFORMER over foliage if the concentration is more than 1 parts per 1000 (concentration ≤ 0.1%), as it may damage the foliage. For more detailed information please revert to the label or to the local ORO AGRI technical adviser.
No root damage has been observed after treatment with TRANSFORMER – even on seedling roots. Provided TRANSFORMER is applied with a reasonable amount of irrigation water, there is no likelihood of burn.
Due to the lowered surface tension of the water, the mixing or dissolving of most powdered products like humic acid is greatly assisted. TRANSFORMER is pH neutral and there is no evidence of compatibility problems to date. If uncertain of the compatibility of TRANSFORMER with an intended mixture, do a small-scale compatibility test in a drum or bucket before use.
TRANSFORMER mixes easily and does not require much agitation. Vigorous stirring or aeration may result in excessive foam and TRANSFORMER should be added to the tank mix shortly before use where practicable.
TRANSFORMER does not provide any direct nutrition to the plant, but due to the more homogeneous water distribution in the soil, plants are able to extract more nutrients from the soil. TRANSFORMER also results in more favorable soil conditions, such as better aeration, therefore enhancing more root growth and the proliferation of micro-organisms. Trials have shown improved root growth and stimulation of Rhizobium nodules on legume crops because of better aeration and drainage of the soil. Root growth is restricted in soils where compaction or water-logging are limiting factors. When penetration of water into compacted layers is improved, the penetration resistance is reduced which facilitates root growth into these layers.
After application, rainfall or irrigation is required to move the TRANSFORMER into the soil profile where it changes the soil structure characteristics to allow for improved aeration and the associated benefits. Subsequent rainfall or irrigation is optimally utilized by the plant.
Very heavy rain, particularly on light soil, could be problematic and may require a further application.
TRANSFORMER is registered for use in organic production in some countries and not approved as organic in others due to different Government laws and regulation. Please always refer to the specific data stated on the label and when in doubt contact the local ORO AGRI advisor for more information. The composition of TRANSFORMER has been determined to be “readily biodegradable” by EMPA (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology). According to this test, there was no negative effect on Rhizobium bacteria.
Provided they are physically compatible, TRANSFORMER can be applied with other soil-applied agrochemicals. Due to TRANSFORMER improving the infiltration of water, it may improve the movement of soluble chemistries into the soil profile. The application of TRANSFORMER may also be made a few days earlier to improve infiltration and distribution of the soil-applied products. Research with various combinations of soil-applied agrochemicals is currently ongoing. Please contact your adviser for the latest information.
Research done in Australia has shown positive effects on microbial activity and microbial diversity such as Pseudomonas, Actinomycetes, Gram-positive, Gram-negative, Protozoa, Mycorrhizal fungi. Soils can contain many different types of microorganism and different species of the same microbial group so in-site trials can give a better indication of product behavior and performance. For more information please contact your local advisor.
TRANSFORMER can significantly reduce the concentration of sodium salts in the soil to depths down to 45 cm and horizontally out to the edge of the drop zone. Laboratory analysis showed the TRANSFORMER treated soil had significantly reduced the Sodium Absorption Ratio (SAR), Electrical Conductivity (EC) and Sodium (Na) levels compared to the untreated soil.
Calcium ions will displace sodium ions because of their higher ionic charge. Use of a high-grade gypsum (calcium sulphate) at 0.1% together with TRANSFORMER has been shown to have excellent effect.
Because of the improved water distribution, reduced run-off and increased water holding capacity of TRANSFORMER treated soils, some users report being able to reduce the amount of irrigation water by 10 to 30%, saving pumping cost and reducing leaching. Moreover, because of the improved root growth, plants are better able to withstand water and heat stress. Because soil and weather conditions vary greatly, it is not possible to claim a specific reduction in irrigation water volume. Consult your local advisor.
The movement of water in growing media (rockwool slabs/coconut fibre) can often be improved. TRANSFORMER will assist to move water laterally and hold water in the top surface reducing anaerobic conditions which often occur at the bottom of the slab. Similarly, the compaction of bark medium in pots over time can be reduced.
Experience has shown variable results. Sometimes a heavy initial dose is beneficial. On the other hand, a heavy rainfall after an application can affect results. Hence, we usually prefer to recommend splitting over two or three applications if other conditions allow. As before, please consult your advisor.
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