Crop Block protects fruit and nut crops

With the warmer months upon us, now is a good time to consider using Ultimate Agri-Products’ Crop Block for prevention and reduction of sun burn damage to fresh produce, including vegetables, fruit and nut crops.

Crop Block is a concentrated liquid suspension of technical grade calcium carbonate that when applied will reduce core temperature of fruit by up to 10°C, but still allows sufficient sunlight through to produce normal photosynthesis and fruit colouring.

When applied, Crop Block forms a white protective film to provide uniform coverage on fruit and vegetable crops during periods of heat stress.

With a background as a vegetable grower himself, Ultimate Agri-Products founder Glen McDonald knows first-hand the challenges facing growers.

He has used that knowledge to develop a range of specialty fertilisers and products to assist growers such as Ultimate products Gyp-Flo soluble gypsum and PH-Plus soluble lime.

Gyp-Flo and PH-Plus are still leaders in their field, due to their suspension technology and effectiveness compared to conventional lime and gypsum products. Their ultrafine formulation (five micron particle size) also makes the products suited to fertigation and overhead irrigation systems without causing clogging problems.

A similar high grade ultrafine suspension technology has been applied to Crop Block.

Crop Block protectant spray can be applied by either ground rig or aerial application.

Mr McDonald said Crop Block applications should commence before daytime temperatures start to exceed 30°C. For best results Crop Block should be applied in the early morning or late evening. Application should preferably be made when ambient air temperature is between 5° and 25°C.

Crop Block should not be tank mixed or applied with any other agricultural chemicals. “Best field results are obtained when Crop Block is applied on its own to ensure optimum coverage and adhesion,” Mr McDonald said.

“Air blast and high-pressure boom sprayers provide best results. Coverage to the surfaces which are directly exposed to sunlight is critical for product performance. Heavy rain, new growth or wind erosion may reduce film quality.

“Re-apply to maintain a consistent coverage after heavy rain as soon as the foliage is dry.” Crop Block is also suitable for aerial application and has also been used in cotton. For best results Crop Block should be applied at a rate of 20 L/ha in a total spray volume of approx 50 to 75 L/ha.”

Crop Block is ideally suited to both large and small operations being available in 15L and 800L pack sizes, available through major resellers.

Mr McDonald said Crop Block residues on fruit and vegetables are relatively easy to remove by washing, wiping or brushing of the produce.

Care is required to remove residue from hard-to-reach areas such as the stem end and calyx. Modifications to the packing-line brushing system may be required to improve residue removal.

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