Combined stresses: an issue for modern agriculture
Climate change is a dramatic reality of our present and will be even more so in the future. The primary sector has a key role to play in dealing with it, both by mitigating and adapting; only then will it be able to meet the population's food needs and sustain an adequate agricultural income in the long term.
According to the Ipcc (International Panel on Climate Change), the now inevitable rise in the global average temperature by 1.5 °C will cause a significant increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events, with a consequent strong negative impact on natural resources, ecosystem functioning, biodiversity, food security and human health. Moreover, the greatest increase in average temperatures and extreme events will occur in central and southern Europe and the Mediterranean areas.
All of this will profoundly change the international agricultural system and it is therefore important to be prepared to face the new challenges that will be posed to all its main players.
What combined stresses are
In agriculture, the so-called 'combined stresses' are situations in which two or more stressful conditions alter the physiological processes of plants, damaging their quality and quantity of yield.
In recent years, the combination of high temperatures and severe drought (not only in the summer season) has caused the main problems in agriculture.
The summer of 2022 was characterised by very high temperatures starting as early as mid-May, thus very early compared to a normal seasonal pattern. Concerning the drought problem, the situation is that of a country in serious water difficulty; for northern Italy, the summer of 2023 could be even worse than that of 2022.
When temperatures are very high, coinciding with a shortage of water in the soil, the stomata close for more hours, attempting to minimise dehydration of the plant tissue. However, this slows down all metabolic processes in the plant, including nutrient uptake from the soil and photosynthesis. If these conditions persist, plants begin to show visible signs of wilting, which can escalate to partial or complete desiccation. This is because the roots are no longer able to absorb the little water still present in the soil.
Today, it is important to develop effective strategies to address and mitigate these problems.
Betaines: allies against stresses
There are some molecules that are able to reduce and prevent damage caused by environmental stresses, the betaines. In fact, these solute-compatible osmolytes accumulate in growing organs during periods of stress and thus prevent them from being damaged or their development slowed down.
In fact, betaines are cytoplasmic osmolytes that protect the cell against osmotic, drought, high temperature and salinity stresses. Compared to other types of osmolytes, betaines do not disturb normal cellular activities, allowing the plant to photosynthesise and protecting the cell from the effects of drought. In addition, betaines also have important effects on chlorophyll by slowing down its degradation.
Cynoyl Z Special is a product with plant and algae extracts that is particularly rich in betaines. The formulation is the result of years of research and experimentation by Agriges' R&D department. Field trials have demonstrated the efficacy of Cynoyl Z Special in overcoming thermal stress in crops.
Cynoyl Z Special has been tested in numerous field trials to verify the efficacy of the formulation in combined stresses. Cynoyl Z Special, as with every Agriges product, is born out of the rigour of scientific investigation, respect for the environment and the worker, and is the practical answer to specific field problems.
Click here to discover the results obtained on olive tree and here to download the trial conducted on wine grapes.
Click here to download the Cynoyl Z Special brochure.