Silicon is the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust (~29%) and although it is not considered an essential element, silicon’s beneficial effects on growth and mitigation of abiotic and biotic stresses have been frequently demonstrated in a wide variety of crops.
The vast majority of Si compounds in the soil consists of silicon dioxide, silicate minerals and aluminosilicates, none of which are available for plant uptake. Many silicon-based fertilisers based on these compounds cannot provide adequate levels of plant available silicon and the only plant bioavailable form of silicon is orthosilicic acid (OSA), the concentration of which is very low in the soil. Depletion of available silicon in the soil can be one of the possible factors contributing to declining crop yields.
Silicon is responsible for strengthening cell walls, creating thicker stems and stalks, enhancing the uptake of other nutrients and increasing the plant’s natural resistance to pests and disease.
There continues to be a growing demand for safe, effective and eco-friendly agricultural products, and we look forward to spreading the knowledge and awareness of silicon.
Glossary of Silicon Compounds
OSA: orthosilicic acid
PAS: plant available silicon
Silica (SiO2): sand and rock material
Silicates: a combination of silica combined with metal oxides e.g. calcium silicate