Metal Toxicity in Plants is reduced by the use of Silicon

By: Graeme Kingston

A review of literature and trial work by Graeme Kingston, a lead scientist with the Australian sugar cane research organisation (BSES Limited) illustrated that:

  • Calcium silicate slags were routinely used overseas as a silicon soil amendment. They were “preferred to other geological materials such as wollastonite, crushed rocks and diatomaceous earth whose use was constrained by market availability of wollastonite and the high rates of application required for low solubility crushed rock and diatomaceous earth”.
  •  “Yield responses to silicate fertilisers of up to 30% were achieved in rice crops and up to 45% in sugarcane”.
  •  Importantly, silicate fertilisers were demonstrated to play a clear role in improving food quality by “suppressing uptake of heavy metals such as cadmium”.

G Kingston, BSES Limited, Bundaberg 4670 Queensland, Australia

 “Silicon Fertilisers – Requirements and Field Experiences” – Paper presented at the IV Silicon in Agriculture Conference, South Africa, 2008