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KELP Research

Large amounts of research and trial work has been done with Kelp products, particularly with products extracted from Ascophyllum nodosum or commonly known as Nova Scotia or Acadian Kelp.

Kelp products contain a multitude of naturally occurring compounds that contribute to the overall plant health, nutrition and quality:

  • Plant growth Hormones - Cytokinins, Auxins, Betaines, Gibberellins
  • Carbohydrates – Alginic Acid, Mannitol, Laminarin
  • 17 Amino Acids.
  • Vitamins
  • Over 60 naturally occurring Macro and micro nutrients

Research shows the effects of Kelp applications in fruit and vegetable crops:

Increases shelf life

  • Trials on various stone fruits have shown 12-15% increase in marketable fruit after 15 days
  • Control 75% Treated 85 – 90%

Resistance to environmental diseases

  • Plants produce phytoalexins compounds as the first line of defense when they are attacked by various fungal diseases. Kelp assist the plant to increase this naturally antioxidant activity.
  • Trial on stone fruit
    • Leaf spot -% disease incidence - Control 60% - Treated 14%
    • Brown Rot -% disease incidence - Control 10.6% - Treated 4.4%
    • Downy Mildew in Grapes – recent trials show reduced spore production

Insect Management

  • Various researchers have found that kelp has increased the plants defenses against insect attack. Particularly sucking insects – damage from mites and aphids has been reduced.

Improve average marketable yield.

  • Percentage increase over control 10-40%

Improve average marketable Size, colour, shape and firmness

  • Percentage increase over control 3-15%

Improves soil conditions

  • Alginic Acid, Mannitol, Laminarin, these complex carbohydrates are powerful microbial stimulants boosting soil life activity and improving soil structural conditions.

Product Efficacy

The major difference in the various “Seaweed” products on the market is:-

  1. The percentage of kelp in the product most liquid kelp product contain 6-8% kelp. High quality liquid kelp products will contain 15 – 27% kelp. Soluble powders are usually at the upper end of this scale.
  2. The source of the kelp many are made from Tasmanian kelp which does not contain as many natural compounds as the Nova Scotia kelp.