Australia is known for its heatwave conditions and despite a milder summer recorded across the country to date, hot weather is still predicted. These conditions can have a major impact on vegetable production, but there is a solution available to growers that helps combat damaging sunburn and heat stress in crops.

In 2020, Australia saw temperatures and high ultraviolet (UV) radiation last summer that caused damage and losses in valuable horticultural crops. Although it has been a milder summer this year to date, the Bureau of Meteorology is predicting hotter weather to be recorded in the coming months. Therefore, now is the time for growers to prepare their strategy to manage the warmer conditions.

A combination of high temperatures and high levels of infrared (IR) and UV light can culminate in sunburn damage and heat stress to plants. AgNova Technologies has developed Surround, a crop protectant specially designed to allow usable light through while blocking harmful IR and UV light. It forms a white barrier coating on crops, which decreases harmful light as well as lowering temperatures and UV levels at the fruit surface. The outcome is reduced damage without inhibiting essential photosynthetic processes.

Multiple applications are advised, with the number dependent on the evenness of coverage obtained in the previous application(s); the protection period required; and the reduction in coverage over time from irrigation, rain, wind and new plant growth.

Effect on tree establishment with Surround versus untreated.

Additionally, those plants protected from heat will continue to grow as opposed to untreated plants. If the protectant is applied to an edible part of the plant, the film can be washed off at harvest or spraying can cease early in the season and the deposit weathers off naturally.

Natural kaolin clay that has been specially engineered using advanced Particle Film Technology is the secret to the success of Surround. During production, heating the clay to form calcined kaolin modifies the crystals to form a highly reflective, three-dimensional structure. This kaolin formulation reflects radiation more effectively than hydrous kaolin and calcium carbonate. The upshot is a premium formulation giving superior crop protection against damaging sunburn and heat stress.

But timing is everything – this protectant must be applied before the heat event. Applications after extreme heat or even after spikes in temperature will not provide crops with adequate protection.

Further details can be found here.

Half an apple coated in Surround.

Company overview

Established in 2003, AgNova is an Australian-based company that sources, develops and distributes specialty crop protection and production solutions for agricultural and horticultural producers, and for selected non-crop users.

The company product portfolio includes specialist herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, fertilisers and non-chemical technologies.

Close cooperation with agricultural producers and their supporting rural retailer networks has AgNova well-placed to identify market opportunities and develop products to satisfy their requirements.

It has an established reputation for cost-effective product development from original concept through evaluation, registration, marketing and sales, with new technologies now flowing from an exciting development pipeline.

In October 2020, AgNova Technologies Pty Ltd was acquired by American Vanguard Corporation (AMVAC).

AMVAC is a diversified agricultural and specialty products company that develops and markets products for crop protection, turf and ornamentals management and public health. The company has sold products in Australia for many years via distributors, and in January 2019 established a direct presence in the Australian market.

Combining two very complimentary business under the AgNova banner will bring greater efficiencies, increased market presence and share, and enable new technologies to be brought to market sooner.

Customers, suppliers and associates can expect the same high quality of service and relationships they have enjoyed with both companies.

Find out more

Please contact AgNova Technologies on 03 9899 8100 or visit agnova.com.au.