Richard Emery- General Manager Stoller Australia

Last month Stoller Australia conducted a series of seminars at key locations to provide updates and education to interested farmers and dealers in the field of plant nutrition and plant physiology.

Rob Jarek from Stoller Enterprises USA joined the Stoller team to deliver some valuable training to the meeting attendees.  Rob works for the Stoller Group in a Research and Technical Support role, working in North America and other international locations.

At the meetings held in SA, Vic, NSW and Qld, Rob shared his knowledge with the attendees citing practical examples from his vast experience in farming and ag.

Rob Jarek

Perhaps the most relevant point revolved around the importance of growing a balanced plant with a healthy root system.  Rob explained how a healthy root system enables the plant to deal with the ever-changing environment and to respond to the associated stresses.  There are many key strategies to keep the roots actively growing.  An important element for root health is having adequate calcium.  Calcium is not only a key nutrient but also ensures proper functioning and messaging in the plant.  Rob explained that calcium is critical in all new meristematic tissue such as at the root tips and reproductive sites of plants.

Plants are regulated by hormones and there are 5 main hormone groups, most of which are made in the roots.  This means that the Roots behave like the brains of the plant, sending messages around the plant to drive different growth and reproductive processes.


Rob works with a concept that he calls START – GROW – FINISH.  This refers to the strategy that we should adopt at the various stages of growth.  The START component is about ensuring that we set the crop up with adequate nutrition and active roots, we want the crop to have a strong start.  In the case of an orchard, we need an even budburst and we want all the trees to have the resources (including food) for healthy growth.  Sometimes this will involve inputs early in the season to ensure proper root and top growth.  It can also require a strong post-harvest input in the season before.  The GROW stage involves ensuring the maximum number of viable fruits and minimising fruit drop so we have the greatest potential for production.  Also ensuring sufficient leave area to supply the fruit when needed.  The FINISH stage is about sizing the fruit and delivering the food from source to sink enabling maximum economic yield.  It also includes restoring the food supply in post-harvest applications ready for the START stage of the next season.


To optimise the production of our orchard, we need everything in place.  We want healthy, actively growing roots (The Brains of the Plant), We need to address the START – GROW – FINISH process and ensure a healthy start with adequate nutrition and a balanced tree, we need the growing stage to run smoothly with good fruit numbers and enough leaves to provide the food and we need a good finish with the sugars and carbohydrates that we have built finding their way to the fruit.


Stoller supplies products such as RootFeed and Action 10 that can enhance Root Growth.  A complete range of chelated and speciality nutrients can supply needed elements for each growth stage.  Other speciality treatments such as Bio-Forge can minimise the impact of stress, helping the plant deal with the harsh environment.  Finally, products like Sugar Mover and Nitrate Balancer can help move the food from the leaves to the fruit at the critical time.  Stoller also offers a post-harvest (Hibernation) program to put the trees to sleep prepared for the following season.