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Agri-science Solutions.

Natural Bio-growth Promoters and Bio-Stimulants.

Agriculture challenges and scientific formlated solutions.

xCape Seaweed Bio-Growth Kelp Extract. 

The chemistry behind these formulations.

Independent trial results.

The choice - fertilisers or growth promoters.

Agriculture challenges and scientific solutions.

Trade globalisation increases competition and reduces prices, climate change increases abiotic plant stress that often decreases crop yields. The provision of sustainable food security for more than 124+ million people worldwide facing starvation is a further concern for Governments.  Global food shortages have also been aggravated by the re-direction of various food crops such as wheat, corn, soybean and sugarcane into bio-fuel.


75 % of the world's consumption comes from cereal crops.  The factors above necessitate increased agriculture production within a sustainable framework.

With external macro and micro environment factors cross-influencing one another, compounded with increased input costs as well as increased yield expectation of shareholders, the agricultural industry globally reached a tipping point.


Consequently, agriculture entered a new period of explorative and dynamic precision farming, representing a new generation of agri-science.  Agri-sciences is fundamentally based on optimising factors that are within a farmers' control to increase crop yield and health.


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With the assistance of agri-conomists, soil and water samples are taken and analysed.  Leaf test results from the previous years’ crops are added to the analysis. Once mapped against the requirement for optimised growth conditions pertaining to targeted species, a customised combination of suitable fertilisers and growth promoter programme is designed and implemented.  

In essence, it involves a scientific approach to farming that is planned and executed based on scientific principles and historical data. 

The chemistry behind these formulations.

Plants naturally contain growth hormones.  Ecklonia Maxima kelp, native to South Africa, is globally known for its high level of natural plant-based growth hormone levels.  These metabolites consist of auxins, cytokinins,
ethylene, and gibberellins.   Research has also highlighted the presence of polyamines, abscisic acid, and brassinosteroids. The two most dominant growth hormones in plant growth promoters are auxins (Indolene-3-Acetic Acid) and cytokinins.

It is important not to confuse these natural, biological plant-based growth hormones with synthetically manufactured hormones contained in many plant growth promoters. Equally, it should not be confused with antibiotic growth promoters that destroy or inhibits bacteria that is at times used with livestock farming.

Auxins primarily cause elongation in plant cells (the cells get longer). They are found in the shoot and root tips of plants and promote stem and root growth. Indolence-3-acetic acid is an auxin-based hormone.

Cytokinins are primarily responsible for cell division in plants.  It develops shoots and lateral roots.  It also stimulates bud and fruit formation and helps plant cells to recover from damage and delays the aging of cells.  

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These hormones work with one another to create a synergistic effect on plant growth and cell health. The choice of the dominant hormone that is chosen is dependent on the crop species that are planted as well as the desired impact that must be achieved. If cytokinins are dominant, shoots and lateral roots will predominantly from.  If auxins are dominant,  elongated stems and apical plant development will result.

Overall, growth promoters create a spectacular increase in both crop health and yield.  It is a scientific formulation that will produce these results under correct circumstances. 
However,  not all growth promoters are equal ....

xCape Seaweed Bio-Growth Stimulator. 

An increase in crop yield has become a necessity for farmers.  Before the advent of growth promoters, farmers attempted an increase in yield with fertilisation programmes on its own.   Aggravated by an increase in abiotic stress-factors, fertilisation proved to be insufficient to facilitate a sustainable increase in yield.  xCape Seaweed Bio-Growth Stimulator is a natural growth promoter that enables an increase in crop yield.  Together with the correct soil conditions and fertilisation programmes, farmers now have a  scientifically formulated solution to ensure increased yield

The solution is to embrace agri-science with xCape Seaweed scientific formulation made from hand-harvested Ecklonia Maxima kelp.

xCape Seaweed Bio-Growth stimulant is a natural biological Ecklonia Maxima seaweed extract, uniquely formulated to result in a visible and quantifiable increase in crop yield.  Ecklonia Maxima kelp is well known for the high growth hormone levels.

Not all growth promoters and bio-stimulants are equal.  The only growth promoters that should ever be considered, are products that have been tested in independent green-house trials.  These trials provide the required efficacy to valid yield increase claims,  prove that there are no harmful effects, substantiate the different application rates and conditions under which it should be used.

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An increase in yield is attained as a result of an increase in plant mass which in turn is increased as a result of an increase in root mass.
This product is unique and different.

Growth is accelerated as a result of larger and more roots that form rapidly.  The larger root mass enables the plant to increase nutrient as well as water uptake.  The plant responds naturally to the higher nutrient and water content by increasing overall plant mass. As applications are repeated during growth, this cycle continues until harvest.


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Whilst many bio-stimulants are made from synthetic growth hormones our choice of product is made from pure natural kelp extracts. No addition of animal products ensures a natural plant-derived product, favoured by crop growers supplying Halal, Vegan, Kosher and Organic food markets.

xCape Seaweed Bio-Growth Stimulator is made from fresh, hand-harvested Ecklonia Maxima kelp. Care is taken not to damage the plants, enabling the re-growth of the natural kelp forest.   The natural seaweed grows in the unpolluted waters off the cool, nutrient-rich Atlantic Ocean, fed by the Benguela current. The harvest forest has no exposure to E-Coli, estrogen, herbicides,  biocides or other contaminants often found close to city shores. 

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No biocidal preservatives are added.  The manufacturing process enables preservation without harmful substances.  Even though this is an agriculture product, the utmost care has been taken to ensure that health expectations are met. Preservation mediums used are safe for human consumption.  

The unique extraction processes enable an unusually high level of free IAA (Indole 3 Acetic Acid) molecules, making it unnecessary to bound with other molecules to stimulate plant growth. Free IAA is 1 000 times more effective than bounded Auxins. This product is highly concentrated with 375 micrograms of free IAA per litre.  The average growth stimulant contains 75 micrograms free IAA.  This makes our product 5 times stronger than competing bio-stimulants.

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This product has not been enriched with any other nutrients or NPK blends.  It is a pure auxin-based product, designed to increase crop yield.  This means that the normal fertilisation programme can continue without interference and it creates an attractive base product for blends.

xCape Seaweed Bio-Growth Stimulator is a  very concentrated kelp extract:  500 ml dilution to 1 000 litres of water covers 2.5 hectares.  Over-and-above the recommended seed soak application, two foilage applications are recommended. It is also refined to 50 microns to prevent blockage of spray nossles.

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Packaging options make provision for a wide range of preferences.  The product can be purchased in 250 ml containers, 1 litre containers, 25 litre containers and 1 000 litre flow bins.  The packaging options also ensures that manufacturers can buy xCape Seaweed Biostimulant to use as an input blend ingredient in their own formulations.

The level of Indolene-3-Acetic Acid in xCape Seaweed Bio-Growth Stimulator is guaranteed to enable a higher degree of control over the application levels.  The guaranteed level is attained through blending, ensuring that the impact of varying growth hormones caused by factors such as season changes is managed.  No other organic product guarantees the level of IAA.

xCape Seaweed Bio-Growth Stimulator has been subjected to rigorous tests to independently verify that it has no phytotoxicity and therefore safe to use.  This analysis also provides prescriptive direction in terms of optimal application rates given different soil conditions and under which conditions it should be used. Extensively statistical analysis was done to verify the increase in yield across numerous samples and validation parameters.

Independent trial results.

Numerous suppliers market liquidised kelp as growth promoters or bio-stimulants without any supporting data qualifying the product, the results that can be attained, conditions of usage, proof of no phytotoxicity and application levels.  The reality remains that true products, like xCape Seaweed Bio-Growth Stimulator, will be supported by independent efficacy trials and studies.  Without the independent substantiation, no field trials and no claims can be validated.  

Rigorous independent tests were undertaken by agri-specialsits, ensuring that we can substantiate crop yield increase claims.
These trials were done under controlled greenhouse circumstances to prove the efficacy of the product. This is done to ensure that trial results are not influenced by abiotic and biotic stress factors. Field trials, although important, are affected by a number of factors, making it difficult, if not impossible, to accurately validate the efficacy claims of a biostimulant.
Seed types:

Sunflower and maize were chosen as representative of dicotyledon and monocotyledon seeds respectively, ensuring the efficacy trials have a broader application to other crops.

Soil types:

Two soil types were used. A sandy clay loam, which is more fertile and chemically more buffered and loamy sand which is less fertile and less buffered. The same fertiliser was applied to both soils to ensure that recommended application rates and proof of no phytotoxicity are applicable to all soil types. 

Both dry and wet measures were taken of the roots as well as the biomass, three weeks after emergence and again at harvest.


Treatments were replicated 5 times.  The first group had no treatment.  The second control group had a NPK 3:2:2 treatment with no biostimulant application.  The third group had half the recommended application rate.  The fourth group had the pre-trial recommended application rate. The fifth group had double the application pre-trial level.

The impact of different treatment was clearly visible at the three week measurement.

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The impact of the different application rates continued throughout the growth cycle.

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Findings:  A quantifiable and visible increase in yield were noted for both species when  NPK was added and the recommended application rate was applied.  An increase in the recommended application rate did improve the yield further but the improvement was dependent on the soil quality.  An increase in application rate that exceeds the recommended level should be tested first before applying it to the entire crop.   Similarly, using this product with blends should also first be subject to field trials.


Optimise soil productivity.

This includes the inclusion of organic matter to ensure optimal soil structure with increased aeration and ability to retain water and nutrients. It is also imperative that soil pH is optimal.  Nutrient absorption will be limited with incorrect pH levels.

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Sufficient water availability.

The increased root and plant mass will require more water to sustain growth. Insufficient water will increase plant stress and not result in increased yet.  Sufficient water will increase stress tolerance. Less water is required if soil conditions are optimized.

Appropriate nutrition.

Appropriate NPK levels is a pre-condition to increased crop yield.  Without  NPK additions, crop yield is likely to be negative and will result in plant stress.  However, NPK alone does not provide the full range of required nutrition to optimise stress tolerance and an increase in crop health and yield.  A full range of nutrients is required that include a wide range of minerals, vitamins, amino acids, polychlorides and protein.

Nutri-Earth is an ideal biological soil and nutrient supplement to use with NPK to maximise both crop yield and quality.

Application rates.

The recommended application rate is 500 ml of xCape Seaweed Bio-Growth Stimulant to 1 000 litres of water.  Industry standards are 200 to 400 ml per hectare.   The application would be via seed soak and foliage spray which is repeated at least twice through the growth cycle but can be repeated more frequently, with at least 14-day gaps between applications.

If an increase in application rate is considered, we recommend that a trial study is done first.  We do not recommend experimentation with application rates which are more than double the recommended level.


Any increased application on plants growing in poor soil conditions is anticipated to increase negative yield. Similarly, manufacturers who would like to blend the product into their own formulations should do scientific trials.


A melon trial in Mauritius.

No seed soak was done prior to planting for the seeds planted in the trays on the left.

Seed soak was applied for the seedlings on the right but no follow-up foilage applications were administered.

Seeds were soaked in the mixture prior to planing and one foilage application was administered at three leave stage. 

It was reported that the  fruits of the treated plants were larger than the plants not treated.

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A field comparison of increased leaf size.

The leaf on the inside reflects the leave of the untreated plant of a similar age.  The outside leaves reflect a leaf of the treated plant. xCape Bio Growth Stimulant was used as a foliage application and Nutri-Earth Soil enhancer was used to optimise soil quality.

The plant stems were visible longer than the non-treated plant, the flowers lasted longer and the leaves were visibly larger. An out-of-season application stimulated plant growth out of season.

Who would find xCape Seaweed Bio-Growth Stimulator valuable?
  • Commercial farmers who farm crops on large surface areas, such as cereal, tea, sugar, corn, barley, wheat and fruit, as examples.


  • Farmers who use scientific farming methods to increase crop yields.

  • Farmers who farm with any species on good quality soil with sufficient water being available.

  • Annual crops with deep roots which are hard to reach.  Foliage spray is the ideal solution.

  • Manufacturers who would like to formulate their own blends.


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Organic fertilisers, chemical fertilisers and bio-growth promoters - the choice?

There is a place for all three solutions.  The reality is that farmers have to make a decision that is scalable and economically viable with due consideration of market price, input cost and the steps that should be taken to increase crop yield, whilst protecting the soil.



Optimal soil conditions are the basis of this type of farming operation.

Nutrients are available from organic compounds.

Produce is grown organic markets and retail chains and will be labelled as such.

Input costs tend to be higher.

Consumers are likely to pay more as a result of the organic produce representing congruency with their value system.

Organic produce serves niche markets.

Nutri-Earth is an ideal source of nutrients and organic compounds for organic farming.



A scientific approach to farming is followed.


Soil, water and leaf tests will be done prior to crops being planted.


A customised fertilisation programme will be followed taking into account the analysis, species that will be planted as well as expected environmental conditions.


Growth conditions that can be influenced and controlled will be optimised and maintained, prior to spray applications.

Produce can still be regarded as organic if chemical fertilisers are not used.


Soil structure can be improved with Nutri-Earth.

More arid farming zones where large scale agriculture takes place will require more intervention in terms of soil management, chemical fertilisation and xCape Seaweed Bio-Growth Stimulator applications. Vast farm-lands globally fall into this category.

Farming areas with a naturally higher level of soil productivity and sufficient water will benefit greatly from the xCape Seaweed bio-growth stimulant. We still recommend a scientific approach with analysis followed by optimal nutrient availability to ensure that crop yield is fully maximised.

When comparing xCape Seaweed Bio-Growth Stimulator with competing products, bear the following in mind:
  • A liquid kelp product does not mean that it is automatically a growth promoter, even though it may be marketed as such. A growth promoter will have a higher level of growth hormone content and will be scientifically formulated. It will also be supported by greenhouse trial data.

  • Unless the product is certified in terms of its growth hormone content, the crop results will vary to the extent that it may become uncontrollable.   Growth hormone levels differ per season.  The part of the plant that is used also creates a different result.  Unless it is blended to a certifiable standard, the competing alternative is an inferior product.

  • It is imperative that all conditions are optimal before this product is used.  Optimal soil conditions, sufficient water and nutrients is a pre-condition to an increase in crop yield.

  • Ensure that the source is known and can be validated as a sustainable ocean farmer.  Kelp is a protected species and should under all circumstances be validated with a harvest licence that is issued by a government.

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The reality remains.  The highest crop yield will be achieved and sustained when the soil is at its optimal production level, xCape Seaweed Bio Growth Promoter is used in conjunction with Nutri-Earth and scientific adjustment are made to complete a holistic solution.
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