Heat Stress and Sun Protection: Boost Your Crop Health with Surround

Mitigating Heat Stress and Sunburn

Heat stress and sunburn can severely impact plant health and reduce yields. In today's changing climate, finding ways to protect plants from these harmful effects is more important than ever. Developed in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Surround is an advanced plant health technology that offers protection from sunburn and heat stress, in return has the potential to enhance yields and promote healthier plants.

Here, we’ll explore the science behind Surround’s sun protection and heat stress reduction capabilities, and discuss the benefits of using this innovative product in your crop management strategy.

How Surround Reduces Sunburn and Heat Stress:

Surround covers plant surfaces with a protective film consisting of calcined kaolin particles. This film provides two primary mechanisms for reducing sunburn and heat stress:

  1. Light Scattering: Surround scatters light, which significantly reduces the transmission of harmful ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) light into leaves and fruit. By reducing these harmful wavelengths, Surround can reduce sunburn damage, as well as lessening photoinhibition, a phenomenon in which too much light can prevent photosynthesis.
  2. Temperature Reduction: Surround reduces leaf, canopy, and fruit temperatures, helping plants stay cooler therefore better cope with heat stress. Lower plant temperatures can lead to higher rates of photosynthesis, and more efficient use of water, leading to healthier plants and potentially enhanced yields.

Benefits of Using Surround for Heat Stress and Sun Protection:

  1. Enhanced Photosynthesis: By reflecting IR light, Surround keeps plants cooler, therefore causing higher rates of photosynthesis under heat stress conditions. This increased photosynthetic activity translates to more carbohydrates being produced and stored in the fruit, roots, and other structures, and can ultimately lead to improved yields.
  2. Reduced Water Stress: When plants are heat or water stressed, the pores in their leaves, called stomata, close, temporarily shutting down plant activity.  Surround's ability to lower plant temperatures can mean that the stomata are more open. A cooler plant is a photosynthetically more active plant contributing to healthier, more resilient plants and higher yields.
  3. Increased Fruit Size and Quality: Surround's benefits extend to fruit size, oil content, soluble solids and overall plant growth. By protecting plants from sunburn and heat stress, Surround can help maximize fruit quality and yield, providing growers with better returns on their investment.
  4. Long-Term Plant Health: In perennial crops, the benefits of Surround may take time to become visible. Healthier, more vigorous plants in season one can produce more fruit in season two, indicating Surround's positive impact on long-term plant health and productivity.

Optimizing Surround Application:

To effectively use Surround for heat stress and sun protection, consider the following application tips:

  1. Timing: Apply Surround before events of high-temperature and strong sunlight occur to ensure the most effective protection against sunburn and heat stress.
  2. Coverage: Achieving complete and even coverage is crucial for optimal results. Reapply Surround as necessary to maintain coverage, considering factors such as irrigation, rain, wind and new plant growth.
  3. Tank Mixing: Surround can be tank-mixed with most pesticides, with the exception of elemental sulfur or Bordeaux mixture; a jar test is always recommended. When tank-mixing, always add Surround to the tank first. A pre-mix tank is suggested for sprayers without mechanical agitation, but by-pass or mechanical agitation must be turned on during mixing and spraying.
  4. Additional Surfactants: Using additional spreader-stickers can enhance coverage, further improving Surround’s effectiveness. If using a spreader, follow the spreader’s use instructions for minimum spray volume.
  5. Aerial Application: Surround can be applied aerially using standard aerial application equipment. Consult the product label or Spray Guide for more information.

Key Takeaways:

Excessive heat and sun can have detrimental effects on plant health and yields by causing heat stress and sunburn. Surround offers an innovative solution to protect plants from these harmful environmental factors. By scattering harmful light wavelengths and reducing canopy temperatures, Surround helps plants maintain optimal photosynthesis rates, reduces water stress, and promotes overall plant health.

Implementing Surround in your crop management strategy can lead to increased fruit size, improved fruit quality, and potentially enhanced yields. Surround-treated plants are more resilient, better able to withstand high temperature and light conditions, and use available water more efficiently.

For optimal results, it is essential to apply Surround before high temperature and light conditions, ensure complete and even coverage, and follow best practices for tank mixing and application methods.

Surround is a valuable tool for protecting crops from heat stress and sunburn, which can lead to healthier plants and maximized yields. By understanding the science behind Surround and implementing this advanced plant health technology, you can optimize your crop management strategy and protect your plants from nature's most damaging elements.

Always read and follow label instructions.