The core principles underlying STEP are:
- An environmental friendly approach will be adopted by our customers only if it makes commercial sense. In other words, the STEP process should help reduce costs and increase yields.
- When environmental friendly products are designed to be more effective than the conventional practices they replace, then consumer acceptance in the short term is fairly rapid and long term sustainability of new practices is also assured.
- There exist certain critical problem areas that constrain production and cost control that are not adequately addressed by conventional chemical alternatives (such as soil salinity and alkalinity, moisture stress, pest and disease resistance and climate change) where the STEP processes can be relevant.
The STEP process incorporates the following simple steps:
Creating Strong Foundations for you Crop
Just as one tries to instil the right foundations in one’s children from a young age, we realise the importance of protecting and nurturing your crop right from the time the seed germinates. Our processes help the seeds to increase root development in situations where soil conditions are not always ideal for realising their yield potential. Strong roots help the young seedlings sustain high temperatures and moisture stress better, this results in better germination and good crop stands. Eventually farmers would learn to optimise seed rates and actually save on costly seeds.
Strong roots support strong stems and shoots and better foliage on a young crop and thereby increased photosynthesis eventually resulting in better yields.
The benefits of our methods can be seen surprisingly quickly, as early as 7–10 days after germination, and this early advantage is carried forward up to maturity.
Caring for the Top Soil
Our eco friendly products and the beneficial microbes present in many of them are scientifically and technically proven. These products are extensively tested under much harsher conditions, at temperatures ranging from freezing point to over 48°C, over several years before being introduced in the US market. These products have delivered remarkable results in alleviating alkaline soils and increasing yields even under rain-fed conditions where farmers had no access to irrigation. These products have been extensively field tested in India on several crops like rice, wheat, corn, cotton, guar, citrus, potato and vegetables like bell pepper, tomatoes, gherkins and many others.
These products encourage rapid root growth and work symbiotically with the crop to increase root exudates which further encourages the growth of beneficial microbes contained therein. The cumulative impact on the soil is enormous and a visible improvement can be seen within one cropping season. One important factor to bear in mind is that unlike chemicals that degrade over time and give a residual benefit that usually lasts 2 –3 weeks, our microbial products actually gain strength from the time of application over the duration of the crop. Our products are highly concentrated (and at several millions per gram are some of the most concentrated in the world), and represent real value for money. Scientific reports have been published which show that beneficial microbes such as those present in our products have the potential to double in numbers every 30 minutes. Just imagine how much their potential to multiply over a single day over 17 million times.
It is this rapid accretion in numbers that gives our products their strength and the impressive visible results. Results which we would not like to brag about but would rather our customers experience on their own. However, one of the important observations from farmers who have used our STEP principles is that over time, they have reduced their application of chemical fertilisers and pesticides significantly.
Improving Yields and Quality of Produce
Crops experience a lot of stress over their growing periods, this can come not just from weeds, disease and insect pests but from adverse soil and agro climatic conditions. Sometimes a sudden increase in temperatures during grain formation can actually hasten maturity and reduce grain size, thereby reducing yields. High temperatures can result in flower and fruit dropping as well, this can have a disastrous impact on yields and profits.
For instance in wheat, it is well known that early senescence of leaves results in reduced photosynthesis during the critical grain formation stage. The energy produced during photosynthesis contributes to over 75% of grain yields and just 25% comprises stored energy in the stems and roots. It has been observed, that the use of the STEP system actually helps delay senescence, the crop remains green for a longer period giving that short extended lifeline to crops that help farmers get a better harvest despite adversity. The fact that the STEP system actually results in thicker stems, and root as well as more tillers is an added bonus, since plants are able to create and store a larger amount of energy when the going is good.
It is these small but crucial benefits they deliver, that have enabled our products have performed remarkably even under adverse conditions and helped reduce losses due to such biotic and abiotic stresses helping farmers harvest better crops consistently