Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is IOA SumaGrow?

    IOA SumaGrow is a liquid concentrate composed of liquid humates and beneficial microbes which perform a variety of complementary functions that promote soil and plant health. It can be applied to soil, seeds, and plants.

  2. What is the advantage of using IOA SumaGrow vs. Chemical fertilisers?

    For a farmer it means higher, better quality yields at less expense. For a gardener it means harvesting more fruits and vegetables with higher nutritional values. The shared advantages for growing any type of plant or crops are:
    – Higher yields and crop production.
    – Increased nutritional value including higher Brix levels (better tasting produce).
    – Environmentally safe – it remediates soil contaminate
    – Better water efficiency – it pulls and holds moisture to the plant
    – Helps build sustainable soil for future crops

  3. What is Brix ?

    Brix is the approximate sugar/nutrient content calculated by using a refractometer scale for measuring solids dissolved in water. Plant juice from leaves or fruits are used to measure Brix.

  4. Why are higher Brix levels important?

    A higher Brix percentage means a better tasting and more nutritious food.

  5. Are you advocating eliminating chemical fertilizers altogether?

    No. In most cases, we recommend reducing fertiliser inputs by 50% when using products containing IOA SumaGrow inside. However, for all ornamentals & many food crops, NPKs can be eliminated altogether.

  6. Why a 50 percent fertiliser input reduction?

    We recommend a 50 percent reduction for two reasons:
    – Most soils have an ample supply of nutrients – they are simply in a form that is unavailable to the plant. Our product releases bound nutrients and extracts atmospheric nitrogen for plant use.
    – The general composition of most fertilizers is in the form of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium or NPK. Although the chemical forms are immediately available to the plant, it often volatizes off as a gas or leach away from the plant when water is introduced through rain or irrigation. SumaGrow® containing products will chelate and hold the chemical nutrients to the plant. It decreases the amount of nutrient waste and runoff by holding the fertilizer components for the plant’s use and development.

  7. How does the cost compare with chemical fertilisers?

    In many cases less than the chemical fertilisers.

  8. What kinds of plants can I use IOA SumaGrow products on?

    Any kind. SumaGrow® was developed to be effective on a broad spectrum of crops; however, different concentrations and application rates may apply based on various factors such as soil condition and crop type.Please refer to application notes under ” Your Crop “

  9. Do IOA SumaGrow products need to be applied every year when applying on the same crops?

    Yes. Salts from over-fertilisation, erosion, crop harvest, excessively low or high pH values, and low organic matter affect the value of soil.

  10. Does IOA SumaGrow work better on poor soil or healthy soil?

    SumaGrow will help build up poor soil and help maintain healthy soil.

  11. What happens if I use more than the recommended amount?

    As long as the product has been diluted, your plants will be fine. Our suggested application rates are based on multiple experiments. While over-applying isn’t harmful, there is no evidence that an increased application rate will significantly increase the benefits of using IOA SumaGrow.

  12. At what stage should the product be applied?

    Split applications are always better than single applications. We recommend applying IOA SumaGrow in 3 different applications at three week intervals – if this is not practical applying the recommended dilution at planting time is more than satisfactory.

  13. Can the product be used to inoculate the seed for germination prior to planting?

    No, our normal soil inoculant products are not designed to coat seeds. Seeds should be immersed for no more than 10 minutes and planted immediately.

  14. Can the product be applied directly on top of the seed when planting?

    Yes. IOA SumaGrow products can be used in a variety of ways including: Soil Applied, Foliar Spray, Root Dip, Seed Treatment.

  15. How much water per hectare should be used when applying IOA SumaGrow products?

    There is no specific amount of water to use as long as it allows the product to be distributed at the recommended rate per hectare or square metre for your crop.

  16. Is the application rate different depending on type of tree crop?

    Yes, application rates can be different. Fruit and nut trees will benefit from several applications totalling 10-15 litres per hectare per year.

  17. Is there a best time of day to apply the product?

    During droughts and high temperature seasons we recommend application in the late afternoon/early evening.

  18. How long does it take to see results?

    There are many factors which can affect the performance of IOA SumaGrow such as:
    – Soil nutritional balance/imbalance
    – Environmental conditions
    – Type of crop
    – Short term crops (100 days or less) seem to respond within a short period.

  19. Can IOA SumaGrow products be applied with liquid fertiliser?

    Yes, but we recommend that you reduce your fertilizer application rate by at least 50 percent.

  20. How much should I reduce my fertilizer program the first year?

    In general, fertilizer programs should be reduced by 50 percent the first year, but this varies for different crops and soil conditions.

  21. Which is the better source to use with SumaGrow® products: NH4 (Ammonia) or NO3 (Nitrate)?

    IOA SumaGrow products will help stabilize (hold in place) either NO3 or NH4; however, NH4 is more unstable and often converts to nitric oxide (N2O) which is 310 times more lethal than carbon dioxide.

  22. Can I reduce or discontinue the use of urea when using this product?

    We believe that urea nitrogen should be reduced by 50 percent or more depending on the crop.

  23. Can I reduce or discontinue using syrup and/or sugar when using this product?

    Yes. You should discontinue the use of sugar and/or syrup as the humic acid acts as a complete carbon source for the microbes.

  24. Can the product be applied with herbicide and insecticides?

    In most cases, yes. Herbicides such as Round-Up are okay; however, you should avoid blending IOA SumaGrow products with fungicides as they are detrimental to many of the beneficial microbes in the IOA SumaGrow formula.

  25. How safe are IOA SumaGrow products? Are they hazardous?

    SumaGrow and products containing IOA SumaGrow are non-hazardous. They are safe for humans, animals, and the environment.

  26. I just applied the product to plants that are bearing fruit. How long should I wait before I can eat them?

    The microbes are “carried” by liquid humates. Humates are a mined product which is processed to obtain the liquid components via various extraction methods. In order for our product to be OMRI listed (what most people commonly refer to as Organic  the liquid humate provider must use an extraction method which also qualifies their product for use in “organic” production. This is a more expensive extraction method so the cost of OMRI qualified humates costs us more and we pass this cost on to the customer.

  27. I just sprayed my pastureland with a IOA SumaGrow product. When can I move my animals to the treated land?

    As soon as you wish. There is no waiting period between application and grazing.

  28. Are the products safe for pets and children when applied on lawns?

    Yes, the product is safe for pets and children; however, they should stay off the lawn until it is completely dry.

  29. Do I need to wear protective gear when mixing or applying these products?

    Although IOA SumaGrow isn’t a hazardous material, we recommend wearing protective gear because many people have unpredictable allergies.

  30. Do you make products for organic production?

    Absolutely. These products are OMRI listed and can be used in the production of organic foods and fibers.

  31. Are IOA SumaGrow products organic?

    SumaGrow® is OMRI-listed (Organic Materials Review Institute) for use in the production of organic foods and fibers. Most products containing IOA SumaGrow are either already OMRI-listed or are capable of becoming so. The term “organic” is reserved by the USDA and applies only to the end product (foods, fibres, etc.)

  32. What is the difference between the OMRI-listed product and the regular product?

    The microbes are “carried” by liquid humates. Humates are a mined product which is processed to obtain the liquid components via various extraction methods. In order for our product to be OMRI listed (what most people commonly refer to as Organic  the liquid humate provider must use an extraction method which also qualifies their product for use in “organic” production. This is a more expensive extraction method so the cost of OMRI qualified humates costs us more and we pass this cost on to the customer.

  33. How should IOA SumaGrow products be stored?

    As soon as the product is received, remove the cap to replenish the air supply. If product will not be used immediately, loosely refit the cap to allow fresh air to flow until you are ready to use the product and store in a cool location, preferably a refrigerator.

  34. What temperature range is best for the storage of – IOA SumaGrow based products?

    Between 5° and 20° Celsius. The colder, the better as long as the product does NOT freeze.

  35. Does the product need to be agitated before or during application?

    Yes. For a good microbial distribution, the product should be stirred, shaken, or agitated prior to use. If possible, the mixture should also be agitated during application.

  36. Will the product plug my spray nozzles?

    In most circumstances, no; however, a good agitation in the tank will keep any small particles suspended.

  37. Will the product be less effective if left in the spray tank for several days before applying?

    While it is better to use the product the same day that it is mixed, the mixture should be fine for several days provided it is not subjected to freezing temperatures.

  38. As my GPS maps my soil, what are minimum and maximum rates to be applied?

    This is not a concern as you cannot over apply the product IOA SumaGrow products will improve soil conditions regardless of the soil fertility.

  39. What is the shelf life?

    If the product is stored according to our recommendations (in cold temperatures with a loose cap), then the shelf life is one year.

  40. Do you have a dry/powdered/pelletized version of IOA SumaGrow ?

    A dry formula is not available at this time; however, we are currently doing some product testing and hope to have a dry formula available soon.