The name Lithovit is derived from a combination of the Greek word “lithos”, meaning “stone”, and the Latin “vita”, meaning “life”. Thus Lithovit means “life-giving stone”.
Lithovit is a natural mineral (calcium carbonate/limestone/dolomite) consisting mainly of such important mineral substances as calcium and magnesium, together with numerous trace elements (micronutrients) that are essential in plant physiology, such as silicon, potassium, phosphorus and sodium, iron, manganese, copper and zinc.
Yes. Lithovit is outstandingly effective on all kinds of plants that photosynthesize (C3 and C4 plants). Investigations by many institutions and field trials on all continents, but to an even greater extent the countless satisfied customers all over the world who have used Lithovit on crops of the most diverse kinds (cereals, oil-seed rape, rice, soya, cassava, groundnuts, kiwis, bananas, roses, orchids, citrus fruits, vines, coffee, tea etc.), provide overwhelming proof that it is well worth using Lithovit whatever the crop.
From our Lithovit Classic line Lithovit Standard, Forte, Guano 24, Boron 05, Amino 25 and Soil are listed under fertilizers (foliar and trace element fertilizers) by FiBL Projekte GmbH of Frankfurt in their “Catalogue of approved inputs for organic agriculture in Germany” (“Betriebsmittelliste für den ökologischen Landbau in Deutschland”), and are consequently approved for use in organic agriculture throughout the EU and acknowledged to be biodegradable. Furthermore, a large number of our non-EU distribution partners have obtained approval for the use of Lithovit in organic agriculture in their respective territories (from New Zealand and South Africa to Chile and the United States).
No. Lithovit is absorbed through the leaves, and since its unique effect takes place in the interior of the leaf, the pH of the soil has no influence whatsoever.
Lithovit, being powdered stone, does not dissolve in water. The microfine Lithovit particles are mixed well into the water to form a suspension; thus if the mixture is not stirred, they will after a while settle to the bottom.
Basically, Lithovit is a supplementary foliar fertilizer which optimizes the growth processes of healthy plants. We recommend users not to stop applying the usual plant protection agents and fertilizers as well. Only in exceptional cases can fertilization with nitrogen be reduced to 2/3 of the normal quantity on mineral-rich soils if Lithovit is used, without any loss of yield. However, many long-term Lithovit users have in fact found that they have been able to reduce their use of plant protection agents and other fertilizers, thus minimizing costs and further increasing their margins.
LIithovit does not affect the properties and effectiveness of other plant protection agents, except if their effectiveness is dependent on an acid pH. Combining Lithovit with large quantities of a soluble magnesium fertilizer, e.g. magnesium sulphate (Epsom salts), may lead to the precipitation of magnesium hydroxide in the form of an amorphous gel that can block the nozzles of the sprayer. To prevent this, a small amount of ammonium chloride (sal ammoniac) must be added to the suspension before spraying.
All Lithovit particles are many times smaller than the diameter of any nozzles in general use. Only in combination with magnesium sulphate can blockages of the nozzles occur. The sprayer should be properly cleaned after use, so that no residues can remain adhering to it.
Fundamentally, any treatment with Lithovit is beneficial. If it is not possible to carry out all the applications, the outcome may be less positive; but no harm will be done.
It is generally recommended to spray Lithovit in a 0.3% to 0.5% concentration. If wetting agents are used, up to 100 g less Lithovit may be used per 100 l of spraying suspension. For further exceptions, click Crop-specific applications. The following dosage table shows the quantity of Lithovit (in kg) required in a specified volume of spraying mixture (in l) to give the desired concentration (in %).
|Dosage table||Spraying volume|
|Lithovit concentration in %||50l||100l||150l||200l||250l||300l||500l||750l||1.000l||2.000l|
All Lithovit products are highly effective; so like all other effective agents they can be overdosed. Basically, the best results are achieved by adhering to the recommended dosage for the crop concerned (see Crop-specific applications), which is based on values derived from ten years of experience. An overdose may, for example, cause damage to foliage such as partial necrosis, and in the case of perennial plants the harm may continue in subsequent years, for instance in the form of reduced yields. However, all recommendations for application are determined in such a way that any minor deviations arising as a result of circumstances will not have any negative impact on the yield or quality of the crop.
Yes. There is no minimum area for the application of Lithovit.
Smallish quantities of aqueous Lithovit suspension (1–5 l) can be stirred or shaken and still used, even in combination with wettable sulphur, even many months later without any problems. Larger quantities in tanks should be thoroughly agitated and remixed and used up within a few days. The nozzles of the sprayer should be cleaned and rinsed after every application.
Since 2012, a number of our distribution partners and customers have reported subjecting the most varied types of seed to treatment with Lithovit which turned out to be highly effective. We recommend a dry dressing with 2% Lithovit Standard (20g per 1kg seed). As an adhesive, a little malt beer or glucose solution should be added. For seeds that pre-swell / germinate like wet rice, the seed is placed in a 2% Lithovit-water suspension for 24-48 hours and then seeded. Sowing must then be delayed until the film of Lithovit on the seeds has completely dried. Among the effects of this “coating” is a substantial optimization of the immediate supply of minerals and trace elements to the seedlings by the Lithovit particles. This results in seedlings that can be seen to grow faster and more healthily, with more vigorous and more widely ramified root systems.
Yes. Wetting agents enhance the effectiveness and reduce the grey blotches left by the spraying. This is because they reduce the surface tension of the leaves, so that the suspension sprayed onto them does not form small droplets on the leaf surface but covers it evenly. In this way more stomatal pores are supplied with Lithovit, which substantially increases the effectiveness. So if Lithovit is used in combination with a wetting agent, the dosage of Lithovit can be reduced by up to 100 g per 100 l of spraying suspension.
First let the water (with a pH of between 6 and 10) into the spraying tank, and then add any other fertilizers or plant protection agents that are to be used. Then add Lithovit, while stirring constantly. Care should be taken to see that the fertilizers or plant protection agents do not cause the pH of the mixture to go outside the range of 5–10.
Do not breathe in Lithovit powder/dust or the suspension aerosol while spraying. Avoid contact with the eyes. For further information see the safety data sheets for each Lithovit product. International emergency number and advisory centre: +49–(0)89–19240 (24 hours) – German and English.
Effectiveness and economic aspects
Wherever crops grow under conditions that are not close to the optimum, i.e. when conditions are unfavourable to growth and the crop is subject to the most varied stress factors. That is to say: almost everywhere where crops are grown! Lithovit supports natural growth: plants treated with Lithovit are more vigorous and healthier, they grow faster, are better able to cope with extreme conditions (e.g. periods of drought or excessive rainfall), are more resistant to diseases and pests and are guaranteed to produce higher yields, better quality and better keeping properties.
If Lithovit is applied in accordance with the instructions, yields generally increase significantly, and the quality of the crop is also visibly improved. If in any individual case no improvement in yield and/or quality is apparent, we will be pleased to join you in investigating the cause. In the few cases that this has occurred in the past, the causes were primarily unpredictable weather influences or errors in the method of application.
There are two mechanisms by which Lithovit releases CO2:
The first mechanism: The microfine Lithovit particles that penetrate into the intercellular spaces dock onto the cell membrane with their negatively charged surfaces, establishing a negative potential outside the cell. In the first step of the photosynthesis that occurs inside the cell, water is broken down. This gives rise to protons (positively charged hydrogen ions). These are then attracted through the membrane by the negative potential, and dock onto the negatively charged carbonate groups on the surface of the microfine Lithovit particles, forming unstable carbonic acid which then breaks down into CO2 and water.
The second mechanism: At night, the carbonate in the Lithovit remaining on the leaf surfaces takes up both CO2 from the atmosphere and the plant’s transpiration and also water from dew and the plant’s transpiration, and is converted into hydrogen carbonate in a thermodynamic equilibrium reaction. During the day the temperature increases, the water evaporates and so is removed from the thermodynamic equilibrium; the reaction is thus reversed, so that the carbonate returns to its original form and CO2 is formed immediately on the leaf surfaces, from where it diffuses directly through the stomata into the intercellular spaces. This “ping-pong effect” continues to supply the plant with CO2 as long as the layer of Lithovit remains on the leaf surfaces.
In a few rare cases, the pH of the added agent or of the final mixture has caused problems:
- If the pH falls below 5.0 the Lithovit particles dissolve, releasing their CO2 prematurely, so that no fertilizing effect is obtained.
- If the pH exceeds 9.8–10, Mg(OH) 2 is precipitated and blocks the nozzles of the sprayer. Such precipitation can also occur if large quantities of magnesium ions are added to the suspension, e.g. through the addition of magnesium sulphate (MgSO4). Such precipitation can be avoided by adding small amounts of an ammonium salt such as ammonium nitrate or ammonium chloride (both of which are fertilizers). How much ammonium salt has to be added depends on the final pH of the mixture, the concentration of the Lithovit suspension and of course also the quantity of magnesium sulphate added; it needs to be calculated in each individual case.
- If agents containing phosphates, e.g. the herbicide glyphosate, are to be added, no ammonium salts should be added as this will lead to the formation of low-solubility magnesium-ammonium-phosphate salts, which will also block the sprayer nozzles.
- Lithovit is a completely natural mineral fertilizer which does not release any chemical residues that are harmful to the environment.
- As a foliar fertilizer, Lithovit is approved for both organic and conventional agriculture in the EU.
- Lithovit accelerates growth, promotes more widely spreading root systems, enhances green coloration and photosynthesis, reduces the water requirement, enhances the supply of important trace elements to the plants, optimizes the pH value and the uptake of nitrogen, and produces healthier, more vigorous and more stress-resistant plants.
- Lithovit enhances vitality and resistance in physiological stress situations such as water shortage, drought, wetness, frost etc., and helps plants to overcome disease, pests and fungi.
- Lithovit enhances the yield and quality of crops and their post-harvest keeping properties, and increases the quantities of dry matter and biomass.
It does so by means of a mechanism that is dependent on two factors:
- The first is the structure of the walls of the guard cells that enclose the stomata: the walls that separate these guard cells from the neighbouring cells and from the intercellular space are thin and elastic, whereas those enclosing the stomatal pores are thick and thus less elastic. Let us first consider a closed stomatal pore: if water is transported from the neighbouring cells or from the intercellular space into the guard cells, their thin elastic walls stretch and distend in an outward direction. This pulls the thick walls enclosing the pore into a concave shape, so that the pore opens. If water is transported in the opposite direction, the guard cells contract; the walls enclosing the stomatal pores are stretched longways, constricting the pores and closing them.
So what is the driving force behind this transportation of water?
- This force, the second regulatory factor, is the osmotic pressure gradient, or, when the water is transported in the opposite direction, the water activity gradient. Put simply, water activity is the concentration of free water molecules, i.e. those not bound by dissolved substances (“solutes”). This gradient arises between, on the one hand, the guard cells (which contain chloroplasts and carry out photosynthesis) and their neighbouring cells (which do not effect photosynthesis), and on the other hand the intercellular space. If the concentration of substances formed by photosynthesis and dissolved in the water in the guard cells increases, water activity decreases there. Water is transported from the neighbouring cells or the intercellular space into the guard cells, so that the stomatal pores open in accordance with the mechanism described above. If photosynthesis ceases when darkness falls, no carbohydrates or sugar are produced in the guard cells. As a result, the concentrations of these substances fall below the concentrations of solutes in the neighbouring cells and the intercellular space. Water is transported in the opposite direction and the stomatal pores close. If it gets hot, the water vapour pressure in the atmosphere falls below that in the intercellular space. Initially, the plant loses water through transpiration. At the same time, the concentration of the solutes there increases (water activity decreases). Water flows from the guard cells into the intercellular space and the stomatal pores close. By penetrating the intercellular space the water releases CO2 (or H2CO3, HCO3), which binds water molecules as a hydration shell. Water activity decreases further, so that the stomatal pores close more quickly. Despite the closing of the pores photosynthesis continues, since CO2 is still being supplied by the Lithovit inside the leaves. In addition, the Ca2+ ions accelerate the closing of the pores, since they promote the formation of the hormone ABA (abscisic acid), which transmits the signal to the guard cells. Moreover, it is supposed that the polarization of the cell membrane due to the docking of the Lithovit with its negatively charged surface also plays a part in this.
Up to 10 years of experience of countless users with over 50 different crops have demonstrated that the additional yield, the improved quality and to some extent the savings in respect of plant protection agents and fertilizers that can be achieved exceed the pure costs of Lithovit by a considerable multiple and significantly improve the margin. Depending on what crop is involved, what concentration of Lithovit is used for the suspension, whether a wetting agent is added and how much suspension is required per hectare, the pure cost of Lithovit per hectare averages somewhere between less than €10 and €30.
Tribodyn AG is the developer and producer of the environmentally friendly and unique range of Lithovit foliar fertilizers, which have proved themselves in applications in both organic and conventional agriculture and markets them through a worldwide network of national distribution partners. At present, seven series of special Lithovit products for all field crops and for grassland, fodder crops, intensive cultivation, horticulture and forestry guarantee commercial growers high yields and high quality, and that not only under unfavourable stress and growth conditions. Tribodyn AG’s highest objectives are to promote natural growth, to protect natural resources and to further the production of healthy foodstuffs in harmony with nature.
Tribodyn AG produces exclusively in Germany, observing the highest environmental standards. Thus all Lithovit products are 100% “made in Germany”.
All Lithovit products can be obtained directly, through national distribution partners or through the local agricultural trade in more than 100 countries all over the world.
All Tribodyn’s distribution partners are thoroughly trained, have up to 10 years of solid product experience and are able to give professional advice in practically all circumstances in which it is required.