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Australian Technologies CompetitionBOOSTER-Mag

Productivity, Simplicity,
Safety, Sustainability

Calix Pty Ltd, Australia

The Evaluation of BOOSTER-Mag™ in Field
Processing Tomato Production

Robert van Merkestein, Liz Mann
18th Australian Agronomy Conference
September 2017, Ballarat

BOOSTER-Mag EvaluationProduct:

  • concentrated (50% w/w) magnesium hydroxide suspension
  • magnesium carbonate ore and advanced mineral processing technology
  • diluted and sprayed using conventional equipment (0.5 - 2 % a.i v/v)


  • micron scale active particles – 90% passing 20 micron
  • nano-characteristics; high porosity and high energy surfaces
  • bio-active; pathogen and insect pest inhibition 1

Evaluation of BOOSTER-MagFunction:

  • foliar fertiliser; augment magnesium where deficient
  • crop protection; provide control of plant pests and pathogens 2
  • grower productivity, safety and sustainability

Safety, environment and residues:

  • low human and aquatic toxicity 3, no phytotoxicity 1
  • non-hazardous and non-dangerous (Safe Work Australia), MRL exempt 2

Evaluation of BOOSTER-Mag in Field Processing Tomato Production1 Published studies of nano-MgO and Independent BOOSTER-Mag in-vitro and field evaluations

2 Subject to APVMA registration (underway)

3 Public domain Mg(OH)2 toxicology data. To be confirmed by acute toxicity (6 pack) study of BOOSTER-Mag (underway)


Efficacy Evaluations - Summary


BOOSTER-Mag Efficacy Evaluations - Summary



2015 / 2016; Field Processing Tomato, Vic

Year 1. Controlled field evaluation, designed and managed by APTRC and participating growers.


Objective; Quantify the effect of BOOSTER-Mag™ foliar applications, in addition to conventional treatment. Design; Randomised Split Plot (four replicates).


Agronomic Management:

  • Control; farmed conventionally (grower standard IPM)
  • Trial; as per Control but with 3 x 1%v/v sprays B-Mag applications (1.5 kg /ha)

BOOSTER Mag Spray Records FARM 2

BOOSTER Mag Spray Records FARM 3


Year 1; Three Farm Hand Harvest Results – all parameters.

Year 1; Three Farm Hand Harvest Results

Field Processing Stats

  • no statistically significant differences at a 95% confidence level.
  • numerical trends common to all three farms; - ripe and unblemished fruit higher in trial areas - insect damaged fruit lower in trial areas.
  • soil chemistry or nutrient uptake results do not readily account for observed trends

Outcome; commercial grower commitment to further, expanded scale and scope evaluation.



Year 2. Comparative evaluation undertaken with support from APTRC (crop scouting & hand harvest).

Comparative evaluation undertaken with support from APTRCObjective:


Quantify farm productivity (yield, yield quality and overall pesticide usage ) when BOOSTER-Mag is used as a base treatment.


Design; 7 ha Control, 5 ha Trial.


Agronomic Management:

  • Control; pesticide treatment according to pest / disease pressure and industry thresholds and agronomist advice.
  • Trial; BOOSTER-Mag sprays every 2 weeks and additional intervention according to pest & pathogen pressure.

Beneficial Insects and Parasitism - crop scouting:

  • widespread evidence of spiders in trial field (none in control)
  • heliothis (moth) eggs collected and egg viability assessed
  • no material difference in relative pest and pathogen pressure


Year 2. Productivity Assessment

Year 2. Productivity Assessment


  • half as many pest & disease pressure threshold events
  • $194 / ha (38%) reduction in agronomic management costs
  • equivalent payable yield
  • enhanced safety and sustainability through reduced hard chemical usage


Outcome; commercial grower commitment to 40 ha / full farm evaluation - October 2017.





BOOSTER-Mag nano-active Mg(OH)2:

  • Bio-activity; tendency for reduced agricultural insect pests and disease pressure
  • Productivity; demonstrated ability to reduce agronomic management costs without compromising yield
  • Simplicity, Safety and Sustainability; non-toxic, non-phytotoxic and likely to be MRL exempt
  • BOOSTER-Mag is highly complementary to IPM methodology

Our Aims and Activity.

  • Continue to develop BOOSTER-Mag:
    • efficacy trials (lab, controlled and grower direct) in grape, flowering veg and tomato
    • registration

Calix is very open to collaboration to help achieve this…