The biostimulant market is booming in agriculture. The market is growing fast, so what do farmers, consumers, and regulators need to know?
In a recent article, CropLife addresses some big questions about biostimulants by interviewing the experts. BiOWiSH’s own Senior Executive Vice President of Agronomy, Bill Diederich, weighed in. Bill has years of experience in the agronomy sector, and he is always eager to share his knowledge.
Read the article here or get Bill’s responses below.
The Most Pressing Issue for Biostimulants
According to Bill, “(It) is a lack of understanding of what biostimulants are, what they do, and how they do it. The key to addressing this is educating retailers and growers about the different classes of biostimulants, the different modes of action that each biostimulant class has, and how these can be used to overcome problems in crop production.”
Responses from other folks on the front line of the biostimulant boom emphasize Bill’s take. There is some confusion around definitions, categories, and efficacy.
Regulatory classification was another common concern cited. Our regulatory bodies are still considering biostimulant classes and definitions, and it will be an exciting year for agriculture as these questions get answered.
What Should Retailers Know about Biostimulants?
“Ag retailers and farmers alike need to understand that biostimulants are not ‘one size fits all.’ Different formulations address yield-limiting factors differently. For example, if soil nutrients are limited and/or root growth is poor, our approach is to use a stable, compatible consortia of selected microbes applied by coating onto solid fertilizers or mixing with liquid fertilizers to increase nutrient efficiency and promote root growth to improve nutrient uptake and assimilation.
This is a much more viable alternative to inoculating the soil with microbes. But not all microbial biostimulants are created equal — most companies have their own proprietary strains and fermentation processes. It has become obvious to us, after years of study of this class of biostimulants, that, even if a formula’s CFU (colony forming unit) count is higher, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the crop response will be greater.”
Other stakeholders in the biostimulant space reported that they want retailers to know that biostimulants work. Biologicals have long gotten a bad rap because earlier generations often lacked scientific backing.
Today, technology has come a long way – the science behind biologicals is real, and we now have data to prove it. It is still critical to ask questions and review research to ensure a product’s efficacy, which is why BiOWiSH publishes case and research studies. But the bottom line is that soil biology is an important part of agriculture, and BiOWiSH® Crop products have the ability to positively influence soil biology.
If you have more questions about biostimulants and their role in the future of farming, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.