Products containing chitin are growing in popularity and there’s good reason for it as chitin and its derivatives have been repeatedly shown to protect crops and improve yield and quality. Chitin is the principal component of the exoskeletons of arthropods and of the bodies of most types of fungi.

Chitin based products stimulate populations of soil-dwelling microbes that feed on chitin. This is effective because several species of microbes that “feed” on chitin also attack chitin-containing nematode eggs and nematodes. Increasing the amount of chitin in the soil will also increase the population of these microbes.

A number of modes of action have been identified for the beneficial effects of chitin-based treatment on crops, including direct antibiosis and the induction of plant defenses. The subsequent responses of plants and microbes have led to improvements in disease control, plant growth, and ultimately improved crop yield and quality.

A repeating theme of our experiences, as well as published studies, is that chitin-based treatments augment and amplify the action of beneficial chitinolytic microbes that reduce nematode populations and improve crop yields.

This action has been documented in multiple publications:

A Review of the Applications of Chitin and Its Derivatives in Agriculture to Modify Plant-Microbial Interactions and Improve Crop Yields

A Future Perspective in Crop Protection: Chitosan and its Oligosaccharides

We really like the abundance and benefits of calcium that comes from Chitin (about 17 times more than magnesium) as it plays an important role in plant and root growth, cell wall deposition and nutrient uptake.

As always, I’m happy to talk more with you about products that contain chitin and the benefits of sustainable and organic growing practices.