Critical Role of Crop Biostimulants

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

I attended the Bio Controls Conference in Reno, Nevada last week. I found much of the content presented at the conference to be extremely interesting, especially the latest information on agricultural biostimulants. Agricultural biostimulants include diverse formulations of compounds, substances and micro-organisms that are applied to plants or soils to improve crop vigor, yields, quality and tolerance of abiotic stresses. The word “biostimulant” was coined by horticulture specialists to describe substances that promote plant growth without being nutrients, soil improvers, or pesticides.

There is only so much that you can accomplish through conventional farming, and we’ve likely reached that ceiling. Many of the speakers at the conference proposed that biostimulants are the catalysts and next generation of tools capable of propelling agricultural production to higher levels. The new wisdom understands how to combine biostimulant products to achieve maximum impact.

What exactly are these biostimulants? They include humic/fulvic acids, seaweed/biotanical extracts, protein hydrolysates, chitosan/biopolymers, beneficial minerals, beneficial bacteria, and beneficial fungi. These elements, again, all lead to greater nutrition efficiency, abiotic stress tolerance and crop quality.

Interesting enough, Andaman Ag has had all of these products in our arsenal for years and have recognized and witnessed their value in fostering plant growth and development throughout the crop life cycle, from seed germination to plant maturity. We have learned over the years how to combine these products into stimulating crop programs for berries, cherries, citrus, curcubit, fruiting vegetables, leafy greens, pome fruit, stone fruit, strawberries, table grapes, tree nuts and wine grapes. Andaman Ag has been on the leading edge in helping growers use these products in beneficial and rewarding ways.

Biostimulants operate through different mechanisms than fertilizers, regardless of the presence of nutrients in the products. They don’t have any direct action against pests and disease, but instead rely on boosting the plant’s innate immune system. Pragmatically, crop biostimulation should be part of any grower’s program given their complementary role to crop nutrition and crop protection.

We look forward to talking to you about our crop programs and the combination of biostimulants with our fertilizer products to help your crops achieve greater nutrition and health.