HOW BIOSTIMULANTS CONTRIBUTE TO SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
Biostimulants are among some of the earliest agricultural inputs used by humanity. However, little was done to refine and improve their qualities and efficacy for many years. During the past decade, an increasing amount of research has been undertaken by biostimulant producers and their partners to identify new bioactive compounds and beneficial microorganisms and to better understand how biostimulants can enhance crop performance and quality under a wide range of growing conditions.
While biostimulants are still associated by many people with organic farming and organic gardening, they now have an important role to play in conventional agriculture as a complement to crop nutrition and crop protection. Biostimulants help address some of the most important challenges facing global agriculture in coming years:
- Feeding a growing population requires yield increases and enhanced crop quality, both of which are fostered by biostimulants.
- Extreme temperatures, irregular rainfall and other stressful growing conditions related to climate change require resilient crops. Biostimulants increase plant tolerance to and recovery from abiotic stresses.
- By facilitating nutrient assimilation, translocation and use, biostimulants help keep nutrients from leaching or running off into neighbouring ecosystems. This means a higher return on investment for farmers and better use of the natural resources from which many crop nutrition products are derived.
- Biostimulants can enhance quality attributes of produce, including sugar content, colour, fruit seeding, etc. Enhanced quality can mean higher incomes for farmers, better storage and more nutritious food for consumers.
- Biostimulants help protect and improve soil health by fostering the development of beneficial soil microorganisms. Healthier soil retains water more effectively and better resists erosion.