Many people (and governments) are betting high on biostimulants as a potential alternative to the growing risks for conventional crop protection.
So, what are biostimulants? According to several industry organisations a short answer could be:
- Biostimulants operate through different mechanisms than fertilizers, regardless of the presence of nutrients in the products
- They differ from crop protection products because they act only on the plant’s vigor and do not have any direct actions against pests or disease
A less abstract explanation:
Plant biostimulants contain substance(s) and/or micro-organisms whose function when applied to plants or the rhizosphere is to stimulate natural processes to enhance/benefit nutrient uptake, nutrient efficiency, tolerance to abiotic stress, and crop quality.
Crop protection without the side effects? Natural boosters instead of doping for our plants? Thus biostimulants could be a major factor in solving today’s and tomorrow’s problems for food safety, rising production and growing awareness of consumers.While some biostimulants products have been on the market for many years, the research-based biostimulants sector has emerged recently. Farmers, investors, regulators, consumers, scientists and other industries are still learning about biostimulants and their role in sustainable agriculture. In the next months we will discuss the current status, the potential and the challenges of biostimulants for fresh produce production.