The keys to the use of biostimulants for agriculture

Plant nutrition is a very important conditioning factor to achieve high production yields in our crops. And it is that, when we approach the professional sector, the NPK of a life is often insufficient.

And we’re talking about the “only outdoor industry”, so agriculture is extremely complex because so many variables play out at the same time.

Climatology, varietal selection, water and fertilizer quality, link with microbiology.


Types of biostimulants

The use of different groups of microorganisms has resulted in a a new impetus for intensive agricultureboth in terms of plant protection (microorganisms that fight pests and diseases) and in increasing production (different groups of bacteria, trichoderma, mycorrhiza, etc.).

Although the first group is classified in pesticidesthose that stimulate plant production or help the plant to overcome any biotic or abiotic stress, are considered biostimulants.

How do plant biostimulants work? In this article we will tell you about the main ones and their mechanism of action.

What are biostimulants?

Agricultural biostimulants for crops are on the agenda, especially since there are now subject to specific legislation where they must demonstrate that they actually produce a positive effect on the plant.

According to said legislation, biostimulants for agricultural use are products which, without being classified as fertilizers, contain components or microorganisms that allow stimulate plant nutrition and development.

With all this, the following advantages are obtained:

  • Increased nutrient efficiency.
  • Better tolerance to abiotic stress.
  • Improved crop quality.
  • Increased availability of soil nutrients.

officially define the biostimulants for agricultural use as products which, not being fertilizers, contain substances or microorganisms capable of stimulating the processes of nutrition and development of plants with the aim of improving aspects such as efficiency in use nutrients, abiotic stress tolerance, crop quality and soil nutrient availability.

Legislation on agricultural biostimulants

Current legislation

The result of many years of disinformation, the new European law aims to bring fertilizer products closer to a legislative framework more oriented towards that of medicines.

This is why the new law intends to regulate what is declared in the documentation (label, technical file, commercial brochures, etc.) and to regulate the functionality of the products, so that only the products which have been scientifically proven for this purpose, through statistically accredited field trials.

All this information is collected in the new EU Regulation 1009/2019where the necessary requirements that the biostimulant products must meet are mentioned.

Types of biostimulants

According to the new legislation, biostimulants can be classified into 2 well-differentiated groups.

Biostimulants formed by microorganisms

Probiotic biostimulants, consisting of living micro-organisms in a dormant state that become active when applied to crops, are those that increased growth in recent years.

Its use, combined with a judicious fertigation strategy, increases the reserve of nutrients in the soil and improves its fertility.

There are fungi that improve the plant’s ability to absorb water and nutrients, such as mycorrhiza or trichoderma, as well as others that release nutrients from the soil to make them more available to the plant. In this last group, we speak of bacteria solubilizing macro and micronutrients.

It is also interesting to note that in this line of work there are different organizations that extract metabolites and ferments from microorganisms to biostimulate cultures. Without introducing living organisms, they provide the component that bacteria produce to create an effective response in the plant.

Non-microbial biostimulants

In this group we find a wide and varied list of solutions, many of them of natural origin, which improve crop productivity and combat stress caused by heatstroke, toxicity, drought, salinity, etc.

An example of this type of products are:

  • Essential and non-essential amino acids
  • seaweed
  • humic extracts
  • Glycine Betaine
  • monosaccharides

Mechanism of action of biostimulants

For less experienced readers, biostimulants are emerging, extrapolating to humans, as food supplementsvitamins and hormones that we can buy at the pharmacy, many of them under medical prescription (which will also be sought in the future in agriculture).

Although we can have a good diet and a regular practice of sport, at specific times of cold, environmental drought or stress, we need a more to stimulate our body and regain strength, and in this case vitamins play a fundamental role,

Returning to agriculture, with more and more increased demand for production of our crops and the greater deterioration of soil and water, reaching the quality demanded by the market is sometimes insufficient with good nutrition and a good climate.

For this reason, biostimulants come into play to facilitate the evacuation of certain specific types of stress (excess heat, excess salt, frost, drought, toxicity due to phytosanitary products, pests and diseases, etc.). They act like growth regulators (especially algae), energy boosters (amino acids) or cellular hydration promoters (alginic acid, glycine betaine, etc.).

What is clear is that in the midst of the energy crisis and with the rising costs of agricultural production, the use and appearance of new technological biostimulants will allow farmers to increase their profitability and produce healthier food. and more durable.

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