Biostimulants are a range of substances, some of which contain microorganisms, which seek to improve the overall health and performance of plants. Their mode of action can be on the plant itself or on the plant rhizosphere, and act to improve nutrient or water use efficiency of the plant or availability in the rhizosphere, and improve resilience to environment stressors. Examples of biostimulants include seaweed extracts, humic substances and mycorrhizal fungi. Biostimulants do not include substances that provide plant protection properties (i.e. pesticides) or act as fertilisers.
In this session, we were introduced to this rapidly developing sector and the evidence that supports the use and application of biostimulants. It was noted that the sector is largely unregulated at the moment but this looks set to change in the next few years, at least at the European level, clarifying further what can be considered to be a biostimulant and requiring evidence of efficacy.
With presentations from:
- Julian Ives, of Dragonfli Ltd, introduced the products available and how they can be used;
- Neil Procter, of Koppert Biological Systems, highlighted the role that biostimulants can play in holistic plant health management.
The recording of the webinar is available to PlantNetwork members and webinar participants (password required: see bottom of page). Please get in touch with PlantNetwork if you should have access to the password but can’t currently see it.
A podcast featuring a conversation with Julian and Neil which looks at the role biostimulants might play in horticulture in future is also available below. No password required!
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Julian Ives and Neil Procter spoke with PlantNetwork after the webinar for a more in-depth look at biostimulants.