Anne Suty Heinze

Biostimulants – Enabling Stronger Crops

Agricultural practices are constantly evolving and the use of Biostimulants in plant production systems is increasing year by year with the objective of improving crop productivity.

Biostimulants include substances and/or microorganisms used alone or in mixture. They contribute to enhance the uptake and availability of nutrients for the plants (called nutrient use efficiency), stimulate plant growth and influence the plant’s natural resistance to environmental stress like drought or frost. As they do not have any direct action on pests or diseases, Biostimulants do not fall under the pesticide category. They are not considered as fertilizers either. Because they operate through different modes of action, regardless of their nutrients content, Biostimulants are complementary to crop nutrition (e.g., fertilizers) and crop protection (e.g., chemicals or biologics).

While most of the substances used as Biostimulants are natural coumpounds (organic acids, seaweed extract, chitosan…), some of them are from synthetic origin (phytohormons, phenolic compounds…). Many Biostimulants have been known and used for decades, but recently a more science-based Biostimulant industry has emerged, as society’s acceptance for this type of products grew. This combined with the entry of multinationals and more science-based players in the segment, R&D investments have also increased. As a result we observe a faster and broader commercialization of reliable innovative Biostimulant products. However, the understanding of Biostimulants is further evolving and the existing regulatory landscape is still fragmented and inconsistent across countries. Furthermore, a worldwide accepted legal definition is not available today.

Anne Suty Heinze, Global Segment Manager for Crop Efficiency, Bayer
Anne Suty Heinze, Global Segment Manager for Crop Efficiency, Bayer
Anne Suty Heinze,
Global Segment Manager for Crop Efficiency, Bayer

The 3rd World Congress on the Use of Biostimulants in Agriculture will be taking place from November 27-30, 2017 in Miami. As the largest conference on agricultural Biostimulants, this event is a great opportunity to share, learn and exchange the latest trends and findings in the area of Biostimulants. As a provider of innovative solutions for sustainable agriculture, Bayer is committed to contribute to the development of this field of activity.

At Bayer, we are looking at Biostimulants as one additional way to help farmers increase the productivity of their crops and marketable quality in a sustainable manner. Besides our own Research activities, we are partnering with Biostimulants companies like SICIT 2000 S.p.A. or Plant Impact Plc to complement our crop protection range with high qualitative science-based Biostimulants that meet high safety and efficacy standards. If you plan to attend, I recommend that you listen to the presentation from Steven Adams from Plant Impact Plc on Thursday, November 30th. He will show how a soybean crop enhancer containing an advanced Calcium technology was developed using high agronomic standards. This product helps the soybean plant’s ability to fixate flowers and pods, thus contributing to filling grains. The benefit: better yield and enhanced profitability for the growers.

The SICIT 2000 S.p.A. team will welcome you at their booth to take you into the world of proven high-quality amino-acids and peptides. Amino acids have numerous applications in agriculture as they stimulate plant growth and enable the plant’s natural resistance to environmental stresses like drought. Together we are working on two products for uses on important fruit and vegetable crops like citrus and tomatoes, as well as coffee and rice.

The World Congress on the Use of Biostimulants in Agriculture will be attended by more than 600 companies and numerous researchers which demonstrates the growing interest for this category of agricultural products. With the increasing investments in research around Biostimulants, we can anticipate that this area is going to play a significant role for increasing food supply in a sustainable way in the future.

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