Not all Biostimulants are Created Equal…

New Product Range from HITAS

Introduction          

After attending the Biostimulants World Congress back in November 2019, HITAS began an extensive research programme to produce their own novel biostimulants. It is a product class we are starting to see increasing demand for, and we believe there is a great opportunity to develop some exciting new formulations.

As growers and land managers look for ways to reduce nitrogen inputs without impacting plant health and growth, biostimulants have an important role in helping to achieve this. They are also likely to be important tools in helping plants combat abiotic stress, pest, and disease pressure, in a world that is increasingly moving away from synthetic pesticides.

Biostimulants can be defined in different ways, but we feel the best description is given by the European Biostimulant Industry Council (EBIC), which is as follows:

“Plant biostimulants contain substances and/or microorganisms whose function when applied to plants or to soil is to stimulate natural processes to enhance or benefit nutrient uptake, nutrient efficiency, tolerance to abiotic stress and crop quality”.

Field and Greenhouse Trials

HITAS recognises that while laboratory studies are fantastic for showing the fine details, the conditions are often not representative of the challenges faced in the field. Adverse weather, soil compaction, thatch accumulation and sward composition are just some of the factors that may cause a product to behave differently in the field compared to under controlled conditions.

To address this, two field trials have been set up at a links golf course to test the real-world performance of our new products. The first round of treatment applications was made on 29/04/21, with repeat applications planned for the coming weeks. We will make assessments of turf quality, turf colour, normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI), clipping yield, stress tolerance and rooting throughout the Spring/Summer to support our grow room dataset. Once again, all our products will be compared to a nitrogen standard and existing products on the market.

Alongside this, we hope to run a ‘turf pot trial’ at our greenhouse facility to support findings from the field. This will be composed of small stands of turf grown in pots, with a similar management regime to that which is employed in the field. This will allow us to gather data using destructive collection techniques (e.g., harvesting the plants to assess total biomass accumulation) and assess any effects on germination and seedling development.

Product Offering

In the past, ‘biostimulant’ has often been used as a marketing term to boost sales of what are essentially compound or straight fertilisers with a small amount of seaweed/humic acid/amino acids added to the bottle. In the future, products that contain nitrogen from sources such as urea or ammonium sulphate will no longer be able to be sold as biostimulants. For this reason, all of HITAS’ biostimulant products will be true biostimulants with less than 3% nitrogen, which is provided by the amino acids or plant derivatives we formulate with. Through our research, we have been able to determine which raw materials can work together to give synergistic effects that cannot be provided by nitrogen alone – many of our products have outperformed urea in several areas, with less than half the available nitrogen!

HITAS are proud to bring you our most comprehensive range of biostimulants to date, with each product supported by an extensive data package and tailored marketing material.

If you would like to find out more information on this exciting area of research and product development, do not hesitate to contact me via t.martin@hitas.co.uk.

Not all Biostimulants are Created Equal…

New Product Range from HITAS

Introduction          

After attending the Biostimulants World Congress back in November 2019, HITAS began an extensive research programme to produce their own novel biostimulants. It is a product class we are starting to see increasing demand for, and we believe there is a great opportunity to develop some exciting new formulations.

As growers and land managers look for ways to reduce nitrogen inputs without impacting plant health and growth, biostimulants have an important role in helping to achieve this. They are also likely to be important tools in helping plants combat abiotic stress, pest, and disease pressure, in a world that is increasingly moving away from synthetic pesticides.

Biostimulants can be defined in different ways, but we feel the best description is given by the European Biostimulant Industry Council (EBIC), which is as follows:

“Plant biostimulants contain substances and/or microorganisms whose function when applied to plants or to soil is to stimulate natural processes to enhance or benefit nutrient uptake, nutrient efficiency, tolerance to abiotic stress and crop quality”.

Field and Greenhouse Trials

HITAS recognises that while laboratory studies are fantastic for showing the fine details, the conditions are often not representative of the challenges faced in the field. Adverse weather, soil compaction, thatch accumulation and sward composition are just some of the factors that may cause a product to behave differently in the field compared to under controlled conditions.

To address this, two field trials have been set up at a links golf course to test the real-world performance of our new products. The first round of treatment applications was made on 29/04/21, with repeat applications planned for the coming weeks. We will make assessments of turf quality, turf colour, normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI), clipping yield, stress tolerance and rooting throughout the Spring/Summer to support our grow room dataset. Once again, all our products will be compared to a nitrogen standard and existing products on the market.

Alongside this, we hope to run a ‘turf pot trial’ at our greenhouse facility to support findings from the field. This will be composed of small stands of turf grown in pots, with a similar management regime to that which is employed in the field. This will allow us to gather data using destructive collection techniques (e.g., harvesting the plants to assess total biomass accumulation) and assess any effects on germination and seedling development.

Product Offering

In the past, ‘biostimulant’ has often been used as a marketing term to boost sales of what are essentially compound or straight fertilisers with a small amount of seaweed/humic acid/amino acids added to the bottle. In the future, products that contain nitrogen from sources such as urea or ammonium sulphate will no longer be able to be sold as biostimulants. For this reason, all of HITAS’ biostimulant products will be true biostimulants with less than 3% nitrogen, which is provided by the amino acids or plant derivatives we formulate with. Through our research, we have been able to determine which raw materials can work together to give synergistic effects that cannot be provided by nitrogen alone – many of our products have outperformed urea in several areas, with less than half the available nitrogen!

HITAS are proud to bring you our most comprehensive range of biostimulants to date, with each product supported by an extensive data package and tailored marketing material.

If you would like to find out more information on this exciting area of research and product development, do not hesitate to contact me via t.martin@hitas.co.uk.

See also