Contents

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 type 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”.

Our Trials

Laboratory and glasshouse trials are perfect for demonstrating and indicating what effect a product may have when used in the real world. In 2020, HITAS began operating its own indoor plant growth facility, the perfect environment to test our extensive range of previously screened raw materials.

By growing Perennial ryegrass in inert washed dune sand, we were able to isolate any plant growth/health impacts of soil applied raw materials. We did this by assessing a range of different indicators of plant health:

  • Growth rate over time
  • Leaf/Blade production rate
  • Above and below ground biomass accumulation
  • Root development

Around 20 different raw materials were screened at up to eight different application rates, to determine their optimum concentrations to be used at in our formulations. There were certainly some surprises along the way, but our efforts have not been in vain, with several materials giving some very positive results.

Future Product Offering

HITAS are now able to offer bespoke formulations, with an extensive data package on a range of biostimulant-type raw materials. Materials can be split up into five main areas where benefits were observed:

  • Sward Density
  • Early Seeding Development
  • Sustained Growth
  • Stress and Disease Tolerance
  • Rooting

HITAS has now formulated a range of effective new products in each of these areas, with the option to combine materials and provide a whole range of benefits. Our existing expertise in surfactants, soil conditioners and fertilisers has also been incorporated into what we believe are truly unique products. We are aiming to test our new formulations in our 2021 field trials, so more results are to come!

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

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 type 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”.

Our Trials

Laboratory and glasshouse trials are perfect for demonstrating and indicating what effect a product may have when used in the real world. In 2020, HITAS began operating its own indoor plant growth facility, the perfect environment to test our extensive range of previously screened raw materials.

By growing Perennial ryegrass in inert washed dune sand, we were able to isolate any plant growth/health impacts of soil applied raw materials. We did this by assessing a range of different indicators of plant health:

  • Growth rate over time
  • Leaf/Blade production rate
  • Above and below ground biomass accumulation
  • Root development

Around 20 different raw materials were screened at up to eight different application rates, to determine their optimum concentrations to be used at in our formulations. There were certainly some surprises along the way, but our efforts have not been in vain, with several materials giving some very positive results.

Future Product Offering

HITAS are now able to offer bespoke formulations, with an extensive data package on a range of biostimulant-type raw materials. Materials can be split up into five main areas where benefits were observed:

  • Sward Density
  • Early Seeding Development
  • Sustained Growth
  • Stress and Disease Tolerance
  • Rooting

HITAS has now formulated a range of effective new products in each of these areas, with the option to combine materials and provide a whole range of benefits. Our existing expertise in surfactants, soil conditioners and fertilisers has also been incorporated into what we believe are truly unique products. We are aiming to test our new formulations in our 2021 field trials, so more results are to come!

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

Contents

See also