Written by Nick Woodyatt Aiva Fertilisers
If we accept that practically anything from water to nutrition to microbial food sources can be classed as a bio-stimulant, we need to narrow the parameters and look more closely to what we want to achieve and how we can help to impact the plant physiological pathways to aid crop stimulation and production to our further benefit.
If we look at where we are at present with a decreasing number of agrochemicals, increasing levels of chemical resistance, decreasing profit margins in conventional agriculture and a growing awareness to influences of farming inputs on soil health and the environment, we have no choice but to encompass a comprehensive view on nutritional growing to keep plants productive and free of disease. Bio-stimulants are an important part of the comprehensive methods used for nutritional growing and have to be carefully placed in the system to maximise the benefits provided. They are an important component to impact plant physiology that provides complimentary stimulation to crop protection and productivity, alongside nutrition.
An example of placed bio-stimulant use is Humic and Fulvic acid added in with the nitrogen application. Humic and Fulvic acids are used so that the nitrogen is chelated and held in the root zone without leaching, volatilising or locking up. Nitrogen in certain forms needs to be broken down to an available form before it can be utilised by the plant, but for microbes to break down nitrogen they also need carbon as a food source. The Humic and Fulvic acid also provide alongside the N, a source of carbon to balance the nitrogen which helps lead to its uptake and conversion being greatly increased, meaning we can then apply lower levels of nitrogen and get the same effect. As we then bring down the nitrogen content, we create less stress on the plant which leads to lower requirements of agrochemical input, which could also increase the yield potential but not just because of the inclusion of Humic and Fulvic acids.
If you’re interested in learning more about the beneficial use of bio-stimulants, please get in touch and have a conversation with our technical consultant at Aiva Fertilisers