Importance of Bio Stimulant in Modern Farming

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Several challenges face the horticulture and agriculture industries today, directly resulting from climate change and industrial activity. The conditions that put more stress on humans, such as extreme temperatures, soil salinity, increasing radiation, heavy metals, and pollution — put more stress on plants. Bio stimulants appear to make our crops handle these stresses (abiotic stresses).

Plant bio stimulants represent a promising strategy to boost sustainable agricultural production thanks to their capacity of improving directly or indirectly nutrient use efficiency of crops, especially under low nutrient availability.

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Read on to find out what bio stimulants are and how they affect crop yields.

What Are Bio Stimulants?

Bio stimulants are substances or microorganisms applied in minute quantities to improve the plant’s uptake of nutrients, thereby increasing its ability to tolerate abiotic stress. They are also known as plant bio stimulants. Their final goal is to make agriculture more sustainable and efficient by reducing the number of fertilizers and pesticides needed.

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It has been found that bio stimulants increase many factors that affect the following factors for plant growth , namely

  • root growth
  • root diameter
  • soil water holding capacity
  • increased microbial activity leading to increased nutrient availability. 

However, responses are highly variable most of the time. The responses depends on the factors such as

  • weather,
  •  soil type,
  • organic matter content, 
  • tillage system, 
  • the type of crop rotation. 

One thing you must remember that these products cannot provide nutrients and be considered a bio stimulant. They do not affect a fertilizer but they can increase or speed up the process of availability.

Although bio stimulants are currently sold under the labels of “fertilizers” or “pesticides” to fit the existing EPA categories, neither label is correct. They are inorganic and organic substances that contain hormone-like compounds, beneficial bacteria, acids, minerals, and other microorganisms. These substances work to optimize a plant’s ability to adapt to its environment. and make a more efficient use of the resources present in the soil.

Categories of Bio stimulants

As per the scientific journal Scientia Horticulturae (vol. 196, 2015), there are seven main categories of bio stimulants. 

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1.Humic and fulvic acids

  • They are parts of soil organic matter resulting from the decomposition of plant, animal, and microbial residues. Particularly, the humic and fulvic acids are found in topsoil where organic matter has broken down. Examples of this category of bio stimulants include worm castings and worm tea, intended to be diluted before use.
  • Peat, mineral deposits of leonardite and soft coal
  • They are dark in colour
  • They can increase the cation exchange capacity
  • Humic acid is not a fertilizer directly providing nutrients to your crops. Instead, it enhances the nutrients already available in the soil, making them more available for uptake from your plants. If your plot is low in nutrients, you will still have to apply fertilizer to get maximum results from your crops.

2. Plant and Seaweed Extracts

  • Derived through different extraction processes.
  • Soluble powders or liquid.
  • Seaweed and algae are known for their nutrient content and plant hormones such as cytokinins. Bio stimulants containing plant extracts stimulate the metabolism of the plants where the extract is applied and strengthen the plant’s response to threats.

3. Liquid manure composting

  • Made by mixing manure water and a blend of proprietary materials to feed the specific bacteria in the manure, thereby providing adequate conditions and environment for microbial growth. The resultant liquid is used as a biofertilizer.

4. Beneficial bacteria and fungi

  • The concentration of bacteria and fungi in the soil that help with root growth. 
  • Majority of products are marketed toward large scale commercial farming  or agriculture.
  • Rhizobium fungi
  • Live fungi or beneficial bacteria inoculate the soil , thereby helping the plant better defend itself against diseases and pests.
  • Beneficial bacterium such as Bacillus pumilus is currently being marketed as a fungicide.

5. Inorganic Compounds

  • Including mineral-based such as phosphites from phosphorous acid and minor elements such as silicon.

6. Protein Hydrolysates

  • As we are aware that amino acids and small peptides form the building blocks of proteins in the human body. Similarly, they also help synthesize proteins in plants, affecting their development and ability to tolerate stress. Chemical and enzymatic protein hydrolysis from plant sources and animal waste provide  amino-acids and peptides mixtures. In particular, plant-based peptides are one of the most exciting bio stimulants due to their multifunctional activity.

Biopolymers

  • You can use animal and plant-derived compounds like chitosan from crustacean shells to increase plant defense and yield. 

The most popular of them are humic acids, seaweed extracts, liquid manure composting, and beneficial bacteria and fungi.

Choose the Correct Plant Bio stimulants

Since there are so many kinds of bio stimulants available in the market, choosing one to try on your crop is a challenging task. Consequently, in order to make your decision easier, you need to decide on a crop you would like to focus on and a specific outcome that you would like to see. For instance, would you like to see reduction in the number of pesticides or fertilizers needed? Less powdery mildew on the leaves?

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More plant growth? More fruit? A Once you’ve decided on your goals, look at the bio stimulants that are available to you. Select those suited to your crop type and those that have delivered the results you are seeking. Ideally, you would like to select a product that lists all of the specific ingredients. Moreover, it has third-party lab-test results to back up any claims that it makes.

Benefits of Bio Stimulants

The European Bio stimulants Industry Council lists the following benefits of bio stimulants as:

  • Render water use more efficient
  • Facilitate nutrient assimilation, translocation, and use
  • Enhance quality attributes of produce, including sugar content, colour, fruit seeding, etc.
  • Increase plant tolerance to and recovery from abiotic stresses
  • Improve the efficiency of the plant’s metabolism to induce yield increases and enhanced crop quality
  • Improve soil fertility, particularly by fostering the development of complementary soil microorganisms.

Bio Stimulants Improve Nutrient Utilization Efficiency

Bio stimulants improve Nutrient Utilization Efficiency (NUE) by increasing both the uptake and utilization efficiency of nutrients.

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The treatment of soil with protein hydrolysates (PHs), leads to the increase in the nutrient bioavailability for plant uptake:

  1. The stimulation of beneficial microorganisms such as nitrogen-fixing bacteria, nutrient-solubilizing bacteria or fungi.
  2. Reduction of micronutrients in forms more available for plant uptake due to the reductant activity of some amino acids;
  3. The formation of metal-amino acids or peptides , thereby preventing nutrient incapable of  dissolving in the solution (Iron, Zinc, Copper , Manganese);

Improve Nutrient Availability

Beneficial microorganisms have the ability to improve nutrient availability for plant uptake through different ways:

  • Increase of the soil volume accessible to plant roots
  • Supply nitrogen to plants
  • Solubilization of plant nutrients

Improve Nutrient Uptake

Protein Hydrolysates (PHs) can enhance the nutrient uptake by:

  • Promoting the fine root growth and the roots capacity for nutrient uptake;
  • Stimulating root enzymes involved in nutrient uptake (e.g., ferric-chelate reductase activity);
  • Upregulating the genes encoding for nutrient transporters (e.g., nitrate transporters). Moreover, PHs can increase translocation of micronutrients within the plant as a result of the metal-amino acids/peptides complex formation.

Improve Nutrient Assimilation

A lot of research demonstrated that non-microbial and microbial bio stimulants upregulated genes encoding for enzymes involved in the plant assimilation of inorganic nutrients such as nitrates.

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Conclusion

Bio stimulants have increased many factors that affect plant growth, including root growth, root diameter, increased nutrient availability, soil water holding capacity, and increased microbial activity. However, responses are highly variable most of the time. It depends on the organic matter content, weather, tillage system, soil type, and the type of crop rotation.

Particularly, you must note and understand that these products cannot provide nutrients on their own. However, they do not affect a fertilizer but they can increase or speed up the process of availability. It’s essential to carefully select bio stimulants from a respected source and choose products supported by data and research from actual field trials.

Why Shop for Giant Fruit – A Bio Stimulant

Giant Fruits is a uniquely formulated bio stimulant containing microbes, proteins, amino acids, plant growth hormones, humic substances, enzymes, and much more. All these substances are a must-have for the healthy growth of your plants both in the garden as well as in the farmland. These bio stimulants are products that will reduce the need for fertilizers and also increase plant growth.

A plant bio stimulant may be the best option if you want to increase soil nutrition. It is any substance or microorganism applied to plants with the sole aim of enhancing nutrition efficiency. In small concentrations, you can use these substances to increase the performance of the plant’s vital processes. Consequently, these plants have a high yield and produce good quality crops.

You can apply this bio stimulant Giant Fruit to the soil to stimulate its natural processes that might enhance the plant’s growth process in the farmland. So shop for the product today as it would increase your crop quality and yield. 

To know about our other products log on to the Al Ardh Alkhadra website.

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