Doing more with less is the mantra that every grower strives for. Especially during these trying times, being resource-efficient and still having a bumper crop is of the utmost importance. “Now more than ever, growers are faced with more and more challenges,” says Dr. Holly Little, Director of R&D at Acadian Plant Health™. “Fertilizers and energy costs, climate change, unexpected extremes. What has been happening in the last few years may keep getting worse and worse. The challenges for growers are not only to produce a crop but to do it profitably so that they can grow again next year.”
That is why, over the past 30+ years, Acadian Plant Health has developed seaweed-based biostimulants to improve plant growth and productivity and stress management. “We have published work showing the positive effects of biostimulants on soil microbes,” Holly says. “We see increases in mycorrhizal fungi and their symbiosis with the plant. Stimulating the microbiome in the soil, it also stimulates the roots, increasing nutrient uptake.”
The market has been increasingly leaning towards the taste segment, with growers striving to grow produce whose flavor stands out in the market. “Our seaweed extracts stimulate the physiology of the plant, it increases the chlorophyll, leading to increased photosynthesis, thus increasing the sugar content and other flavor compounds,” Holly says.
At the same time, biostimulants aren’t good for produce only but for ornamentals too. “We have done work in Europe, the United States, and Latin America with cut flower and bedding plant growers, and we have seen similar effects as on food crops,” Holly continues. “Enhanced root and vegetative growth, that is. Yet, for ornamentals, what matters the most is their shelf life.” This is because both during transportation and when they are in the store, such plants suffer a lot of stress. “Not only that, as when in stores, plants often get neglected, or they don’t get the care that they deserve. This means that customers would see their plants die or wilt shortly after taking them home. Our seaweed extract biostimulant supports plants better withstand all these stresses, so customers can appreciate their purchase as they should.”
Acadian Plant Health’s biostimulants are crop-agnostic, “Although we have different product propositions according to the market,” Holly says. “And that comes down to the format, packaging, and modes of use. Ultimately, they work across every crop.” The company has indeed done a lot of research for a wide variety of crops globally. “The next step is to go from crop-agnostic to crop-specific and stress-specific. We are working to continue to develop our biostimulant portfolio so we can provide more targeted solutions for growers. For instance, we are expecting to have seaweed extract biostimulants combined with other biologically active ingredients that target specific stresses and growth challenges.”
For more information:
Acadian Plant Health