Independent trial results and evidence are vital in supporting the future of biostimulants and instilling growers’ – CPM finds why.

“Interest in biostimulants and associated products is growing at a rapid pace, but the message that we continue to receive from growers is that they need more evidence to quantify their efficacy, and where they fit within the programme,” says Product Development & Technical Manager for Arysta LifeScience UK & Ireland, Don Pendergrast.

“In the UK, we are striving to become a responsible industry through employing tactics such as reducing residue levels, being more efficient with our crop protection products, and devising effective integrated pest management programmes. Biostimulants can play an important role in this, but as manufacturers, we need to gain trust in the technology behind the products.

“Because biostimulants aren’t currently regulated in the same way as traditional crop protection products, the market is filling rapidly with exciting new products, all aimed at boosting plant productivity and yield. For growers, this must be overwhelming at times.

“This, combined with the fact that marketing isn’t always based on conclusive facts, has led to biostimulants having a somewhat negative reputation.

“But what can manufacturers do to provide clarity and build trust? Firstly, growers want trial results. This is the case for all crop protection products, not just biostimulants, and they want them to be independent. Trials not only quantify product efficacy, but they also indicate a strong sense of purpose – what are its strengths, what should it be specifically used for and how should it be used with other nutritional and pesticide products.

“For Arysta trials, we have forged established relationships with not only distributors and agronomists, but also educational institutions and research centres. By working together, we can present data that means something to a grower.

“It is also imperative that marketing information is clear and jargon-free, that the science behind the technology is explained and transparent because products shouldn’t be mysterious.

“Arysta LifeScience manufactures biostimulants to the same formulation standards as their pesticides, at its own biostimulant production and research facility in France so we know exactly what is in each product. We also host customers at these sites so they can see production for themselves, first hand.

“Ultimately, manufacturers need to work hard to improve the perception of biostimulants and provide what is necessary to improve their reputation. We believe in our products and we want growers to believe in them too.”