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THE biostimulants in agriculture, or agricultural biostimulants, include different formulations of compounds, substances and microorganisms that are applied to plants or soils to improve crop vigor, yields, quality and tolerance of abiotic stresses.
Biostimulants therefore, they favor the growth and development of plants throughout their entire life cycle of the crop, from the germination of the seeds to the maturity of the plant, in various ways well demonstrated by studies and research.
By way of example but not limited to, the use of biostimulants in agriculture can
- improve the efficiency of the plant's metabolism to induce an increase in yield and a better quality of the crop;
- increase plant tolerance and recovery from abiotic stresses;
- facilitate the assimilation, translocation and use of nutrients;
- improve the qualitative attributes of products, including sugar content, color, fruit sowing, etc .;
- promote a more efficient use of rendering water;
- improve soil fertility, in particular by promoting the development of complementary soil microorganisms.
What distinguishes biostimulants from traditional fertilizers
THE biostimulants they work through different mechanisms than fertilizers, regardless of the presence of nutrients in the products. For example, it should be remembered that they differ from plant protection products because they act only on the vigor of the plant and have no direct action against parasites or diseases.
The biostimulation of crops is therefore complementary to nutrition and crop protection.
Because biostimulants are useful for sustainable agriculture
Not everyone knows what biostimulants are among the first agricultural fertilizer ingredients used by humanity. However, for many years little has been done to refine and improve their qualities and effectiveness. Only in more recent times, and particularly in the last decade, has an increasing amount of research been undertaken and formalized by biostimulant manufacturers and their partners to identify new bioactive compounds and beneficial microorganisms and to better understand how biostimulants can improve. crop performance and quality over a wide range of growing conditions.
Although biostimulants are still associated by many people with organic farming and organic gardening, actually they now have a very important role to play in conventional agriculture as a complement to nutrition and crop protection. Biostimulants help address some of the most important challenges that global agriculture will have to face in the coming years, such as:
- feeding a growing population, for a situation that cannot but require an increase in yield and an improvement in the quality of crops, both promoted by biostimulants;
- cope with extreme temperatures, erratic rainfall and other stressful growing conditions linked to climate change, which require resistant crops. Biostimulants increase plant tolerance and recovery from abiotic stresses;
- facilitate the assimilation, translocation and use of nutrients, with biostimulants that help prevent nutrients from being dispersed or dispersed in nearby ecosystems. This means a greater return on investment for farmers and a better use of natural resources from which many products for crop nutrition are derived;
- improve the quality attributes of products, including sugar content, color, fruit planting, etc. Better quality can mean higher incomes for farmers, better storage and more nutritious food for consumers;
- protect and improve soil health by promoting the development of beneficial soil microorganisms. A healthier soil retains water more effectively and resists erosion better.
Read also: Calcareous soil, what are its characteristics
Biostimulants for socio-economic development
In addition to the above, we certainly cannot fail to underline how biostimulant products are able to help promote socio-economic development, improving the incomes of farmers by helping to ensure that a greater quantity of nutrients applied to crops is effectively and effectively used.
Farmers are also able to guarantee higher prices for their produce when crop quality is higher. Improved quality has a positive impact on storage and conservation, giving farmers more time to choose the best time to sell their crops at affordable prices.
As the global population grows, the role i biostimulants playing in helping to increase yields can help ensure that everyone can get enough food. Many biostimulant products currently on the market are adapted to the growth conditions of many of the transition economies in the immediate vicinity of the EU.
By making existing agricultural practices more efficient and improving post-harvest storage, biostimulants help reduce waste throughout the agri-food chain. Less waste means lower costs, which ultimately benefit the consumer who has access to high quality and affordable food.
Biostimulant manufacturers employ a wider range of workers at manufacturing sites, warehouses, distribution chains, offices and laboratories. Many biostimulant companies are on the other hand small businesses outside the big economic centers, companies that provide welcome sources of employment - often highly skilled - and demand for local services in rural areas, where the economy can be highly in need of diversification .
Due to the relatively small size of biostimulant companies, they often conduct their research in collaboration with independent universities and research institutes. This open innovation model fosters the exchange of knowledge and innovation and creates a demand for researchers and other highly skilled workers, thus encouraging more students to enter science fields that will help drive sustainable economic growth in Europe in the coming years. years.