The extreme crop stress of a historic drought season in Argentina helped prove the strong effects of biostimulants under tough growing conditions for corn and soybean. The new generation biostimulants, both microbial and organic compounds, are earning a place in product portfolios.
Ignacio Colonna, AgriThority® Global Director, Science & Technology, has been testing biostimulants for more than five years. This season, he and his South American team managed more than 20 field trial projects with the majority including biopesticide and biofertilizer products. He says, “Most local companies are interested in new-generation biostimulants as part of a stress-relief product portfolio, or in combination with standard synthetic chemical products to improve overall crop performance. These and other biological or low-toxicity fungicides and nematicides will have enormous potential once the products prove their efficacy, reliability and adaptability into normal farming practices.”
His fellow product development manager in Brazil, Ricardo Duarte, agrees, as he says, “The biological products have been presented as economical and technically-viable tools for use in synergy with chemical products for integrated pest and disease management as well as plant growth and nutrition.”
The veteran product development specialists also believe in most of South America, biological nitrogen fixation for non-legume crops will make a huge impact on nitrogen use efficiency with potential impact on crop yields once appropriate strains are locally developed and incorporated into on-farm fertilization programs.
With harvest nearly complete in the Southern Hemisphere, the AgriThority team continually relies on digital technologies for objective assessment of treatment effects on plant growth and health above and below ground. Colonna says, “Digital imagery across multiple locations was especially enlightening when assessing effects for biological fungicides on Asian Soybean Rust in Brazil as opposed to the traditional visual score methodology.”
The team also reported successful uses of digital technologies throughout the season to aid their site-specific analysis in the new TrialWerx® large-scale trial program. This program is designed with specific protocols and data generation like small plots, but with commercial-scale on-farm comparisons to transform spatial and temporal data into valuable knowledge and insights. Colonna reported in certain TrialWerx fields a very clear interaction was detected among treatment effects, water stress and field elevation. He says, “This provides valuable input for future site-specific uses of biostimulants.”
Colonna, Duarte and the global team of AgriThority product development experts continually evaluate not only the latest crop input developments, but also the cutting-edge techniques and procedures used to characterize the responses of a wide range of crops. More than 160 new technologies of all types studied over the past 10 years have included seed, soil and foliar applications. AgriThority, in collaboration with experienced independent Contract Research Organizations and universities, conducted more than 1,400 studies in their high-quality technology laboratories, greenhouse, and open field research facilities. To fully explore or validate the potential and to position innovations with scientific data and analysis for 185+ multinational and small size clients, AgriThority also has continually tested and upgraded methods of assessment since 2010.
For more information about biological testing and the large-scale TrialWerx program, contact AgriThority product development specialists at 1-888-891-0511, or visit www.agrithority.com.