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Three-year biostimulant project begins

At the Farming Smarter Field Day, Mike Gretzinger showed how plants can react differently to biostimulant treatments, the four centre stalks of wheat have been treated and in some cases can show plant and root change.

Farming Smarter has a 3-year biostimulant research project to study the impact of biostimulants on crop yields to provide unbiased information for farmers.  

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership and Lethbridge College fund the biostimulant project still in its first year. The project tests the different capabilities of various biostimulants to see if they provide benefits to farmers who want to use them.  

In the agriculture industry, biostimulants are microorganisms and biological substances used to enhance plant growth.  

In 2013, the regulations on fertilizer changed in Canada and gave companies the ability to have lighter studies and proof around their products. 

Mike Gretzinger, Farming Smarter Research Coordinator, leads the three-year biostimulant research project to understand how different biostimulants may affect crops.  

Gretzinger talked about how diverse biostimulants can be, as some can benefit the soil, some can lead to longer growing seasons, or increase plant nutrients.  

“Some products don’t claim to increase yield, some claim to or are just for improving soil health or plant health,” said Gretzinger.  

With the many different outcomes of biostimulants and varied answers on what different types can do, it can be hard for users to truly understand the benefits.  

Visit our Biostimulant project page for more information about this study as it progresses. 

The six plants of canola have been randomly selected from different plots to demonstrate how biostimulants can change plants. The four center plants have biostimulant treatments and in some cases improve vigor and root mass.