Jun. 1, 2018
Biotechnica is a UK based company developing and producing innovative biological products for agriculture, horticulture and sports turf to the highest standards. It is the largest manufacturer of seaweed extract Biostimulants in the UK. In addition to our branded range of products, Biotechnica manufacture specific formulations for third parties. Recently, AgroPages had the chance to interview with Martin Driscoll, Commercial Director of Biotechnica
. Martin will speak about commercial experience of biostimulant in Europe
at the 2018 China-overseas Biopesticide and Biostimulant Business Exchange Congress
, 11th -13th August in Shanghai, China
What are the development trends of biostimulant in Europe?
In Europe biostimulants are increasingly used by farmers to support sustainable agricultural practices that improve crop yield, quality and profitability
· Biostimulants like Algaflex improve the intake, transport and efficient use of essential inputs like crop nutrients and crop protection chemicals.
· European farmers face increased legislations and restrictions on the use of these essential inputs. So with improved efficiency, they are able to optimize farm profitability while also reducing environmental impacts.
How does Biotechnica have an advantage in organic agriculture in Europe?
We are the UK's largest manufacturer of seaweed extract
• Our seaweed extract is manufactured using sustainably harvested Ascophyllum nodosum, a slow-growing, large, brown macro-algae found in the sheltered, rocky shores and pristine waters of the Irish North Atlantic coast.
• Having sourced the highest quality raw material, we undertake an extraction process which employs just the right level of heat and pressure to extract the maximum available bioactive components. Our process does not involve chemically-assisted hydrolysis, which is so common in the seaweed extract industry. Our natural seaweed extract is carefully manufactured in order to produce the highest level of biostimulant activity possible.
• As a result of our carefully chosen harvesting and extraction methods, AlgaFlex is a highly complex mix of trace elements, carbohydrates and amino acids. It is a pure seaweed extract and is approved for use in organic growing systems through the Soil Association, Organic Farmers and Growers
Why Biotechnica is the best product of all cold algae?
There is a great diversity in seaweeds, and not all seaweeds are the same in terms of active ingredients and chemical composition
• Having sourced the highest quality raw material, we then dry the meal before we undertake our natural extraction process involving heat and pressure percolation. Our aim is to extract the maximum available amount of bioactive components from the seaweed.
• Importantly, our extraction method involves no chemicals and is one of the main reasons AlgaFlex is the premium seaweed extract available on the market today.
• The quality of the extract depends very much upon the method of extraction. The Biotechnica process results in our extract, AlgaFlex, having a low pH (4.2 – 4.8) and consequently a very high level of bioactive compounds.
• As a consequence AlgaFlex is compatible with micronutrients which remain in solution at low pH and do not form salts that block sprayer filters e.g. zinc and iron.
· Our concentrated liquid seaweed extract (AlgaFlex) is used to increase crop health, yield and quality. Algaflex contains a high level of pure soluble seaweed solids, higher than most other products on the market.
Why are bioactive compounds important?
It is not the NPK that is important in seaweed extracts, it is the trace elements, and especially the bioactive compounds such as:
· Polysaccharides (e.g. alginic acid, laminarin, mannitol, fucoidan)
· Amino acids (e.g. betaines)
· The effects of bioactive compounds are remarkable:
• Improved stress tolerance
• Increased plant defence against pests and diseases
• Greater plant growth rate
• Better fruit development
• Improved crop quality
• Greater root development and early establishment
What do you think about the Chinese market?
Chinese consumers have the greatest influence on how food is produced. They want high quality, healthy and affordable food free from chemical residues.
· Biostimulant products help improve farmer incomes by helping ensure that more of the nutrients applied to crops are actually used by crops.
· As the global population grows, so does demand for higher saleable yields. Biostimulants promote increased saleable yields, while also providing support to crops through the stresses of changing growing conditions.
· Products like Algaflex support increased plant nutrient and crop protection efficiency, while also improving post-harvest storage.
· Chinese farmers use biostimulants like Algaflex to help them secure higher prices through improved quality. They also desire a longer shelf life for storage and conservation, so that they are able to choose when to sell their crops at advantageous prices.
· Biostimulants help reduce waste, lower crop production costs, and provide the Chinese consumer with high-quality, affordable food.