Growers are constantly looking for more yield and better quality in their crops. And if they can help mitigate other stressors, then, well, that’s the cherry on top. In a time of expensive inputs, including Nitrogen, growers are always looking to get more return on investment – especially when it boosts yields, improves plant health and helps in less-than-ideal conditions.
Recent trial results show that the use of biostimulant products can result in all those outcomes, which is positive news for farmers looking to get more out of their inputs.
″These studies showed was that the use of biostimulants across a variety of crops, including sugar beets, tree nuts, hazelnuts and hops, resulted in a significantly better outcome from both a yield and quality standpoint,″ said Mike Canady, Director of Agronomy, Specialty Crops for Verdesian Life Sciences. ″These trusted results continue to speak to the growing rationale for biostimulants across agriculture.″
While plants need nitrogen for optimal growth, excessive nitrates can accumulate in plants near maturity which can result in reduced crop quality. In addition, studies show increased nitrate levels be attractive for insects to feed on, particularly those of the piercing, sucking kind that can wreak havoc on a crop. That’s where biostimulants can help – not by controlling insects, but reducing nitrates and developing stronger, healthier plants.
Sweet results in sugar beets
In 2021 and 2022 sugar beets trials in the Idaho Treasure Valley, PrimacyALPHA foliar biostimulant reduced sugar nitrates and leaf nitrates both years compared to the grower’s standard practice (GSP). In fact, by applying Primacy ALPHA, yield was up, and ensuring quality with statistically similar sugar percentages while the nitrates parts per million (ppm) were reduced to 248 vs. the GSP at 330 ppm.
Said Canady: ″The optimal grower premium range for nitrates is between 200 and 300 ppm, showing that PrimacyALPHA was a significant factor in reducing nitrates and leading to a high-quality harvest.″
High performance in hazelnuts
Hazelnut trials across the Willamette Valley in Oregon showed similar results. PrimacyALPHA used at 4 pints/A and applied four times resulted in significant lower nitrate levels.
LYRA also showed great results
Verdesian hops trials in 2021 and 2022 in Washington and Idaho also showed how the use of Verdesian Biostimulants can reduce nitrate levels, which is desirable because studies have shown that elevated nitrate levels can reduce the genetic potential in yield and stress resistance.
The 2021 trial results showed that by using LYRA vs. the GSP, leaf nitrates were reduced by 87 ppm and 29 ppm, respectively. In addition, when LYRA was drip applied with nitrogen in Idaho trials in 2021, the tissue sample results were astounding when it came to leaf/petiole nitrates in the crop.
″Every grower wants his or her crop to be able to take advantage of as much nitrogen as possible, because they know the positive affect that the nutrient will have on the plant,″ said Canady. ″The inverse is true for nitrates. What these trials underscore is that by applying the proper rate of the proper input at the proper time, farmers can enjoy not only the same (or better) yields, but also better-quality crops. And if we’re helping mitigate the effects of other stressors, then that’s an even better outcome.″