Drought costs farmers around the world £10bn in crop losses every year. But new trial results show that combining unique biostimulants with micronutrients could be the answer to food security.
The study, by researchers at Nottingham Trent University in collaboration with Micromix, looked at the effect of a hybrid biostimulant with nutrients on drought and heat tolerance in a range of crops. Micromix, now part of the global Olmix Group, is an R&D company focused on adjuvants, biostimulants, crop nutrition and unique seaweed technology in all crop systems.
The research team found that the hybrid biostimulant with nutrients product changed the plants’ response to stress, increasing drought tolerance by 25-35 percent and boosting yields by up to 30 percent.
“This is really game-changing – it could offer a big contribution to global food security,” said Chungui Lu, professor of sustainable agriculture at the university. “In the UK alone, we could save millions of pounds in lost crops.”
Abiotic stress – due to extreme temperatures, water, salt and solar radiation – induce a metabolic and epigenetic change in a plant, weakening its natural defence mechanisms and increasing its susceptibility to disease, pests and subsequent crop failure, explains Lu.
“Biostimulants have the potential to affect a plant’s response to this stress, stimulating its own natural processes, while micronutrients enrich its growing environment,” he said. “This new formulation comprises a number of key nutritional materials, including micronutrients, in a novel combination with several biostimulant components, which will suppress abiotic stress and stimulate further growth.”
Micromix plans to launch products based on the research to market in the next two years, although application techniques will be refined as the research continues. The trial is the latest to be carried out on this new technology.
“The university is really excited,” says Lu. “It will be really good to do further research into improved crop quality. The outputs of the research will enable the successful commercialisation of novel farming systems.
Source: New AG International. Full article here