Stoller: Biostimulants, PGRs Hot as Growers Look to Gain an Edge

Dr. Ritesh Sheth, Chief Chemist, Stoller Enterprises

“We’re seeing significant growth in people using specifically plant growth regulators, or what we call plant hormones, and that’s primarily because people are understanding that we’re not getting maximum yield out of a plant using the traditional approach,” says Dr. Ritesh Sheth, Chief Chemist at Stoller Enterprises.

With crop prices being at a fairly low period, he says, “everyone needs to get an edge on their competitor. You’re going to have to do something different than you normally do, otherwise you are not going to get ROI to be able to grow your farm. So that’s what we’re doing, providing the technology to do that. People are starting to learn more and starting to increase usage of these products. It’s all a matter of education.”

Young and older, experienced farmers alike are seeing the difference that biostimulants and particularly PGRs can make in broad acre crops. “Some people say we should only reach out to younger farmers, because younger farmers are trying to grasp new information and look at the web,” Sheth says. At the company’s event at Commodity Classic, it staged millennials versus the older experienced generation of farmers (Learning Center: “Break Thru Yield Barriers: Production Practices for High-Yield Acres Nationwide.”)

“The view is, ‘Oh, the millennials always look for the newest, best thing, but the older, experienced generation does not.’ And I think that’s a false view of things. I think that the older, experienced generation also wants to, but they have experience that drives why they make their current decisions. The younger generation wants to show their fathers and grandfathers and uncles how to do something different. When we teach the younger generation, that information also goes to older generation as well and they start learning,” Sheth explains.

“Some of the top growers in soybeans and corn have been using our technology – these are some of the older experienced farmers, and they see value. It’s a matter of teaching.”

And the question of PGRs versus biostimulants? Sheth describes PRGs as guaranteed to work, because they contain hormones actually found in the plant. While more expensive than biostimulants, they deliver consistent results as opposed to something that might be hit or miss.

Stoller is now in the process of getting its biostimulant and PGR products approved by EPA for use with the new 2,4-D- and dicamba-resistant technologies hitting the market.  Stoller is aiming for full approval this season but if not, they should get it by next season.

“We have to make sure our products are compatible,” Sheth says. Testing is extensive. For compatibility with systems like Enlist and Xtend, of course, it needed to ensure that the products did not change drift patterns or create larger droplet sizes.

It’s a misconception that all biostimulants are good to go with most any synthetic product. In fact, some “harsher” chemicals can cause death of microbials in biologicals. Humics and fulvics, for example, are not always compatible as they might be acidic or might not chelate and cause precipitation in the spray tanks, as many of the synthetic herbicides act as chelating agents themselves.

Over the life of a plant, a variety of stresses cause hormonal imbalances that can impact yield. Stoller offers a trio of product packages for those different phases of a plant’s life: Start, Grow, and Finish.

The Start grow program, which is aimed at the seed germination and initial growth phase, includes two products that provide hormonal balance and stress mitigation. One is Bio-Forge ST (seed treatment), which is a signaling molecule that suppresses ethylene – a hormone released by the plant in response to stress, much like adrenaline produced by humans to push us through the fight-or-flight response — thus helping the plant to “calm down,” so that the plant is no longer behaving as if in survival mode, Sheth explains.

The company’s Stimulate Yield Enhancer also contains signaling molecules. An EPA-approved plant growth regulator, it has hormones actually found in the plant, and with the right application timing, realigns the hormonal imbalance, Sheth says. It can be applied as a seed treatment, in-furrow with a starter fertilizer and as a foliar spray with herbicides and fungicides. It is tank-mix compatible with most plant protection products.

Stoller’s package for the next phase, aptly called Grow, consists of Bio-Forge and X-Tra Power. X-Tra Power provides nutrients that are specifically chelated. A plant typically faces “competitors” like glyphosate, 2,4-D or dicamba, which also have chelating abilities that can stop nutrients from getting to the plant. Many growers choose to use EDTA products, Sheth says, but those can pick up heavy metals that might be detrimental to the plant.

“Our technology with X-Tra Power brings micronutrients the plant needs, and components of the technology can be used by the plant itself to mitigate stress, so it is a full package,” he says.

Stoller’s Finish package, geared for bumping up yield at the end, encompasses a biostimulant/PGR, X-Cyte, and a nutrient package, Sugar Mover. Sugar Mover redirects the flow of sugars in plants from the leaves to the fruiting parts of plants and is used in crops such as soybeans, corn, wheat, and sorghum. Able to be sprayed alone or applied with most fungicides, X-Cyte delivers cytokinin – a key plant hormone to up-regulate genes associated with sugar transport and increasing sugars in the reproductive part of the plant. It means increased fertility, denser grain for higher test weight, and reduced grain/fruit abortion.

Stoller has developed its biostimulant and PGR technologies to work for row crop farmers, and in step with their normal application timings. “The good thing about Stoller technology is it can be used on any crop … We are trying to make sure we work with the normal practice of farmers. The reason Start, Grow, and Finish are specific is that most farmers do some type of seed treatment at the start, then always do an herbicide application during the grow stage, and finish with application of fungicides.”

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

Americas

Bayer
Americas

Brazilian Antitrust Agency Approves Bayer-Monsanto Tie-up

Brazilian antitrust agency Cade has approved Bayer AG’s proposed takeover of U.S. seeds company Monsanto Co. without requiring further asset

Chile-Wheat-Harvest
Agrichemicals

Chile Estimates More Expensive Agrochemicals in 2018

Andreas Kobrich has his eyes set on the current wheat harvest. As general secretary of the Wheat Growers’ Association in

Americas

Honey Bees and Climate Change: A Hypothesis

Throughout my career my focus has been on field and laboratory research. My mentors of years past were quite negative

Agrichemicals

Global Crop Protection Market: Overcoming Challenges and Finding Opportunity in 2018

The end of the old year and start of the new is a natural time to reflect on where we’ve

wheat-field
Africa/Middle East

Changing the Narrative: It’s Not Just About Yield

For years now when someone outside the industry asks what I do, I give them the “elevator speech,” the 30-second

Brazil-Soybean-field
Americas

CEO: Monsanto Will Prevail in Brazil Patent Dispute

U.S. seeds company Monsanto Co. is confident Brazilian courts will uphold its Intacta RR2 PRO soy seed patent despite a

Americas

Year in Review: Top U.S. Ag Retailer News of 2017

If you as a child watched the television program Sesame Street, you might remember that each episode was brought to

Americas

Bayer ForwardFarming Expands to Latin America

Bayer has announced the expansion of the Bayer ForwardFarming network — a knowledge platform for farmers, focused on customized agronomic

Agrichemicals

Brazil Delays Review of Bayer-Monsanto Merger

Extension potentially foils plans to wrap up the transaction by the end of the year.

Agrichemicals

BASF’s Asmus: Volatility ‘Not a Driving Factor’ Behind Dicamba Drift

BASF field reps investigated 787 soybean symptomology claims during the 2017 season.

Americas

Valagro Launches Biostimulant in Brazil

After being launched in Spain, Egypt, Mexico and Italy, RETROSAL is being officially presented to the Brazilian market.

Agrichemicals

Missouri Latest U.S. State to Set Dicamba Cut-off Date for 2018

Missouri Department of Agriculture 'takes proactive measures to reduce off-target crop injury during the 2018 growing season.'

Agrichemicals

AMVAC’s Trogele: ‘Entire Downstream Channel of Our Industry Will Be Challenged’

AMVAC Chief Operating Officer Bob Trogele offered his insight on the current agrichemical environment, and on how retailers can possibly engage with post-patent companies.

Agrichemicals

Albaugh Enters Collaboration on New Wheat Varietites

Colorado Wheat Research Foundation, Inc., Albaugh, LLC and Limagrain Cereal Seeds, LLC have announced the release of the first two new herbicide-tolerant CoAXium Wheat Production System varieties.

monsanto roundup
Agrichemicals

Monsanto, Farm Groups Sue California Over Glyphosate Warning Requirement

Monsanto Co. says it has joined a coalition of U.S. farm groups in a lawsuit against the state of California to stop a requirement for cancer warnings on products containing glyphosate.

Americas

The Climate Corp., Deveron Partner to Deliver On-Demand Aerial Imagery Data

Based in Canada, Deveron is a leading full-service enterprise drone data company with a growing fleet of drones.

Agrichemicals

Arysta, DuPont Sign Fungicidal Seed Treatment Deal

Arysta LifeScience will supply to DuPont Crop Protection an innovative fungicide technology with an initial focus on corn and soybean seed applied products.

Agrichemicals

The Dicamba Factor to Weigh Heavily in 2018 Decisions

Other newer herbicides, too, are poised to expand growers’ options as weed resistance struggles show no signs of abating.

Agrichemicals

FMC Third-Quarter Profit Jumps on Americas Volume Growth

Third quarter segment revenue grew 6% year-over-year, excluding India.

Latest News

Asia

China Pesticide Exporting Workshop Highlights Price Trends, Supply Strategies

China is a major pesticide producer and exporter. It provides abundant pesticides ranging from herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, plant growth regulators

Europe

EU’s Race to Zero Tolerance Risks Global Trade and Farmer Livelihoods

Whether it’s almonds from the United States, cocoa from Ghana, or rice from India, we enjoy eating good food from

Europe

Staphyt Opens New Regulatory Office and Trial Site in Austria

The regulatory division of the Staphyt Group (Staphyt Regulatory) specializes in regulatory consulting (agrochemicals, biocides, etc.) and supports manufacturers in

Africa/Middle East

Sub-Saharan Africa: Time for a Paradigm Shift to Sustainable Farming Practices

Farming in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has remained fairly conventional over the years and involves intensive use of synthetic chemicals and

Asia

India Aims to Deliver Groundbreaking Agricultural Blockchain

It’s become a joke in some circles. Just cash in by inventing a blockchain for something. A blockchain for dentists?