U.S. Farm Bill Draft Defines Plant Biostimulants for First Time

A draft of the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill provides the first definition for plant biostimulants by the U.S. government, and is a critical step in the legislative process to support the development of new sustainable technologies for agriculture and U.S. farmers, according to the U.S. Biostimulant Coalition.

As defined, it requires the USDA to perform a study on the potential regulatory and legislative reforms needed to ensure appropriate review, approval and uniform national labeling for biostimulant products. Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Michael Conaway (R-Texas), released the bill.

The draft Farm Bill defines plant biostimulants as “a substance or micro-organism that, when applied to seeds, plants, or the rhizosphere, stimulates natural processes to enhance or benefit nutrient uptake, nutrient efficiency, tolerance to abiotic stress, or crop quality and yield.”

“The inclusion of a definition for plant biostimulants in the Farm Bill represents a critical initial step in the legislative process that will ultimately support the development of new sustainable technologies for agriculture and U.S. farmers,” said David Beaudreau, Executive Director of the U.S. Biostimulant Coalition (USBC). “This bill will need to be considered and possibly amended by both the House of Representatives and the Senate before adoption and signature by the President.”

“This is the first definition of plant biostimulants in any proposed U.S. legislation and it is largely consistent with the definition currently under review within the European Union,” said Keith Jones, Executive Director of the Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA). “This is a major step forward for biostimulant manufacturers, and it is the direct result of a joint effort led by the BPIA and the USBC on behalf of the entire biostimulants industry. We urge Congress to complete a Farm Bill with this language included.”

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