Regulators, Users, Industry to Benefit From Better Definitions

It seems like every article discussing micronutrients and biostimulants begins with a statement expressing how plant health is the fastest-growing segment of the crop protection industry. And while that notion is true, it does not mean this segment is free from concern.

Dave Lanciault
Dave Lanciault, Agricen Sciences

That duality is captured by a thought from Johnny McRight, owner of DeltAg: “(Micronutrient and biostimulant) companies and products are coming out of the woodwork and with very little scrutiny over them.”
That lack of scrutiny could change with the expectation of a U.S. regulatory framework, which could create challenges for manufacturers and formulators looking to bring new products to market.
In an article last month we explored the rapid growth of the plant health market. This month we look at those issues that might slow that growth.
In the United States there is no definition about how these products are categorized (although there is hope that will change later this year). Each state has the right and ability to define and regulate these products as they see fit.

“Regulatory uncertainty may complicate the path to market for some of the technologies, as promising products have to navigate a complex environment between the states and EPA,” says David Lanciault, President & CEO of Agricen Sciences. “Education and outreach efforts by industry must increase in order to help gain acceptance of the technologies by growers, associations, consultants, legislators (who can help with incentives for the use of sustainable technologies), sustainability and other affiliated groups, the general public and other stakeholders.”
The problem extends well outside the U.S.
“Regulatory guidelines as well as proof or efficacy requirements along with actual product registration issues (are a concern),” McRight says. “Biostimulants are neither fertilizer nor pesticides — so where should they be registered? With nutrient content, they can be registered domestically in each individual state, even though guidelines vary slightly from state to state. Internationally, some countries have very stringent registration guidelines, while others have no rules at all.”
A lack of understanding by legislators is certainly one issue the industry is working to overcome. Organizations like the non-profit Biostimulant Coalition work to proactively address regulatory and legislative issues. The Biostimulant Coalition also serves as a resource for regulatory bodies. It develops a set of standards for biostimulant products such as fertilizers, biological or naturally-derived additives.
Many stakeholders across the industry have problems understanding all the intricacies of the market.
Stan Hendley, Director of International Business at Horizon Ag-Products, agrees with Lanciault that education is key.
“All of the products in this space will have an impact,” Hendley says. “The critical component is understanding how the products best fit in a farmer’s production system in order to gain the most benefit for the crop. This begins with education.”

Jeff Norrie, Acadian Seaplants
Jeff Norrie, Acadian Seaplants

The lack of understanding (at least in the U.S.) can and has led to products being categorized in ways that make it more difficult for them to be used.
“There is a movement to recognize biostimulants as helping stimulate nutrient uptake and abiotic stress mitigation; however, biotic stress effects are very well supported in the literature,” says Dr. Jeff Norrie, Agricultural Research Manager, Acadian Seaplants Ltd. “Often, products with biotic effects are registered under the Federal Insecticide, Pesticide, and Rodenticide Act, and require increased labeling vigilance and cannot be used off-label. Rather, they should be included in a soft chemistry category for ultra-low-risk products that, in almost all cases, leave no residue. This would allow for proper identification and separation of these products from more aggressive ones. As there is a current movement to correctly define biostimulants globally, we trust that this alignment will bring about the proper classification and recognition of the many benefits of biostimulants.”

Email Dan at [email protected]

Topics: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Biostimulants

Biostimulants

Italpollina CEO Elected as New EBIC President

The European Biostimulants Industry Council (EBIC) elected a new President Luca Bonini, CEO and owner of Italpollina, a founding member

Biostimulants

SLIDESHOW: Highlights from Biostimulant CommerceCon

View photo highlights of the recent AgriBusiness Global Biostimulant CommerceCon in Phoenix, AZ, in the slideshow above.

Biostimulant CommerceCon
Biostimulants

The Three Core Challenges Facing Agriculture

Within the world, as we speak, the agriculture sector is facing the following core challenges. The first challenge is that

Biostimulant CommerceCon
Biostimulants

Biostimulant CommerceCon Preview: Q&A with Giuseppe Natale, CEO of Valagro

Natale chats about the regulatory environment and how attitudes toward biostimulants are changing in various countries, among other topics.

Biostimulant CommerceCon
Biostimulants

The Plant Biostimulant Space: Challenges and Opportunities

Most people outside of the biostimulant industry do not yet have a strong understanding of what plant biostimulants are or

Biostimulants

Weeding Out the Noise in the Biostimulant Space

Looking ahead to next month's Biostimulant CommerceCon, we chat with presenter Ian Crawford, Product Manager, Plant Health Technologies with J.R. Simplot Co.

Valagro-Prem-Warrior
Asia

Italy’s Valagro Seeks Expansion in India

Valagro, the Italy-based biostimulants and specialty nutrients company, is exploring partnerships and acquisitions in India as it looks to expand its footprint in the country.

Americas

Valagro to Build First U.S. Manufacturing Plant for Biostimulants

The 65,000-square-foot Orangeburg County, South Carolina facility is expected to come online in the third quarter of 2019.

Biostimulants

What’s Really Behind the Biostimulant Boom

AgriBusiness Global chats with Dr. Russell Sharp, Technical Director and Founder of Plater Bio, on his career and topics including what he believes triggered the current boom in the biostimulant market.

Inauguration_Vadodara_Gujarat_1MB
Biostimulants

Acadian Seaplants Opens a Factory in India

Acadian Seaplants Ltd., the parent company of Acadian Plant Health (APH), has announced a major milestone in the company’s geographical

Biostimulants

Q&A: Fast-Growing Biostimulant Markets, Distribution

Biostimulant CommerceCon/Trade Summit Preview: AgriBusiness Global chats with Dan Custis, Co-founder and CEO of Advanced Biological Marketing (ABM).

Biostimulants

Biostimulant CommerceCon/Trade Summit Preview: Speaker Q&A

AgriBusiness Global recently had the chance to speak with David Beaudreau, Executive Director of the U.S. Biostimulant Coalition (USBC), about one of the most talked-about topics in the biostimulant arena of late

Biostimulants

American Plant Food, Sigma Agriscience and AM-AG Team Up Provide Complete Nutrition and Soil Health Solutions

Houston-based Sigma Agriscience, a manufacturer of granular biofertilizers and biostimulants, has announced through its subsidiary AM-AG the creation of a

Americas

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

Definition is a critical step in the legislative process to support the development of new sustainable technologies for agriculture and U.S. farmers.

Biostimulants

Biostimulants Gaining Ground

Growers are embracing these products rapidly as they search for ‘greener’ options to produce their crops.

Vineyard-grapes
Agrichemicals

Introducing Biostimulant CommerceCon

The $1.8 billion biostimulant market is expected to reach $2.9 billion by 2021. It’s little wonder why both traditional agchem

Corn Field
Biostimulants

Biostimulants: Crop Input or Management Mindset?

At the end of November 2017, about 1,200 researchers, regulators, and business representatives gathered in Miami, Florida for the 3rd

Biostimulant-lab-samples
Biostimulants

10 Things to Look for When Purchasing Biostimulants

According to the European Commission, biostimulants are a “substance or micro-organism whose function when applied to plants or the rhizosphere

Biostimulants

Sigma Agriscience Acquires Agricultural Solutions Company AM-AG

Sigma Agriscience, a manufacturer of granular biofertilizers and biostimulants, has acquired a controlling interest in AM-AG, an international marketer and

Latest News

Asia

India: Enabling Modern Agriculture Through IoT

Since the first green revolution in the 1960s that radically transformed the face of Indian agriculture, the sector has consistently

Asia

Reuters: Trump Greenlights Next Round of Farm Payments in China Trade War

The Trump administration will move forward with plans to distribute a second round of payments to farmers caught in the

Markets

AgriBusinessGlobal.com: Top 10 Stories from 2018

What a year it’s been for the global agribusiness industry. While the mergers and acquisitions once again dominated headlines in

Trade Summit

Three Things We Learned at Trade Summit Southeast Asia

Since 2006 AgriBusiness Global™ (ABG) has hosted Trade Summits in all corners of the world in an effort to empower

Asia

AgFunder Releases India AgriFood Startup Investing Report

AgFunder has released the inaugural India AgriFood Startup Investing Report in collaboration with its report partner Omnivore. In this five-year