The biostimulant trials were conducted during the summer of 2019 with the collaborations of two companies. Study results have been reported to the California tomato growers and industry. Please check the attached file for the access to the results.
Recently, two evaluation trials of crop biostimulants in Patterson were harvested. These two trials involved a Calcium-based and fungi-containing products, aiming to maintain yield and plant health, and protect crop quality. Ten and eight plants were hand harvested from the respective trial. Fruit were then sorted by their quality, placed in designated buckets, and weighed separately. Plant aboveground biomass was measured after fruit were picked. Red/marketable fruit were subsampled, brought to quality station in Modesto, and measured for pH, Brix, Color reading, and titratable acidity. All results are being analyzed, and final reports will be synthesized soon.
How crop growth responds to biostimulant application is important for growers to know the product efficacy. Besides fruit yield, other parameters are equally important as indicators to show the effects. Herein, we use NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) meter to assess the live green vegetation of processing tomatoes. The NDVI values range from 0-1. The higher the value, the more green canopies are observed.
Our crop biostimulant evaluation trial on processing tomato started on early May 2019. Two biostimulant products aiming to enhance plant nutrient content will be applied as a foliar spray at different tomato growth stage. Recently, the first application was completed at the flower stage on June 4, 2019. More applications will be conducted soon. Eventually, we will do side-by-side comparisons between treated and non-treated control on tomato fruit yield, sugar content, and other quality indices.
According to the report from Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA), the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill, was signed into law on December 20, 2018, and provides the first statutory language regarding plant biostimulants in any law in the United States.
The Farm Bill describes a plant biostimulant 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.”
This first official language is a major step moving forward for a better understanding of biostimulants, a more regulated biostimulant market, and a wider adoption of using these biologics.
The original news from BPIA is here https://www.bpia.org/2018/12/biostimulants-in-farm-bill/./span>