Biostimulants - Superfoods for Plants

Biostimulants also play a role in maintaining the quality of the soil and reducing the overall use of chemicals in the growing process
December 22, 2021
Biostimulants - Superfoods for Plants

For decades, the Haifa Group has been a leading global supplier of solutions for plant nutrition, aiming to fulfill all crop nutritional needs in a holistic way through diverse fertilizer options and application methods that ensure nutrients are used effectively and efficiently.
Consistent with its vision and based on the general market outlook, about two years ago the company made a strategic choice to include in its portfolio a wide range of Biostimulants, under the brand name HaifaStim™.

This addition has made the Haifa Group one of the very few players with a truly integrated 360° approach combining water soluble (crystalline), control release (granular), microelements, and biostimulant products—for a total nutritional solution.
The expanding HaifaStim™line is led globally by Pierluigi Rigatelli and Vasilis Tsampardoukas, based in Italy and Greece respectively, countries in which Biostimulants have been widely used for the past 20 years. Their vast knowledge and experience, the group’s focus, investment, and international distribution infrastructure, riding along the global trend, have achieved impressive results in a very short time.

The Biostimulant market is growing fast and has surpassed $ 2.5 billion per year, almost at the same level as water-soluble fertilizers sold worldwide.
While fertilization provides essential nutrients, Biostimulants help the plant absorb them better, making it stronger and aiding the growth mechanisms that will help it reach its full potential. Modern growers have in place the systems they need for efficient Fertigation/Nutrigation™. But the introduction of Biostimulants into the equation takes farming to the next level in crop production, because of their ability to increase the plants’ resistance to water and abiotic stresses. 
It must be emphasized that biostimulants can't replace an adequate supply of plant nutrients found in mineral fertilizers, the only ones that can provide the nutrition intensive crop production requires. Biostimulants also play a role in maintaining the quality of the soil and reducing the overall use of chemicals in the growing process. The combination of fertilizers and biostimulants for fully integrated plant nutrition takes advantage of nature’s own synergies to meet the demands of modern agriculture.

The Mechanisms at Work
HaifaStim™’s products help the plant produce the metabolites and enzymes it requires to reach maximum yields. They also counteract stress, by helping the plant restore its metabolism, while reactivating the biochemical processes and enzyme synthesis necessary for growth. The physio-nutritional compounds in HaifaStim™ Biostimulants help the plant maintain its productive cycles and avoid stresses. As carriers of herbicides and fungicides, HaifaStim™products facilitate the action of the agrochemicals and accelerate their transfer within the plant. And of course, uptake of soluble fertilizers is enhanced thanks to improved activity at the root system, so co-application of Biostimulants with soluble fertilizers results in higher efficiency and less damage to the soil.

It’s All Converging
Worried farmers everywhere who are feeling the effects of global warming—extreme climate phenomena like heat, frost, flooding, and drought—increasingly find that Biostimulants are a viable solution to their problems, because both their production and use are highly sustainable.
In production, there is no waste, because the raw materials used in the formulation of Biostimulants are derived from nature, and so they return to nature.
When used in farming, they help reduce stress by creating the right environment so plants can cope better with extreme situations. Besides enhancing overall crop performance in the field, Biostimulants improve plant health in the long run. Not only that, but they also have a positive effect on the delicate natural balance between plant, soil fertility, and water. Biostimulants enhance the activity of non-organic products in many cases by making them easier to be absorbed and assimilated by the plant.


We’re Going Sustainable 
In parallel with the above, organic  growing has been receiving a significant boost, mainly in Europe, where the law being enacted dictates that 25% of agricultural produce must be organic, and banning the use of non-organic materials for these crops. While organic Biostimulants in traditional agriculture are combined with non-organic materials, in the organic sector they are the sole player, standing on their own as a unique solution since they come from mother nature itself.

For years, Europe has been gradually strengthening environmentally friendly agricultural production, with laws and regulations that encourage farmers to change their ways and move towards sustainable and organic farming . The new law expected to be enacted in 2022 will establish order in the field by determining through objective criteria which products are considered true Biostimulants. Currently there is a great deal of confusion in this area, rules are vague, and farmers don’t always have enough information to make the right choices.

European farmers already have a tradition of over 20 years in applying Biostimulants in their fields and covered growing areas, proving there is an open market and many interested customers. Clearer regulation and laws are some of the instruments governments must use to encourage the switch to a more sustainable production and implementation of  practices for a better future.
A positive trend can also be felt in the North American market, with the number of organic farms and sales of organic produce growing with the years. Demand for organic produce is gaining momentum in South America and the Middle East too.
With markets expanding and profits on the rise, we may be witnessing a significant turning point in finally solving the problem of feeding the world in an eco-friendly way.


Why HaifaStim™?
HaifaStim™  has consolidated its position in the biostimulant market, and soon will be able to solidify its portfolio even more when the new rules are published and applied. With subsidiaries running in 16 countries, Haifa has become the most reliable partner in offering these solutions to growers, thanks to its experience with a wide variety of cash crops that have always used high amounts of fertilizers. Haifa has the technical knowledge and expertise to advise growers on methods and products that best suit each crop based on the environmental conditions and parameters under which it is cultivated. Growers can trust

and rest assured that their plants will receive the best all-around nutritional solution and care, so they can enjoy the fruits of their work.

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This article is part of the digital issue - Agriculture in Arid Zones

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