It’s a term you hear more and more in the world of Ag, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, but what are Biostimulants. According to the Washington state Department of Agriculture, biostimulants are a class of chemicals or products used to increase nutrient use and efficiency, stimulating root growth at various times throughout the season. The WSDA’s Eddie Simons said biostimulants can come from minerals, or plant or animal byproducts.
He noted they’ve been around for more than 20 years, but last year’s Farm Bill really pushed biostimulants into the mainstream. Simons added WSDA registers all commercial fertilizers and pesticides distributed within Washington
“Currently, WSDA is trying to get some more clarity by communicating with the USDA, in relation to the 2018 Farm Bill, to figure out how they should be regulated, and also communicating with EPA on the definition of a plant regulator of a pesticide and what products are regulated as pesticides.”
As the WSDA continues to work with USDA for clarity how biostimulants are labeled and regulated, you may have questions if biostimulants are right for you. Simons said whether you have a massive operation or a small garden, you need to ask a few simple questions.
“You need to figure out why are you using that product. And if the reason you want to use a product, if it’s for a pesticide use, it should be registered for pesticide use. If it’s used to supply nutrients, it should be registered as a fertilizer.”
He noted it’s important you make sure any product you purchase is properly registered.
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