Eddie Simons in WSDA Ag Briefs
Pesticide Registration and Licensing

A stimulating look at plant biostimulants

If you garden, 农场, or endeavor to grow anything in the ground, 你已经成为一个新产品的目标受众营销下的模糊, hyper-modern moniker “biostimulant.”

Biostimulants are generating so many claims and so much hype, 监管机构正在努力跟上评估和分类的步伐. Although the products have been around for decades, they have just recently been recognized in the 2018 Farm Bill.

就在生物兴奋剂朝着广泛常规使用迈出了第一步的时候,美国已经开始着手研究它.S. 农业部(USDA)和全国各地的州政府机构还没有就生物刺激素的适用范围和如何监管达成一致, though they seem to belong somewhere near 肥料s, 农药, or soil amendments.

What is a biostimulant?

According to the 2018 Farm Bill, a “plant biostimulant” is “…a substance or micro-organism that, when applied to seeds, 植物, or the rhizosphere, 刺激自然过程,提高或促进营养吸收, nutrient efficiency, tolerance to abiotic stress, or crop quality and yield.” This includes a wide variety of materials, including

• Plant extracts
• Humic/fulvic acids
• Proteins and amino acids (plant or animal origin)
• Beneficial elements [Silicon (Si), Aluminum (Al)]
• Beneficial bacteria
• Beneficial fungi [mycorrhizae]

Why are people interested in using biostimulants in ag?

人们对生物兴奋剂重新产生了兴趣,因为它们有潜力发挥作用. Some of the claimed benefits include

• Improved plant and root growth
• Improved nutrient use
• Resistance to drought, insects, and diseases
• Improved end use quality of the harvested crop

What 植物 are they made from?

生物兴奋剂中最常见的植物提取物是从海带中提取的, but others include soy protein hydrolysate, willow bark extract, stinging nettle extract, Yucca extract, and aloe extract.

Are they a pesticide? If not, what’s the difference?

其中一些生物兴奋剂符合农药的定义. 例如, 海藻提取物含有相对较高水平的植物激素, which increase plant and root growth. 这将属于联邦杀虫剂的“植物调节剂”农药类别, 杀真菌剂, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

其他生物兴奋剂刺激植物的防御机制,使其更好地抵御昆虫和或疾病的压力. 这被称为系统性获得性抗性(SAR),是杀虫剂的另一种形式.

大多数作用于营养功能的生物兴奋剂不是农药. 例如, 施用腐殖酸可以使土壤中养分的有效性增强, allowing for easier uptake by the plant roots. 此外,菌根会遍布整个土壤,将营养物质输送到植物的根部.

Are there regulatory issues people should know about?

The term “biostimulant” seems to be a marketing term. 部分生物刺激素产业正试图将生物刺激素从农药的定义中分离出来, but at this point it has not happened. The common definitions of pesticide, 肥料, 土壤改良剂都与产品的主要功能和要求有关.

大多数生物兴奋剂似乎只关注次要功能和功效, 例如, that the hormones will increase root growth, which will improve drought resistance. If the claim is drought resistance, 生产者倾向于认为它不应该作为一种农药来管理.

Does WSDA have recommendations about biostimulants?

WSDA目前对生物刺激素的管理与其他产品不同. 如果生物兴奋剂符合农药的定义,它将作为农药进行管制.

美国植物食品控制官员协会(AAPFCO)最近给美国农业部发了一封信,就生物刺激素及其监管现状发表了意见.

“为所有作为生物兴奋剂上市的产品建立单一的监管结构,会让监管机构感到困惑, industry and consumers,” the letter stated. “产品应该根据其预期功能进行监管,而不是根据广泛的营销术语.”

这封信是为了帮助美国农业部根据2018年《bte365官网在线投》的要求向国会和总统提交报告. 本报告将详细说明监管和非监管选项监督生物刺激素分布.

WSDA继续遵循联邦和华盛顿州有关农药和化肥的法律, including biostimulants. 我们根据产品的预期功能来管理产品,而不是一个非特定的营销术语. 我们将继续遵循联邦政府在生物兴奋剂监管方面采取的行动.

What should I do?

当你看到新产品时,想想你为什么要使用它们. 如果目的是为了控制害虫或刺激植物生长(不仅仅是为了营养), check that the product is registered as a pesticide. 如果目的是为植物提供营养,检查它是否登记为肥料. Most of all, enjoy your time in the garden or with your plant.