The Growing Challenge

The Stimulant to Biostimulant


Climate change is causing more frequent and extreme weather events that can significantly impact crop development and yield.

High temperatures can slow the rate of photosynthesis as plants cannot transpire fast enough to remain cool. This reduces energy production and therefore impacts crop development. Heat stress at flowering and fruiting can cause flower and fruit abortion impacting yield and quality. There’s also the risk cereal crops may mature prematurely, resulting in a shortened growing season and reduced yields.

Lack of water during the growing season can cause considerable stress to plants, affecting their ability to photosynthesize and absorb nutrients from the soil. It can also lead to poor germination, stunted growth and increase the plant’s vulnerability to pests and diseases, further impacting crop health and yield.

Unpredictable weather patterns
Unpredictable weather can have a profound impact on crop health and how you manage your crops, often putting you on the backfoot to establish/recover crops in season. All this puts yield and profitability at risk.

Excess water from floods can lead to waterlogging, depriving plants of oxygen and damaging roots. Nutrients can also be washed away during flooding, leading to nutrient deficient crops. What’s more, submersion of crops for prolonged periods can cause complete crop loss due to drowning and a lack of sunlight for photosynthesis.

Extreme cold
Late spring and winter frosts can damage crops, especially sensitive plants, which can even lead to complete crop failure. Cold temperatures may also delay planting schedules impacting crop development and maturity.


Building resilience into crop management programmes is becoming increasingly vital to future-proof farm businesses. Embracing the benefits of biologicals and biostimulants has a number of important drivers to consider:

Farmers are vulnerable to extreme weather events – resilience measures and preparing crops to cope can help mitigate the impact of extreme weather events and therefore risk to profits.

Resource scarcity
Reduced water, land and soil health will put pressure on productivity long-term. Finding ways to improve soil health and ensure efficient water management/capture by plants is key to securing access to natural resources.

Market demands
Adapting to market demands, consumer demands, the regulatory arena, political environment and end markets are all putting greater emphasis on greener/sustainable solutions to food production, where reducing reliance on synthetic inputs and transitioning to a future without chemicals is moving further up the agenda.

Market volatility
Market volatility puts pressure on budgets and cashflow – growing crops in a more sustainable way may offer premiums, which in turn reduces financial risk.


Efficient resource management is becoming increasingly crucial due to its profound impact on agricultural productivity, sustainability and profitability.

Optimising yields and ROI
Efficient use of crop resources – water, nutrients, sunlight – means fertilisers and pesticides can be used more judiciously, optimising yields and returns. By reducing unnecessary applications, growers can also reduce input costs and increase farm profitability and long-term viability.

Resilience to climate variability
With unpredictable weather patterns, efficient resource management is crucial. Finding ways to help use water, nutrients and capture sunlight more efficiently is key to help crops adapt.

Soil health and fertility
Healthy soils are crucial to support robust plant growth and reduce the need for excessive fertiliser inputs. As 85-90% of plant nutrients are microbially mediated, thriving soils are key to achieving optimal plant : microbial symbiosis.

Mitigating pest and disease risks
Optimising resources for plants is key to help minimise the use of chemical inputs whilst ensuring effective control. Deficiency stress makes the plant much more sensitive and vulnerable to pathogen attacks.

Environmental sustainability
Sustainable farming practices involves using resources more efficiently to minimise negative environmental impacts. Avoiding soil erosion, water pollution and the depletion of natural resources is key to promoting longterm sustainabilit


With some pests and diseases becoming increasingly resistant to chemicals, and a lack of new modes of action to the market particularly in speciality crops, building fitter healthier plants that have more resilient natural defense mechanisms has got to be a good thing. Plants respond to the biotic stress caused by pest and pathogen attack through their defense system that creates oxidative bursts to stop pathogen spread and by lignifying cell walls to block invasion. Plant hormones ethylene, saclicyclic acid and jasmonic acid play a key role in signaling stress responses all influenced by amino acids and peptides – roles biostimulants can fulfill.


As custodians of the land, biodiversity conservation is inherent in the mindset of many farmers. Questions have long presented themselves about the implications of cultivations and chemicals on soil health and biology. But with time comes knowledge and with knowledge comes technological advances, and now there is a greater drive amongst growers to produce food in a more sustainable way. In fact, the move towards more regenerative farming practices – has long been practiced by many. It is up to industry to find ways to support them in doing so, with biologicals and biostimulants now proving they do have a part to play.