“There is confusion in the marketplace among retailers and growers as to what biostimulants are and what benefits they provide. Biostimulants need to be more clearly defined from a regulatory and agronomic standpoint so retailers and growers know what products to use and what results to expect,” Jarek says.

Without such a definition, “Far too many” products in the current market make “Outrageous” claims with no efficacy data to substantiate them, Dion Pearce, Products Manager, Pathway Biologic, says.

“Increasingly in the seaweed extract sector, we are seeing new products that contain small amounts of seaweed or have been commercialized with little research or few crop trials yet claim similar science and benefits to our extract products,” Taylor says.

Adds Kevin Hammill, Chief Commercial Officer, Marrone Bio Innovations: “Customers are inundated with multiple products that do not consistently deliver on their promise because they have not been broadly tested across represented geographies and environmental conditions. This significant variance in product performance means strong products get blended with inconsistent products. This dynamic can strain relationships among crop protection companies, retailers, and growers. Increasing communication between groups about expectations and determining a common way to measure can help plant health companies better support those they serve.”

Mike McFatrich, Vice President of Business Development, NewLeaf Symbiotics – “The technology of many biostimulants readily fits with traditional crop protection tools, and that corresponding fit extends to their ‘plug-in’ applicability, which means the delivery of the product to the crop can be done similarly as a conventional crop input tool.”

Marty Campfield, Vice President of Domestic Sales and Marketing, Azomite Soil Products – “These products can be viable options to include in soil fertility programs, so long as they are backed up with professional greenhouse, laboratory, and field research to prove product viability and validity.”

Tommy Roach, Director of Specialty Products and Product Development, NaChurs – “Biostimulants can bring great value to production agriculture. However, there are products out there that have good efficacy and those that do not. Research a product carefully before you take it to your customer base. Do your homework and use common sense before making commitments, remembering that if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.”