This year has been a pivotal one for climate change, and with the looming El Niño conditions set to impact farms in 2024, the challenges are mounting. Predictable rainfall and stable temperatures are becoming increasingly elusive, and the relentless force of climate change shows no signs of slowing down.
Coming out of a summer where we witnessed record-breaking global temperatures in June through August, the future appears even more uncertain. However, there’s a glimmer of hope on the horizon: biostimulants have emerged as a powerful tool to combat these imminent threats.
As our crops confront a barrage of abiotic stresses, including cold, excessive water, heat, and drought, there is a growing acceptance of Ascophyllum nodosum seaweed-based biostimulants in crop management practices. These remarkable biostimulants not only enhance plant growth and resilience but also contribute significantly to the overall well-being of soil.
They are becoming invaluable tools for growers.
Seaweed extract technology from Acadian Plant Health™ plays a pivotal role in this battle against climate-induced adversity. Biostimulants are a category of product that works on crops’ physiological processes to help plants increase plant health, gain stress tolerance against climatic changes, improve nutrient use efficiency and soil health.
An increasingly important approach to climate-proofing the farm is practicing regenerative agriculture. At its core, regenerative agriculture focuses on improving soil health. Because plant health starts with the soil, Acadian Plant Health has been researching how Ascophyllum nodosum based biostimulants are a pivotal tool for supporting the microbiome, soil structure, and overall contributions to soil organic carbon. Due to their proximity to plant roots, soil microbes directly aid in nutrient uptake while stimulating plant growth through the development of the root system.
Weather can have a major impact on the farm, so looking at farming practices and using a biostimulant to limit a farm’s exposure has become increasingly important. When incorporating biostimulants into the farm’s crop plan, it is important to remember that they are most effective when applied preventatively.
For both specialty and broadacre crops, Ascophyllum nodosum biostimulants can mitigate environmental stress, and increase nutrient and water use efficiency. For perennial crops, Acadian also recommends applying biostimulants post-harvest to renew carbohydrate and nutrient reserves to encourage regrowth.
When thinking about long-term resiliency on the farm, Ascophyllum nodosum biostimulants help to support soil health by enriching soil microbe development and boosting soil health, which creates a better growth environment.
As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of climate change, proactive biostimulant application becomes increasingly critical. It equips growers with the tools they need to prepare their crops for the inevitable challenges that lie ahead in 2024 and beyond.