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Biostimulants Market Reviewed for Cereals and Oilseeds Growers

According to a new research review, the biostimulants market is expanding rapidly, becoming more professional and offering potential for growers.

Funded and published by AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds, reviews commercially available biostimulant products and assesses claims made on labels, the review explains the market, also evaluated a wide variety of literature sources to find evidence of benefits associated with the use of biostimulants. Although product diversity made the process of detecting significant benefits challenging, some positive yield results were identified in cereal experiments.

Anything added to the plant or soil that stimulates natural processes which benefit crops excluding any fertilisation and pesticidal action known as ‘biostimulant’.

In 2015, the global biostimulant market was estimated to have a value of $1 billion, with its value predicted to double by 2020. The European biostimulants market was estimated to be worth €400–500 million, making it the largest market for biostimulant products in 2012.

For 11 broad product categories, evidence for yield impacts associated with the use of biostimulants was reviewed. As limited data was available for UK field conditions, evidence from controlled experiments and non-UK field conditions was also used.

The reviewers found that nine of the 11 product categories were associated with a statistically significant increase in yield in at least one experiment.

For the most common product categories – seaweed extracts, humic substances, phosphite and plant growth promoting bacteria – statistically significant yield responses were observed for 3/7, 3/4, 4/17 and 13/15 cereal experiments, respectively.

For regulating biostimulant products there is currently no specific framework but EU regulations may come into force as early as January 2018. “It is likely that most products sold in the UK will fulfil these proposed regulations automatically, as they will be available across Europe," said Dr Storer.

The full report contains a list of biostimulant products marketed for use on cereals and oilseed rape crops in the UK, along with claims published on the product labels and detailed sections for each of the biostimulant product types.


Meeting of the International Grains Council and IGC Grains Conference London

Under the Chairmanship of Mr. Gaston Funes of Argentina met members of the International Grains Council (IGC). The Council reviewed the latest supply and demand outlook and market developments for the global grains and oilseeds markets, recent changes in national policies and various administrative matters.

The Council’s latest forecasts for 2016/17, as detailed in the most recent Grain Market Report (GMR466, 26 May 2016), point to another year of ample world grains (wheat and coarse grains) supplies. Because of unfavourable weather there is in some crop uncertainties recently, global production was still expected to be the second highest ever.

Despite strong anticipated demand, a further accumulation of world carryover stocks was seen as probable at the end of the season. Adverse weather led to smaller rice harvests in many Asian producers in 2015/16, but a recovery was anticipated in the coming year as growing conditions improve.

The Council noted that recent poor weather had downgraded 2015/16 soyabean prospects in South America, but world production was still expected to be the second largest on record. Although planting of South America’s next crop is still some months away, a rebound in output in that region could see 2016/17 production match the all-time high of two seasons earlier.

The Council considered various administrative matters, including an update from the Secretariat on progress with the economic work programme. The Council agreed the programme of work for 2016/17, which would continue to focus on core analytical activities. However, a key development was the initiation of biannual dialogue with IGTC (International Grain Trade Coalition) on major policy issues affecting trade.

The Council took note of statements by observers from the FAO, IGTC, OECD, WFP and WTO. It also welcomed the participation of observers from China, and Taipei Chinese Separate Customs Territory.