Corn School: Field testing biostimulants for yield and ROI

AGRIS agronomist and RealAgriculture contributor Dale Cowan is one of 11 Hall of Fame inductees.

Biostimulants designed to enhance performance and yield are nothing new in the corn management world.

But growers can expect to see more and more of these products as manufacturers look to bring to market management solutions that alleviate the abiotic stresses plants experience when growing conditions are either too hot, cold, wet or dry.

On this episode of the RealAgriculture Corn School we travel to Chatham, Ont., to visit AGRIS Co-operative agronomist Dale Cowan, who is field testing biostimulant products to better understand how, where and when they can deliver value to growers.

Cowan says more than ever, mainline product manufacturers are buying smaller companies that develop biostimulants. The product claims are wide ranging, he notes, including everything from better yields, reduced fertilizer use and better soil health to faster crop establishment, reduced plant stress, improved water uptake and more.

Usually priced at less than $10/ac, who wouldn’t want to try these products, says Cowan. He notes that 70 percent of plant yield can be influenced by abiotic stresses when compared to a stress-free environment.

In the video, Cowan looks at the growing array of products growers can expect to see in the years ahead and what his company is testing in its MyField technology field trials this year. He notes that these products typically carry performance claims generated in controlled research trials. The challenge now is for agronomists like Cowan to better understand how the products perform in commercial fields and how to best recommend use for growers customers looking to optimize yield and return on investment.

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