25 May 2023, North Atlantic: As is the case in the ever-evolving world of agriculture, companies and researchers are constantly seeking innovative solutions to enhance crop productivity while minimizing environmental impacts. One such advancement gaining traction is the use of biostimulant seed treatments. These treatments harness the power of naturally occurring compounds to unlock a range of benefits that promote seed germination, plant establishment, and stress tolerance.
Examining the advantages of biostimulant seed treatments using seaweed extracts and their ability to revolutionize sustainable agriculture, is something Acadian Plant Health™ has been focused on recently. An understanding of how these seed treatments act as catalysts for the germination process, enhance the seed’s ability to sprout, and establish robust seedlings is crucial. Additionally studying the extracts and how they create more uniform and vigorous seedling emergence, set the stage for a new wave of technology.
Acadian’s seaweed extract utilizes the species Ascophyllum nodosum. This seaweed grows in the inter-tidal zone of the North Atlantic. Despite cycles that alternately expose it to ice cold salt water, searing sun, pounding waves, snow, and other rapid fluctuations, something resilient in the plant’s DNA helps it survive – even thrive in harsh conditions.
This set our Acadian Plant Health scientists to wondering if Ascophyllum nodosum’s elements could be extracted and formulated as a seed treatment; specifically, to help withstand the abiotic stressors that threaten seed emergence. Acadian’s unique Asco biochemical compositions, with seed treatment formulation design, are proving their worth in global trials as seed treatments for crops from wheat to soy to corn. Developing seaweed seed treatment plus other synergistic compounds is also underway. “We already see the benefits of Ascophyllum nodosum as a seed treatment and have also formulated an ‘Asco Plus’ seed treatment that can further boost these effects,” says Dr. Holly Little, R&D Director, Acadian Plant Health.
Successful seedling establishment is vital for the overall health and productivity of a crop. These biostimulant seed treatments play a pivotal role in this phase by fueling root development. By facilitating nutrient uptake and water absorption, these treatments ensure the seedlings have the necessary resources for healthy growth. As a result, plants can better withstand environmental stresses, including nutrient deficiencies and drought, promoting higher survival rates and optimal early growth.
These seaweed extracts also possess a remarkable ability to ignite plant vigor and stimulate overall growth, establishing a symbiotic relationship with plant roots, improving nutrient availability and nutrient uptake efficiency. The result is healthier, more robust plants capable of reaching their full potential.
In an era of unpredictable climate patterns and increasing pest pressures, plants must possess a strong defense against stressors. Biostimulant seed treatments offer an invaluable advantage by enhancing stress tolerance. These treatments activate stress-responsive genes within plants, triggering the synthesis of protective compounds and strengthening antioxidant defense mechanisms. By bolstering stress tolerance, biostimulant seed treatments help crops emerge with a fighting chance to keep their yield potential from the start of the season.
Biostimulant seed treatments are a game changer for modern agriculture. By harnessing the power of nature, they promote healthy plant growth, resilience, and sustainable farming practices. By applying them alongside existing crop inputs, Acadian Plant Health hopes to revolutionize seed treatments with the help of global partners.
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