Uptake of plant biostimulants is predicted to increase because of high fertiliser prices, increased demand for sustainably produced products and the UK Governments climate and environmental goals.  

The aim of the Defra biostimulants project, which started in Autumn 2023, is to determine the most appropriate methods to enable the effective and safe use of biostimulants products in the UK, to maximise productivity and explore the environmental impacts of their use.  

The project will include evaluating the methods described in the EU Fertilising Product Regulations (EU 2019/1009) and the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) Technical Committee 455 ‘Technical Standard on Plant Biostimulants’ to verify the efficacy of biostimulant products available in both the UK and EU.  

This will be achieved through the delivery of four work packages (WPs): WP1 Review biostimulant types used in the UK and establish a priority list for investigation; WP2 Programme of field and laboratory trials; WP3 Investigating toxicology and environmental persistence of biostimulants; WP4 Guidance for standardised testing methods, best practice, knowledge exchange and economic assessment.  

The project will work with relevant Stakeholders to ensure that key product types are represented, efficacy testing methods are appropriate for use in the UK, and to confirm the applicability of any guidance produced. 

If you’d like to know more about the project, please leave a comment below or contact [email protected] 

Related Organisations

Connected Content

ADAS provides ideas, specialist knowledge and solutions to secure our food and enhance the environment. We understand food production and the challenges and opportunities faced by organisations operating in the natural environment

The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs.

Biostimulants are increasingly available and are now widely marketed to farmers. While the jury is still out on a definitive definition, most definitions of biostimulants explain that they should stimulate plant nutrition processes independently of the product’s nutrient content with the aim of improving one or more of the following characteristics: nutrient efficiency, tolerance to abiotic stress, and/or quality.