Oct 1, 2021
Field trial data, paper published on in-season value of biologicals 

Plant Response Inc. recently published new data from field trials that it said demonstrate the in-season results row and specialty crop growers can achieve with biological products.

Plant Response company logo

“The scrutiny of product performance in-season is increasing with biologicals and we are committed to sharing how farmers can observe the difference Plant Response makes,” Jeff Wheeler, chief commercial officer, said in a news release from the company. Headquartered in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, the biological products company has offices in Madrid, Spain; Plant City, Florida; and Redmond, Washington.

“The field test results on BioPath and a new peer-reviewed paper on the active ingredient in PRB9 show how value can be demonstrated on-farm before harvest and how it can be quantified,” Wheeler said in the release.

The field-testing program executed with BioPath, a microbial inoculant containing bioactives of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR), measured nutrient uptake and significant differences were observed, according to John Kruse, Plant Response’s senior vice president of agronomy.

Conducting tests across the Midwest using commercial-scale field trials with farmer partners provides applicability beyond smaller scale tests, according to the news release. Data was collected at multiple stages of corn growth and development.

“We saw increases in early season vigor and plant growth at V5 of 8% with the BioPath application, which was statistically significant. The mid-season biomass and tissue measurement is really exciting as side-by-sides treated with BioPath had substantially better uptake of nitrogen, phosphorous AND potassium – on average 2-3% – as well as secondary and micronutrients,” Kruse said in the news release.

Boosting natural defense against abiotic stress

Researchers in Spain (Catala et al) have been diving deep into abiotic stress and published new discoveries in Science Advances this summer. These discoveries about protecting plants from abiotic stress directly relate to PRB9, a biostimulant in the Plant Response portfolio.

The paper has three key takeaways according to Plant Response vice president of research and development Anne Runkel:

  • Plants naturally accumulate PRB9’s active ingredient.
  • Levels of this compound increase when the plant encounters abiotic stressors like cold, salinity, and drought.
  • This compound is a protective osmolyte that can be applied as a treatment to enhance abiotic stress tolerance in plants.

Kruse said in the release that PRB9 is labeled for a number of specialty uses in the coastal regions of the U.S. where produce and other valuable crops can be vulnerable to the abiotic stress that comes with shifting weather patterns. The side-by-side differences have been clear in testing and customer use with high value crops, according to the news release.


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