Biological Stimulants are not fertilizers but work as an enhancement to fertilizer applications and aid in the decomposition of organic matter. Biological Stimulants can help to; improve the digestive health of your soils, improve the efficiency of nutrient applications, and help plants tolerate environmental stresses.
Biological Stimulants, also referred to as bio-stimulants or biostimulants are defined as "Any substance or compound other than primary, secondary, and micro plant nutrients that can be demonstrated by scientific research to be beneficial to one or more species of plants, when applied exogenously to the plant or soil." The European Biostimulants Industry Council (EBIC) defines biostimulants as; "Plant biostimulants contain substance(s) and/or micro-organisms whose function when applied to plants or the rhizosphere is to stimulate natural processes to enhance/benefit nutrient uptake, nutrient efficiency, tolerance to abiotic stress, and crop quality."
According to the EBIC "Agricultural biostimulants include diverse formulations of compounds, substances and micro-organisms that are applied to plants or soils to improve crop vigor, yields, quality and tolerance of abiotic stresses. Biostimulants foster plant growth and development throughout the crop life cycle from seed germination to plant maturity in a number of demonstrated ways, including but not limited to: Improving the efficiency of the plant’s metabolism to induce yield increases and enhanced crop quality. Increasing plant tolerance to and recovery from abiotic stresses. Facilitating nutrient assimilation, translocation and use. Enhancing quality attributes of produce, including sugar content, color, fruit seeding, etc. Rendering water use more efficient. Enhancing soil fertility, particularly by fostering the development of complementary soil micro-organisms"
Sources of Biological Stimulants:
- B vitamins, as found in;
- Soluble Kelp Powder
- Kelp Meal
- Alfalfa Meal
- Inorganic salts, as found in;
- Natural Sea Salts or products like SEA-90
- Organic Acids
- Amino acids (found in soluble kelp powder and kelp meal)
- Fulvic acids
- Humic acids
- Fatty acids / Lipids (found in neem oil, coconut oils and fish fertilizers)
- Microbial Innoculants
- Earthworm Castings / Compost
- Baterial inoculates
- Mycorrhizae & other beneficial fungi
- Protein Sources, as found in;
- Alfalfa Meal
- Oat / Bran and high protein grain meals or flours
- Protein Hydrolysates as found in Organic Fish Fertilizers