Biostimulant industry standards need to be improved

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Biostimulant industry standards need to be improved


In recent years, biological stimulant products, such as humic acid, alginic acid, amino acid, chitin, fish protein, etc., are gradually moving from Europe and America to China. Their promotion and application in China are becoming more and more mature, and they are gradually recognized and accepted by more and more growers. According to the data, the biostimulant market is growing steadily at a rate of more than 10% every year. Such products have attracted the attention of international agricultural and chemical industry giants, and have become the blue ocean of agricultural materials that domestic agricultural materials production enterprises compete for. However, there are still problems such as unclear identity definition, uneven quality of products and lack of industry norms and standards. Recently, China biostimulant development alliance and China Council for the promotion of international trade chemical branch jointly held the 2017 international biostimulant and fertilizer efficiency (value-added) Application Forum in Shanghai. Experts, scholars and entrepreneurs attending the forum discussed all aspects of biostimulants.

There is no clear definition, and multiple efficacy has been recognized

What is a biological stimulant? In fact, there is no clear and unified definition for this in China. In reality, biostimulants are called many different names: plant growth promoters, bioactive agents, soil improvers, growth regulators... "In fact, these terms only reflect the efficacy of a certain aspect of biostimulants, and cannot be accurately defined." Dr. Shang zhaocong, deputy director of the National Committee for standardization of fertilizer and soil conditioner, introduced that there are 8 main categories of biological stimulants, including humic acid, complex organic materials, beneficial chemical elements, inorganic salts (including Phosphite), seaweed extracts, chitin and chitosan derivatives, anti transpiration agents, free amino acids and other nitrogen-containing substances.

With the proposal of zero growth action plan for pesticide and fertilizer use and the continuous improvement of consumers' pursuit of agricultural product quality, biological stimulants with natural sources and the effect of improving crop yield and quality just meet the needs of the times. Despite the lack of a clear definition, the multiple effects of biological stimulants have been beyond doubt by virtue of the effects achieved by the promotion and application over the years.

Chen Qing, a professor of the College of resources and environment of China Agricultural University, said that for a long time, problems such as intensive planting, high multiple cropping index and single species have led to more and more obstacles to continuous cropping of crops. Agricultural production has long relied on chemical fertilizer application, and blind fertilization has led to soil acidification, salinization and soil biological obstacles, thus inhibiting the growth of crop roots and reducing the ability of roots to absorb nutrients, Thereby affecting the growth and development of crops. "The root promoting and stress resistance effects of biological stimulants can improve the availability of nutrients and water, promote the absorption, operation and use of nutrients in crops, improve their disease resistance, improve the utilization rate of pesticides and fertilizers, and improve the quality of agricultural products."

Shao Jiahua, executive vice president of China biostimulant development alliance, also holds a similar view. "Biostimulants can effectively improve nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium fixation, supplement the lack of medium and trace elements, improve the utilization rate of fertilizers and pesticides, improve and repair the soil, improve the resistance of crops to biological and abiotic stresses, promote crop growth and increase production and quality." Relevant experimental data show that the minimum increase of crop yield is 5% ~ 10%, the fertilizer utilization rate is increased by at least 5%, and the pesticide consumption is saved by 5% ~ 10%.

"Although biostimulants are the latest concept of global agriculture, humic acid, algal fertilizer, amino acid and other products belonging to biostimulants have been widely used in agricultural production as synergists of new fertilizers or compound fertilizers for a long time and have achieved remarkable results." Ma Chunyan, vice president of the chemical industry branch of the China Council for the promotion of international trade, summarized that "biostimulants have a magical role in helping crops increase production and improve quality."

With an annual growth rate of more than 10%, China may become the largest application market

According to John hren, director of global agricultural business of American Mineral Technology Co., Ltd. (MTI), the sales volume of global biostimulant market in 2014 was US $1.3 billion, with an annual growth rate of more than 12%. The data provided by Chen Li, director of China Fertilizer Information Center, is different from this, but the difference is not significant. She said: "at present, the global market scale of biostimulants is about US $1.4 billion, and it will reach US $2-3 billion by 2020, with an annual growth rate of more than 10%

According to the data predicted by industry experts, biostimulants account for about 9% of the global agrochemical market. The application rate of biostimulants in developing countries is increasing significantly, and the market growth space is huge. According to Chen Li, "at present, the domestic market sales of biostimulants is about 200 million US dollars, accounting for only 2.3% of the agricultural chemical market share. In the next three to four years, the market value of China's biostimulants will reach 400 to 500 million US dollars, and China is likely to become the largest market for the application of biostimulants in the future."

"In recent years, biological stimulants have become a battleground for agricultural and chemical enterprises and even fertilizer enterprises." Biostimulant manufacturer?? Liu Fulin, general manager of Zhengzhou Xinlian Biochemical Technology Co., Ltd., believes that "the continuous expansion of the biostimulant market is inseparable from the development and changes of the agricultural environment. The improvement of consumers' requirements for agricultural product quality, the rapid development of organic agriculture, and the management of the agricultural ecological environment have provided opportunities for the development of biostimulants."

Ma Chunyan also believes that with the improvement of people's living standards, more high-quality products are needed, so organic agriculture is favored by more people. Biological stimulants are regarded as the gospel of organic agriculture because of their organic sources and non-toxic to the environment. "In particular, after the Ministry of Agriculture put forward the action plan for zero growth of fertilizer and pesticide use by 2020 in 2015, biostimulant products have become the favorite of major manufacturers competing for R & D and beach layout."

Shao Jiahua pointed out with worry: chemical fertilizer has made great contributions to China's agricultural development in the past 30 years. However, the problems of soil acidification and nutrition imbalance caused by excessive fertilizer application and unbalanced fertilizer structure are becoming more and more serious. Today, the level of fertilizer application in China's arable land is more than four times the world average level, which not only threatens food safety, pollutes the soil environment, but also causes a huge waste of resources. "Biostimulants can make contributions in improving and repairing soil and promoting the efficiency and value-added of chemical fertilizers."

The products are good and bad, and the industrial regulations and standards need to be improved

At first, small and medium-sized enterprises were mainly engaged in the biostimulant industry. In the past two years, agricultural chemical giants such as BASF, Syngenta and Monsanto have also started to launch relevant products. Some data show that there are about 500 biostimulant manufacturers in the world, and more than 50 biostimulant manufacturers in China, mostly small and medium-sized enterprises.

Ma Chunyan frankly said, "the mechanism of action of active substances in biological stimulants needs further in-depth research. At the same time, the uneven development of biological stimulant products and the lack of industry norms and standards are also practical problems of such products, and are also the direction and task of our industry in the future."

The lack of scientific research on the mechanism of action of biological stimulants has caused difficulties to the registration management and market supervision of biological stimulants. At present, many countries in the world still have no unified standard for biological stimulants, especially in product registration, and the requirements and practices of different countries are different. In China, biostimulants are mostly included in organic water-soluble fertilizers for registration management, rather than as a new category for registration management.

"Biostimulants are developing rapidly, but they are neither fertilizers nor plant protectants. Countries regulate them according to different systems and lack sound and unified laws and regulations." Shang zhaocong said that only by clarifying the definition of biostimulants as soon as possible and establishing a unified and complete registration system can we better regulate biostimulants. He suggested that biostimulants should belong to fertilizer management in China. At the same time, biostimulants must focus on functions and effects, and product promotion and positioning must be different from traditional fertilizers to solve problems that cannot be solved by fertilizers and pesticides. According to his disclosure, through the study of the EU biostimulant standards, China is currently formulating the recommended national standards for biostimulants.

Chen Shaorong, chief bioassay scientist of China biostimulant development alliance, pointed out that the fundamental way to develop and enhance China's biostimulant industry is to develop in the direction of multi-function, apply specific production processes to mix and innovate various biostimulant raw materials or simple processed products, increase product functions, To solve some problems that restrict the high yield and quality of crops and deal with biological and abiotic stresses for growers. "The multi-functional biological stimulant products with high-tech content will certainly become the high-tech in the field of fertilizer in China, and play an increasingly important role in promoting the zero growth of fertilizer and pesticide use."