Biopesticides and biostimulants are both categories of biological products.
“Biopesticides are reduced risk pesticides that are naturally derived or synthetic equivalents of natural materials such as animals, plants, bacteria, fungi and certain minerals that generally pose little risk to humans or the environment,” according to Keith Jones, executive director of the Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA).
According to BPIA, biopesticides:
- Allow organic producers to control pests while maintaining certified organic status
- Provide greater flexibility at harvest due to minimal re-entry or pre-harvest intervals
- Fewer personal protective equipment pieces are required for ag workers
- Effective resistance management tool because of their alternate, and often multiple, modes of action
- Can be used as a residue management tool
“[A] biostimulant is a substance or substances and/or microorganism whose function when applied to seeds, plants or the rhizosphere is to stimulate natural processes to benefit nutrient uptake, efficiency, tolerance to abiotic stress and crop quality or yield,” Jones says.
Biostimulants provide options for farmers:
- Enhanced plant growth and development
- Improved efficiency of nutrients by better uptake or reduced losses
- Act as soil amendments to improve soil structure, function or performance to enhance plant response
Each of these categories has different regulatory requirements and farm bill dollars will help ensure they are accurately defined and tested before product launch.