MSOB: Making Informed Choices About Biological Approaches

Brian German Industry, Making Sense of Biologicals

biological approaches - making sense of biologicals

Having a clear understanding of how biologicals and biostimulants function helps maximize the efficacy of biological approaches. Negative experiences with biological products can sometimes be attributed to a lack of knowledge of how best to implement them or misconceptions as to what they can achieve. As the biologics field continues to expand with more products coming into the marketplace, understanding their use and value becomes even more critical.

“What we’ve discovered in our work with growers is that they lump biologicals/biostimulants all into one category,” said Fred Below, Professor of Crop Physiology in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois. “This is not a one-size-fits-all. They are very different. They are very different in their mode of actions and they’re also very different in how you can or need to apply them for the greatest efficacy.”

Below has been a part of a research project to more clearly classify biologics to help growers make more informed decisions. Defining what type of production issue a grower is specifically trying to address can help to refine a biological approach. Additionally, as the types of available biological products can vary widely, management practices and weather conditions can create variation in efficacy. A greater understanding of what a biological product is intended to do can help manage expectations and allow growers to get the full value of its use.

“We have to ask the grower what their management practices are; what are their problems, what would they like to improve?” Below noted. “Then hopefully we can say, ‘okay, here’s a category, and a number of products that you might be able to choose from to try and address that issue.’”

Listen to the full episode with Fred Below.

‘Making Sense of Biologicals’ is a series from AgNet West that dives into various topics with unbiased experts in the field of biologics to help the industry better understand the product category.

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