Potato Review

22 POTATO REVIEW MAY/JUNE 2020 BIOSTIMULANTS SIMON FOX Simon is a professional soil scientist and agronomist specialising in crop nutrition whose career as a research scientist and soils agronomy consultant spans more than 30 years. He founded Emerald Research Limited (ERL - formerly Emerald Crop Science and has worked on research projects with institutions including Bangor, Aberystwyth, Lisboa & UTAD (Portugal), CATE, Vegenov, James Hutton Institute, Harper Adams and Newcastle University, alongside leading UK growers of vegetable and fruit crops. rough these projects ERL is developing and trialling biostimulant/biopesticide compounds with rapid screening, glasshouse and eld trials. He provides advisory services in the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, E.U., Africa and the Middle East, where he has also developed and implemented commercial soils and crop research and advisory facilities. ANDREW GOUGH Andrew originates from Southern Africa where he farmed and worked extensively as an agronomist before moving to the UK and then to France where he is based now. In Africa Andrew held positions as a horticulturist and head agronomist for Paprika Zimbabwe, chief agronomist for Paprika International (where the work involved agronomic advice in international environments) and he gained a wealth of experience as a farmer in his native home of Zimbabwe. In the UK he has run his own advisory and consultancy services and worked as an agronomist for one of the large distributors. He particularly specialised in vegetable and salad cropping in the North West of England and dealt with many of the region’s large growers. used commercially. Likewise, there are tens of thousands of biochemicals identi ed with biostimulant activity. Again a few dozen of these are currently used in commercial products. “Biostimulants are extracted, puri ed or derived from sustainable or natural waste products. Used as part of nutritionally balanced ‘best practice’ husbandry, biostimulants can speed germination, improve rooting, crop emergence and vigour, photosynthetic e ciency, owering, fruiting, resistance to abiotic stresses (heat, drought, cold, wet, salinity etc.) and, by improving crop health, reduce vulnerability to pests and diseases. ey are proven to up and down regulate genes important to regulating the behaviour, health and performance of crops,” he said. “ e picture is changing in the UK through industry/academia collaboration through initiatives like Innovate UK and EU Interreg, of which Emerald Research is a very active participant in several such programmes.” Limited toolbox will lead to increased use Technical Manager from Lallemand Plant Care (LPC), Andrew Gough, believes bene cial microbes and microbial biostimulants will become increasingly employed by UK growers, as they look for alternative ways to boost yields and quality with a more limited ‘toolbox’. Lallemand Plant Care researches, develops, manufactures and supplies yeast, bacteria, fungi and microbe derivatives for a number of diverse specialty end-uses for the UK and globally. “The potential store of biostimulants in nature is enormous and only the very surface has been scratched.” Simon Fox, Emerald Research Biostimulants can speed up flowering and facilitate other areas of the growth cycle. Photo: Gary Naylor

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy Mzg1Mw==