Among biologicals, biostimulants are one of the most popular segments. In fact, according to the 2023 Biologicals Survey conducted by CropLife magazine earlier this year, 73% of ag retailers are currently selling at least some products that are classified as biostimulants. And, says Mark Stutsman, COO at Eldon C. Stutsman, an ag retailer based in Hills, IA, the level of activity in this segment is very robust.
“I can tell you that I have two to three salespeople representing new biostimulants products come into my office every single week,” says Stutsman. “That makes it very hard to figure out which ones might be worth carrying and which ones are not.”
Apparently, many other ag retailers share this view. And, according to The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), the organization has decided to do something to help.
On June 26, TFI officially announced that it was introducing the Certified Biostimulants Program. This is a voluntary evidence-based program that will award biostimulant companies a label indicating that their products meet industry recognized standards for efficacy, safety, and composition. The program is based on the U.S. Biostimulant Industry Guidelines.
According to Ed Thomas, Vice President of Government Affairs at TFI, the program is meant to help ag retailers and growers know that biostimulant manufacturers have followed scientific protocols before bringing their products to market.
“This is built around the need of ag retailers for TFI to step up to the plate and vet these products,” said Thomas at the program launch announcement in St. Louis, MO. “We want to help ag retailers with the onslaught of biostimulant products coming across their desks every year and get these down to a more manageable level.”
TFI will begin accepting applications for the Certified Biostimulants Program over the next few weeks, added Thomas. The initial cost for a product review will be $1,800, with a $750 renewal fee applied at the two-year mark. Products that are approved will be provided a label for companies to use on their biostimulant products.