27 October 2020
'Insufficient data is a challenge to biostimulant use'
ONE of the main challenges for growers seeking to use biostimulants is a lack of reliable data on a positive response from their application, according to Specialist potato consultant and former Head of NIAB CUF, Dr Mark Stalham.
Trials literature relating to how the data has been taken is often vague and frequently based around potato crops with low yields, rather than the high yields achieved by the best Northern European or US growers, he told Potato Review recently.
In addition, many of the biostimulant trials Mark has seen have had high data errors. Well-conducted trials have a low coefficient of variation, which makes it easier to see any differences, but there is still little convincing evidence showing positive benefits in the field.
Mark has been keenly monitoring the biostimulant trials undertaken over a number of years in the UK and abroad, and whether statistically significant differences in yield and/or quality have been detected.
To read a fuller report, with photos, see the November issue of Potato Review. If you don't already receive a copy, visit our subscription page here.