Changes to the European Union’s Fertilising Products Regulation mean manufacturers of biostimulants will need to prove that a product has the effects that are claimed on the label if they want to place their products on the single market.
The latest changes aim to harmonise definitions and quality standards for all types of fertilising material including mineral, organic, soil improvers and growing matters for the first time.
Under the new ruling, which comes into effect in July 2022, biostimulants will be broken down into their active categories – nutrient use efﬁciency, tolerance to abiotic stress, crop quality traits or availability of conﬁned nutrients in the soil and rhizosphere.
Dr Syed Shah, agronomist and researcher at NIAB, welcomes the change. He says: “The lack of quality parameters in biostimulants means growers cannot be sure of the active ingredients included in each product.
“Companies are producing these biostimulants, but how do you ensure that what they are claiming is in there? In fungicides you know the exact amount of each active ingredient and it is very easy to verify. But for biostimulants they will say there are 14 amino acids, but there was no quality check to ensure this, until now.
“The new rules mean if a manufacturer is claiming a product improves nutrient use efficiency, for example, they will have to produce data from field or glasshouse conditions to support that claim.”