New biostimulant promises better yields in bulb farming

LISSE, Netherlands: The new biostimulant Good for Greens from Dutch supplier First Tree could help lily bulb farmers increase yield, crop health and bulb quality.

Editor Ellis Langen reported in Dutch trade publication Greenity how independent, evidence-based research from the Dutch knowledge sharing organisation Delphy led to remarkable outcomes.

Biostimulants are a group of sustainable products that can increase overall plant health and crop quality by promoting growth and enhancing environmental (known as abiotic) stress tolerance.

There’s an increasing interest in biostimulants among bulb farmers faced with reduced availability of crop protection products. However, the industry’s overall perception is varied, as most growers are asking for scientific evidence.

As such Delphy conducted an independent, evidence-based trial in the northern province of Drenthe last year, using oriental ‘Merostar’ and OT-hybrid ‘Tabledance’, with scales planted two years ago. Following the deadheading of the crop, a 100-metre flower bed was treated with the biostimulant sold as Good for Greens on 13 and 27 June, and on 25 July and 29 August.

Crop treatments took place under dry weather. One day before and after the procedure, no chemicals were used. The application rate was 114 litres water per one hectare within which six per cent Good for Greens was diluted.

In ‘Merostar’ and ‘Tabledance’, the use of Good for Greens resulted in 12% and eight per cent heavier bulbs, making the product potentially interesting for use on high-value cultivars.

If in the end, bulb farmers do decide to use this product, the outcome will mainly depend on its price. Overall, biostimulants tend to be relatively expensive. According to First Tree, Good for Greens currently costs 1,250/ha and this requires 33 litres of product.

Meanwhile, with a look at further applications, there have been promising results when using this product on callas, dahlias and hyacinth.

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