First Biostimulant Certified Under TFI Program

Arlington, VA – The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) announced today that its newly launched Certified Biostimulant program has awarded the first certification for a biostimulant product.

“We are pleased to announce that AgroLiquid’s C-Tech biostimulant product has gone through the necessary steps to be recognized as a Certified Biostimulant by TFI,” said TFI president and CEO Corey Rosenbusch. “Upon thorough review of their data, research, and methodology, we have confirmed their adherence to industry-established standards, ensuring that among other criteria, proper experimental protocols were followed during efficacy testing.”

TFI’s Certified Biostimulant initiative aligns with the United States Biostimulant Industry Guidelines, which set forth criteria for comprehensive documentation supporting efficacy testing methods, composition, and safety measures. Upon certification, a product is granted a distinctive label, signifying to agricultural retailers and consumers that it has undergone the necessary steps to meet the outlined standards in the guidelines.

“Biostimulants are a relatively new innovation in agriculture that have tremendous potential to enhance the existing environmental stewardship of growers and compliment 4R fertilizer practices,” Rosenbusch explained. “But in countless conversations with ag retailers, what kept coming up was the lack of a standard when assessing the new products and deciding which products to stock and recommend to their grower customers. The Certified Biostimulant program was created to provide that standard because we want to get them into the hands of more growers, and we want both the ag retailers and growers to have confidence when choosing which product they use.”

Plant biostimulants can potentially play a crucial role in sustainable agriculture by promoting nutrient uptake, stress tolerance, and overall plant vigor. Biostimulants have also been proven to provide such environmental benefits such as enhanced carbon sequestration and reduced nutrient leaching to ground and surface water.

“When we talk nutrient management, we are talking about minimizing losses to the environment, water quality, air quality, soil health, and all the other things important to the conservation and environmental communities. Biostimulants support environmental stewardship by improving the efficiencies of fertilizer application and soil health while also increasing crop yields,” Rosenbusch concluded. “We are proud to bring consumer confidence to the marketplace through our certification program and look forward to certifying more biostimulant products in the future that help to ensure our dinner tables are full and the environment is being protected.”


The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) is the leading voice of the nation’s fertilizer industry. Tracing its roots back to 1883, TFI’s membership includes fertilizer producers, wholesalers, retailers and trading firms. TFI’s full-time staff, based in Washington, D.C., serves its members through legislative, educational, technical, economic information and public communication programs. Find more information about TFI online at and follow us on Twitter at @Fertilizer_Inst. Learn more about TFI’s nutrient stewardship initiatives at and on Twitter at @4rnutrients.

Potential Growth for Biostimulants

Biostimulants are growing in popularity in the agronomic market as innovative new products to optimize crop production and quality. Biostimulants, by definition, are substances or microorganisms that promote plant growth, nutrient uptake, crop quality or yield, and/or stress tolerance. Interest in biostimulant products has increased, especially in regards to sustainable agriculture as they may improve nutrient use efficiency.

Biostimulants fit into the 4R nutrient stewardship framework with their contribution to nutrient use efficiency. Biostimulants can improve this nutrient efficiency with two major mechanisms: 1) by improving nutrient capture through nutrient availability or larger root systems, or 2) by improving the plant’s ability to metabolize nutrients and convert nutrients to increased yields.

Numerous types of biostimulants are available for use in agriculture. The categories recognized by the industry include live microbials, seaweed extracts, humic or fulvic acids, free amino acids and peptides, and purified molecules.

Live microbials include both inoculants that can build nodules on the root (e.g., the commonly used rhizobium in soybean), free-living N-fixing bacteria, and fungi (e.g., mycorrhizae) to extend the root system. Living microbials are designed to enhance nutrient uptake and availability to the plant and are also called biologicals, as they are living organisms (as the definition of biology infers living).

Seaweed extracts contain various natural compounds that can lead to better root growth and nutrient absorption. Humic acids, fulvic acids, and humates are obtained from decomposed organic matter and can improve soil structure, fertility, and plant health. The humics, fulvics, and humates are also called complex carbon-based products as they are derived from organics, and organic itself means the substance contains carbon. The amino acids and protein hydrolysates are the building blocks of proteins in organisms and have been shown to help improve N assimilation and utilization in the plant. The last category, the purified molecules, comes from minerals, plants, animals, and microbes, and are reported to help with stress responses in the plant. When a plant is stressed, its response is to shut down growth. Biostimulants are designed to help plants under stress mitigate some of those plant responses and encourage growth.

Each of the biostimulants has specific benefits for plants and soil. It is crucial to select the appropriate biostimulant to target higher crop yields, better plant nutrition, improved soil fertility, or potentially reduce the need for inputs such as water and fertilizer.

Biostimulants have the potential to improve farming in several ways:

Crop performance: By providing plants with essential nutrients, biostimulants can help improve plant performance, potentially resulting in better yields and higher-quality produce. Also, biostimulants can help plants cope with environmental stress such as flooding, drought, and severe temperatures.

Optimizing inputs:  Some biostimulants can allow plants to better utilize nutrient inputs such as fertilizer. These biostimulants can increase nutrient uptake or optimize fertilizer use by the plant. In turn, this can reduce off-farm nutrient loss to waterways and to the atmosphere as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Promoting sustainability: Biostimulants are primarily derived from natural sources and are usually biodegradable, making them a sustainable option. Farmers can potentially get the maximum advantages of inputs such as fertilizer by using biostimulants. In addition to optimizing inputs, biostimulants can also help to maintain soil biodiversity, which is critical for sustainable and regenerative agriculture. Stimulated root growth from biostimulants can help increase underground biomass, and may lead to greater carbon sequestration and mitigating of greenhouse gases.

Increasing profitability: By improving the efficiency of nutrient uptake by plants and allowing them to make better use of the nutrients already present in the soil, biostimulants may improve profits for farmers. Choosing the right biostimulant for the farmers’ operation can lead to yield gains and overall profit increases.

Biostimulants have promise to be highly valuable agricultural products and can have a significant impact on farming practices. As farmers continue to look for more sustainable and efficient ways to produce crops, biostimulants are emerging as an promising tool. Overall, biostimulants have the potential to improve farming by providing a way to assist crop performance and optimize inputs, which helps promote sustainable farming practices while increasing profitability. We encourage state and federal regulators and legislators to create a streamlined and efficient path to market for these products. Doing so will give growers better access to these products to provide the food, fuel, and fiber needed to support a growing world.