2018 US Farm Bill includes plant biostimulant definition

December 21, 2018

USA: The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 was signed into law on December 20, 2018 and provides the first statutory language about plant biostimulants in any federal law.

Also known as the 2018 Farm Bill, the act describes a plant biostimulant as “a substance or micro-organism that, when applied to seeds, plants, or the rhizosphere, stimulates natural processes to enhance or benefit nutrient uptake, nutrient efficiency, tolerance to abiotic stress, or crop quality and yield.” It is broadly in alignment with the proposed European Union definition under discussion.

This is a major step towards the development of a regulatory framework for plant biostimulant products to ensure the efficient and appropriate review, approval, uniform national labeling and availability of these products to agricultural producers.

"This is the beginning of upcoming changes with the involvement of a federal agency, rather than state agencies only," says  Shannon Bryant-Spas, Senior Regulatory Consultant, Team Leader, TSG Consulting. "New federal standards and processes will need to be drafted for these products. Until a regulatory framework is proposed, there is no immediate impact on how these product types are currently registered and approved at the state level."

If you have any questions about the 2018 Farm Bill or biostimulants, please send an email to [email protected].

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