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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1148: II World Congress on the Use of Biostimulants in Agriculture

Making sense of biostimulants: a multistakeholder approach to developing a user's manual

Authors:   K. Sukalac, J. Thibierge
Keywords:   value indicators, value chain, efficacy, integrated crop management, site-specific management, conditions of validity, farmer recommendations
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1148.16
Abstract:
Helping growers understand why and how to use biostimulants is complex given the broad range of products that are included and the many contextual factors that influence their performance. To help bring clarity to the situation, the industry and its key stakeholders - from researchers through distributors and crop advisors down to farmers - are pooling their efforts to identify the key sticking points and to develop practical guidelines for conducting biostimulant trials and for integrating biostimulants into production systems. This initiative is being developed through a participative research framework that goes beyond purely technical issues to highlight economic, institutional, political and social constraints that need to be addressed to effect desired changes. By involving key stakeholders in defining research questions and data gathering, this approach to science as a social process helps to transform technical knowledge into real-world solutions by considering the change process and not just information transfer. This “engaged scholarship” model is an iterative process that differs from the linear experimental process familiar to many in the natural sciences. This presentation explains the process by which the first guidelines are emerging and presents their main elements.

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