Effect of Biostimulants on Wheat
The Penergetic biostimulant treatment improved plant density in wheat compared to the ATP biostimulant treatment, and check treatments, at the Forestburg site. Additionally, Alpine led to more vigorous wheat at the Forestburg site (Table 4a).
Wheat yield showed improvement with treatments at Forestburg and Lethbridge, despite aboveground and root biomass showing no significant difference compared to the check treatment. In Forestburg, yield increased by approximately 13% with the Stoller treatment, and in Lethbridge yield increased approximately 11% with the Alpine treatment. Furthermore, Alpine improved the protein content when compared to the advanced check at Forestburg (Table 4b).
On the contrary, the other sites did not show a statistically significant difference between treatments (Table 5a and 6a).
Note: there was no statistical increase in yield compared to the advanced check treatment consisting of seed treatment, plant growth regulators, fungicide applications, and traditional fertilizer inputs.
The ATP biostimulant treatment showed a marginally lower NDVI rating in July, compared to Alpine, Stollar, and advanced check treatments at our Lethbridge site. However, there was otherwise no difference of NDVI, FGCC, and height between treatments.
Biostimulant treatments did not affect TKW, except for an increase in the ATP treatment when compared to Alpine treatments in Lethbridge.
Effect of Biostimulants on Canola
Canola plant density did not increase with biostimulant treatments at any location. Vigor and NDVI ratings showed a similar lack of improvement. In Forestburg, vigor ratings were lower for Penergetic compared to the check treatment (Table 7a). Meanwhile, in Lethbridge, plant density was lower for Alpine biostimulant treatments compared to our check treatment (Table 9a). However, ATP and Alpine treatments both showed higher NDVI ratings compared to the advanced check treatment in Lethbridge.
Biostimulant treatments were shown to affect the canopy closure of canola, however this effect was inconsistent across the sites. For instance, canopy height was lower for the Penergetic treatment at Falher (Table 8a) and was higher for the Stoller treatment at Lethbridge (Table 9a).
Additionally, aboveground and root biomass were the only crop parameters to demonstrate a consistent effect of biostimulant treatments. Compared to the check, aboveground biomass was higher for all Alpine treatments (Table 7b – 9b) while ATP and Penergetic treatments showed the same response, only at Forestburg (Table 7b).
At out Falher site, aboveground biomass was lower compared to the check treatments for the Penergetic biostimulant treatment (Table 8b).
Root biomass was higher for Alpine treatments, compared to the Stoller treatment at Forestburg, the Penergetic treatment at Falher, and the check treatment in Lethbridge (Tables 7b, 8b, and 9c). Furthermore, Penergetic treatments provided inconsistent results with lower root biomass at Falher but higher root biomass at Lethbridge when compared to other treatments (Tables 8b and 9b).
Biostimulants treatments did not affect canola yield and yield quality parameters including TKW and oil content at any site.
Effect of Biostimulants on Peas
Plant density did not show statistically significant differences for different treatments at Forestburg (Table 10a) nor at Falher (Table 11a). However, Alpine biostimulant treatments showed a higher plant density compared to Penergetic, Stoller, Advanced check, and check treatments at the Lethbridge site (Table 12a). Additionally, Alpine treatments led to more vigorous plants compared to the advanced check treatment at Lethbridge (Table 12a). Other sites did not show statistically significant differences between treatments.
NDVI ratings did not show differences between treatments at any site. Canopy covering did not show any difference between biostimulant treatments at Forestburg and Falher (Tables 10a and 11a) but was lower for the Penergetic and Stoller treatments, compared to the advanced check treatment at Lethbridge (Table 12a).
Aboveground biomass was higher for the Alpine treatment compared to Penergetic at Forestburg but did not show difference between treatments at other sites. Meanwhile, root biomass was lower for Stoller compared to Alpine, ATP, and advanced check treatments at Forestburg (Table 10b). This variation was not observed between treatments at other locations.
At all of our locations, biostimulant treatments were observed to impact pea yield. At Forestburg, Alpine and Penergetic treatments led to 23 and 21%, respectively, compared to check treatment (Table 10b). At Falher, Alpine, ATP, and Penergetic treatments led to 22, 20, and 14% increase in yield, respectively (Table 11b). At both of these sites, biostimulant treatments led to a statistically significant increase in pea yield compared to the advanced check treatment which consisted of supplemental application of seed treatment, PGR, and fungicides.
At Lethbridge, the Alpine treatment led to an increase in pea yield by 13% compared to the check treatment but the difference in yield was not significant compared to the check treatment (Table 12b). Additionally, the advanced check treatment led to an increase in pea yield by 16% compared to the traditional check at Lethbridge.
Overall, biostimulant treatments also impacted yield quality metrics like TKW and protein content, albeit not to the same amount. At Forestburg, the Alpine treatment increased TKW compared to check treatment by approximately 3% (Table 10b). Compared to other treatments, kernel weight was higher for Alpine at Falher and for Stoller at Lethbridge (Tables 11b and 12b). Protein content was marginally higher for the ATP treatment compared to Stoller at Falher and Penergetic treatment compared to Alpine, ATP, and check treatments at Lethbridge (Tables 11b and 12b).