New Ag International attracts biggest audience yet for 4th Biostimulants World Congress


The Congress, 18-21 November 2019, recorded many milestones, registering its highest number of delegates – just over 1,600 from 72 countries and representing 835 companies and associations.

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The 4th Biostimulants World Congress was held in Barcelona last week. Organised by New Ag International, part of the Life Sciences business of Informa Connect, and in partnership with the European Biostimulants Industry Council (EBIC), this was the fourth edition of Biostimulants World Congress, which was first held in Strasbourg in 2012 and is currently run on a two-year cycle.

Renowned for its scientific and commercial focus, the conference had 53 speakers across the two tracks, plus there were speakers for a new event the Biostimulants Regulatory Forum, which ran during the Congress. There were two areas showing more than 170 posters of research.

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The exhibition was the largest yet at the Biostimulants World Congress, with the area of the stands covering a little over 1,000 square metres. Just over 100 companies from 33 countries were exhibiting at the Congress.

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Chairman of the Scientific Committee, Dr Patrick du Jardin, Professor at Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liège in Belgium, gave his thoughts to New Ag International after the event. “Biostimulants now seem to be a fourth pillar for crop production and sustainability - along with seeds, fertilizers and crop protection products - and we should use them to address issues such as climate mitigation and crop harvest losses.”

Professor Patrick du Jardin and the three other members of the Scientific Committee (Dr Huiming Zhang, Professor Jose Maria Garcia-Mina and Professor Patrick Brown) had more than 300 abstracts from which to select the conference and poster programme. The trends among the abstracts for this conference were presentations regarding phenotype response in controlled conditions and in the open field, diversification of the application of biostimulants and attention to the post-harvest biology and quality of product, as well as more targeted application at certain stages of plant growth.

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Looking ahead to the next Congress, du Jardin offered some expectations of potential topic areas: “Formulation in relation to efficacy and behaviour at contact within the plant largely remains a black box. We don’t know enough about the fate of substances or microorganisms, or what happens with co-formulations, with fertilizers for example. How cells and organisms can be primed for increased stress tolerance, keeping the memory of biostimulants treatments, is another important and more fundamental topic to be addressed. Biostimulants offer unique opportunities to probe these phenomena.”

For the opening reception, delegates went to the cellars of Codorníu, which is reputed to be the oldest family-owned business in Spain dating back to 1551 and home to the invention of cava, the Catalan version of champagne.

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There were 15 gold sponsors for the Congress, many of whom contributed to an article on the biostimulants global market that can be found in the November/December 2019 issue of the New Ag International magazine (found here). The Congress also provided the platform to launch the re-design of New Ag International’s quarterly publication.

“The 4th Biostimulants World Congress has once again shown the importance of this event to the industry. We are already preparing for the 5th event, which will follow the previous cycle and move to the USA in 2021. We will release more details in the near future after looking at ways that we can make this event even better,” says Naomi Brooker, Portfolio Director, Informa Connect.

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