Article • Agronomic Insights, WUC - Insights

The Power of Nature Unlocked: OHM™ Biostimulant by UPL

May 10, 2023
WinField United Canada
OHM Logo

Holly Derksen, UPL Technical Service Specialist

UPL's OHM™ Biostimulant is about to take your crop game to the next level. This highly concentrated seaweed extract from Ascophyllum nodosum is like a secret weapon for plants, enhancing their development and increasing yields in a variety of crops including canola, cereals, pulses and potatoes.

By harnessing the natural benefits of seaweed, OHM Biostimulant is taking strides towards sustainable agriculture and providing a powerful solution for improving both environmental and yield outcomes.

With OHM, plants can handle stress like a pro and improve their nutrient use efficiency.

“By promoting better uptake of these resources, OHM can enhance plant vigor, root and shoot growth and overall health, making them more resilient in the face of environmental stressors,” explains Holly, Technical Service Specialist with UPL.

“Additionally, OHM has shown promise in mitigating heat stress during the flowering stage, helping to maintain the quality of pollen in hot temperatures.”

OHM is a one-of-a-kind biostimulant that stands out from the rest, thanks to its cold press manufacturing process that preserves the beneficial compounds in the seaweed extract. The production process is also done under acidic conditions, which means it is tank-friendly with other crop protection products.

"UPL has run trials with growers in Western and Eastern Canada. Our data set is the strongest in potatoes, with several trials done mostly in Eastern Canada, but we are working on gathering more trial data from Western Canada. We have seen very positive yield responses with an almost 90 per cent-win rate in our potato trials."

OHM has significant benefits in other broadleaf crops, particularly pulses and canola.

"Through our data collection, we can look at specific environmental and stress conditions and pinpoint where the stresses were. We have found that when a stress shows up, that is exactly when you see the big benefits. For example, looking at our pea and canola trials from last year where there was a stress identified, we saw a 10 per cent yield increase in those demos."

Holly emphasized the importance of applying OHM before stress appears.

"The key thing is to apply it before the stress shows up," she says. "Because it is not so much a curative as it is preventative, making the plant healthier and more able to withstand stressful conditions such as hot temperatures or drought."

"The recommended application rate of OHM varies by crop, but it is registered for use on all crops. For pulse crops, we recommend a rate of 400 mL/ac (20 acres per jug) during the fungicide pass. While positive data has been observed at herbicide timing, it has been more consistent at fungicide timing.

"For pea growers doing two fungicide passes, we recommend adding OHM during the first pass and ensuring it is last in the tank. With canola, we recommend a half rate of 200 mL/ac (40 acres per jug) during herbicide timing. If growers are utilizing a two-pass herbicide program, it is preferable to apply OHM with the second pass, ensuring the product is taken up by the canola. If a grower is doing one pass, then OHM can be applied at that time.

"For potatoes, an application rate of 400 mL/ac (20 acres per jug) is suggested and a two-pass system. The first application should be during tuber initiation, typically with a fungicide pass, then a second application 10-14 days later with another fungicide pass," she says.

Biological products have the potential to play important roles in crop production by providing alternative and complementary solutions to plant health and yield challenges.

However, there is still much to learn about where and how to use them for optimal performance. Committed to helping our retail network de-risk the use of biological products, WinField United Canada is working with UPL to understand their biostimulant portfolio and validate best-use practices.

During the 2023 season, UPL’s seaweed extract products will be evaluated at Answer Plot® and in a limited number of field-scale trials. Both experimental avenues will provide insights into canola crop response and allow for the comparison of small-plot results to real-world grower experiences.

“UPL is a global leader in the biostimulant industry, and although it is a newer industry in Canada, it is becoming more mainstream in areas in the world where traditional pesticide regulations are more restrictive," says Holly.

Holly believes that a healthier plant with increased plant vigor will help with crop competition, weed pressure, and disease pressure.

“Biostimulants are not going to ever completely replace traditional crop protection products but we want to make sure that we're covering the spectrum. We're not at a point where we are saying that you should apply less crop protection products but hopefully, over time, we have biological products as an alternative and are making sure that we are looking at a sustainable approach to the future of agriculture.”

In conclusion, think of OHM as a tough-love coach for plants that teaches them how to deal with stress, bulk up, and use their nutrients like a boss. OHM Biostimulant is the superstar player that will guarantee crops reach their full potential in a sustainable way.

Learn more about this heavyweight biostimulant champ and see what it can do for your plants here.

Roots on the left - untreated plants, roots on the right - OHM treated plants. The plants were subjected to drought stress in the greenhouse after the foliar application of OHM.

Field pea trial southern Manitoba 2023. The centre of the field was sprayed with Zolera® FX + OHM. The picture was taken 34 days after application.

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