Making Sense of Biologicals: Crop Optimization With Seaweed

Dan Citrus, Research


Sometimes growers must think outside the box to remain sustainable amid high input costs and devastating diseases. That is the situation facing citrus growers who are struggling to remain viable in the era of citrus greening.

What if seaweed could be used to aid in the quality of citrus production? Seaweed is a biostimulant that is part of the biological crop protection products that vegetable and specialty crop producers are increasingly using this year.

Biostimulants like seaweed are valuable components of agricultural production. If used in concert with regular chemical applications that growers are already utilizing, biostimulants can provide additional protection against unwanted pests, diseases, and weeds that impact plants. Citrus growers know they are going to encounter these challenges every year, and Florida’s environment is already conducive to these obstacles occurring. Adding another layer of protection with biostimulants can bring your crop to the next level.


According to the research paper “Seaweed Extracts as Biostimulants of Plant Growth and Development” (Khan, W., Rayirath, U.P., Subramanian, S., et al., 2009) published in the Journal of Plant Growth Regulation, seaweed extracts enhance plants in several ways.

“Numerous studies have revealed a wide range of beneficial effects of seaweed extract applications on plants, such as early seed germination and establishment, improved crop performance and yield, elevated resistance to biotic and abiotic stress, and enhanced postharvest shelf-life of perishable products,” states the research paper. “Seaweed components such as macro and micro-elements nutrients, amino acids, vitamins, cytokinonines, auxins and Abscissic acid (AB-A)-like growth substance affect cellular metabolism in treated plants leading to enhanced growth and crop yield.”

Seaweed extracts’ biochemical composition consists of different minerals, vitamins, oils, fats, acids, antioxidants, and hormones. While the makeup is extremely complex, it has led to success for growers in agricultural uses for …..

Learn more about Making Sense of Biologicals: Crop Optimization With Seaweed on the Citrus Industry website.