Minimize stress - save the harvest

Stress is a set of unspecific changes in the organism that occur under the influence of a factor (stressor).

According to the last research, yield losses due to stress can range from 30% to 100%. One of the causes of stress is the actions of the farmers themselves in relation to the crops. For example, physiologists are aware of the inverse correlation between the concentration of nitrates and sugars in plants. That is, with an increase nitrates in the vegetative mass of plants, the concentration of sugars decreases. Namely, sugars provide the stress resistance of the plant. It is important to remember this when farmers fertilize winter crops with nitrogen in early spring, which is extremely important for the restoration of plants after overwintering. However, the intensification of growth processes, an increase in the nitrogen content in the vegetative mass makes plants more vulnerable to climate stress.

In order to avoid them, progressive agricultural enterprises use a powerful measure - anti-stress preparations and stimulants, applying them prophylactically or after crop damage. Let’s closer look how plants react on the stresses, what types of stress exist and why plants need anti stress therapy during the growing season.

Types of stresses – what do we have

In recent years, the weather often presents us with surprises in the form of winter thaws and the early onset of meteorological spring, contrasting temperatures, drought or excess moisture. These abiotic or climatic factors lead to plant stress and significant crop losses. In addition to climatic, there are also: biotic – that is, the influence of microorganisms, other plants and animals; anthropogenic – these include the pesticide load, tillage and fertilization system; edaphic (soil structure, its physical and chemical properties and water regime). Therefore, shortcomings in agricultural technology or attempts to deal with stress can be a real test for plants.

Figure #1. Types of stresses and crop losses

Plant reacting on the stress – how does it look

Plant stress occurs in 3 stages:

The first stage of stress is alarm reaction, which leads to the synthesis of stress proteins and leads to inhibition of cell division and growth, the appearance of symptoms of initial plant damage.

The second stage is adaptation, at which there is a partial restoration of the initial physiological parameters and structure of the plant. During this period, plant growth stops, color changes.

At the third stage (recovery / depletion), events can develop according to two scenarios: restoration of plant functions or their depletion. In the first case, the vital activity of the plant and its productivity will certainly decrease, because it has spent a lot of energy on adaptation. In the second case, the plant does not have enough resources for recovery, as a result of which energy metabolism is disrupted and irreversible damage to organs and tissues occurs.

If you look at it, stress is a reaction of plants to the action of an unfavorable factor through the mobilization and formation of protective systems.

That is, plants are able to overcome small stresses - in a certain sense; they even contribute to increasing the organism’s resistance and better adaptation to changing environmental conditions. However, significant stress, when the influence of stress factors has passed the threshold value, can lead to their death.

So, if plants does not get any help, crop losses cannot be avoided. Therefore, it is important to prevent the exhaustion phase and focus on preventing stress or preventing its manifestation in the initial stage of stress in a timely and effective manner. For this purpose, there are a number of bio anti-stress products that a farmer can use to preserve the crop.

Figure #2. Stages of plant’s stress

Biological stimulants and anti-stress agents – how can they help plants

A plant biostimulant is any substance or microorganism applied to plants with the aim to enhance nutrition efficiency, abiotic stress tolerance, and/or crop quality traits, regardless of its nutrient content. Biostimulants are chemicals or microorganisms that help enhance the growth of the plant.

Plant biostimulants based on natural materials have received considerable attention by both the scientific community and commercial enterprises especially in the last two and a half decades. Biostimulants offer a potentially novel approach for the regulation/modification of physiological processes in plants to stimulate growth, to mitigate stress-induced limitations, and to increase yield.

By looking at the European market, biostimulants are segmented by chemical origin (natural and biosynthetic biostimulants), active ingredient (humic acid, fulvic acid, amino acids, protein hydrolysates, seaweed extracts, and other active ingredients), application (foliar, soil, and seed applications), crop type (grains and cereals, pulses and oilseeds, commercial crops, fruits and vegetables, and other crop types), and geography[1].

If summarized the benefits of plant stimulants, which main role is managing plant growth and development, they:


  • stimulation of seed germination;
  • development of the root system;
  • regulation of leaf stomata to optimize water exchange, especially during periods of hot weather;
  • the process of pollination;
  • pollen germination;
  • stimulation of maturity.


  • protein synthesis and immune response;
  • chlorophyll synthesis;
  • synthesis of humic acids;
  • synthesis of lignin to strengthen cell walls.


  • chelating agent to improve nutrient absorption;
  • material for the synthesis of hormonal substances;
  • building material for amino acids;
  • osmotic protectant.

Abiotic stresses may be prevented by optimizing plant growth conditions and through the provision of water and nutrients and plant growth regulators (PGRs—auxins, cytokinins, gibberellins, strigolactones, and brassinosteroids, etc).


  • accumulate in the growing parts of plants and contributes nutrients and water to them.
  • stimulate cell division and promote the formation of roots, especially lateral roots.


  • stimulate plant growth and development as well as promotes seed germination.
  • promote bloom, fruit and seed formation.
  • delay leaf senescence.


  • regulate cell division, shoot and root morphogenesis, chloroplast maturation, linear cell growth, formation of adventitious buds, and also participates in the regulation of metabolism.


  • are the building material for cell development and growth and performs many other important functions in plant organisms.
  • promote stress tolerance.
  • participate in the metabolism of the plant.


  • help the plant use its energy more efficiently.
  • assist the plant in the production of chlorophyll, enhance flowering and stimulate plant growth.

During stresses, the growth and development of the plant is inhibited, the absorption of nutrients worsens, and the products of photosynthesis cease to enter the root system. Plants spend large amount of energy on survival and, as a result, with a long-term effect of a stress factor, they have almost no strength to form a yield. Therefore, the use of biological stimulants, in particular, humates, microfertilizers, growth regulators, amino acid complexes, should be the on set or after the end of the stress factor. Afterall, the use of such stimulants:

  • Before the stress factor–provides plant resilience.
  • Simultaneously with the stress factor–reduces stress pressures.
  • Consequences of the stress factor–neutralize the effects of stress.

Figure #3. The global biostimulants market forecast 2021-2028


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