Biostimulant ‘co-partner’ gets nod from EU

Root biostimulant specialist Legume Technology has confirmed the EU registration of its MOLYFiX inoculant ‘co-partner’.

Recently reformulated, MOLYFiX is designed to provide molybdenum to the germinating, inoculated seed. Molybdenum is an essential component of nitrogenase, the enzyme used by rhizobacteria to convert atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia during biological nitrogen fixation.

“More and more growers are switched on to the importance of a well-thought through rhizobial inoculation strategy when growing legumes such as soybeans, peas and fava beans,” says Dr Mike Thomas, Legume Technology’s Head of R&D and Regulatory Affairs.

“High-quality modern inoculants have dispelled growers’ concerns about the effectiveness of these products, thanks to improvements in rhizobacterial strain selection, manufacture and packaging,” he explains.

“Growers are now more confident about reducing their pre-drilling applications of mineral nitrogen in crops such as soybeans. That’s great news given the EU’s expectation, under the Farm to Fork strategy, to reduce nutrient losses by 50% before 2030,” he points out, “but underlines the need for co-partners like MOLYFiX that improve inoculant performance.

An application of MOLYFiX serves a dual purpose, explains Dr Thomas. It provides molybdenum to the rhizobacteria and phosphate to the establishing crop during the first phases of nodule growth. Together, this helps plants to maximise their nitrogen-use efficiency. Dr Thomas cites the independent trials that have shown how MOLYFiX can increase soybean yield by around 12 per cent when used in conjunction with the company’s LIQUIFiX inoculant, containing Rhizobium.

The approval of the reformulated product is a milestone for Legume Technology, he says. “As with many other trace elements, there can be too much of a good thing: many trace elements are classed as ‘heavy metals’.

“Crops need only very small amounts, yet you have the challenge of applying the product in sufficient quantities to enable uptake, without posing any risk of toxicity to crop, the inoculant bacteria, and the soil.

“The bio-active chemistry we’ve deployed in MOLYFiX has allowed us to lower the concentrations of both molybdenum and soluble phosphate, while maintaining the product’s efficacy in the field.”

Approval under Regulation 2019/1009 permits application of the CE mark to the product label, assuring distributors and growers that the product is compliant with EU standards and has undergone rigorous testing.

“The EU remains an important market for Legume Technology, so the CE mark is another ‘tick in the box’ for growers making product selection decisions. But its regulations are well-respected around the world, so the CE mark is also helpful in our non-EU markets such as North America and Africa,” Dr Thomas notes.

Find out more about MOLYFiX:

MOLYFiX Product Page