Agro-ecological transitioning - Drought

The five questions everyone is asking about BEST-a

Active ingredient, application timing and methods, product benefits… BEST-a, a pioneer in water scarcity management for field crops, is not a conventional biostimulant, and its unique mode of action raises questions. Here are the five most frequently asked questions about this innovation… and the answers!

The five questions everyone is asking about BEST-a

#1 Does BEST-a save water?

Applied in the right conditions, BEST-a saves plants between 10 and 20% water. In irrigated systems, it allows you to space out the water turns, with a corresponding reduction in your water bill. However, this is not BEST-a’s main vocation: above all, it buffers water shortages between two water applications, in rain-fed or irrigated systems. BEST-a secures yields. On corn all user feedback points to an average gain of +5.7 q/ha observed in nearly 100 international trials between 2019 and 2022, in heterogeneous soil and climate conditions. Under certain conditions, these yield gains are well above 1T per hectare, generating very significant returns on investment for farmers.

With BEST-a save between 10 and 20% water

#2 In the absence of drought, what’s the benefit of BEST-a?

Be careful not to confuse drought with water stress! BEST-a is a biosolution designed to help crops maintain their performance in the face of a lack of water in the soil… even temporarily. Droughts are intense climatic phenomena during which water disappears for a prolonged period. Depending on the soil’s useful reserves, it can take just a few days for a crop to experience water stress. In the current context of global warming and rainfall spacing, this scenario is intensifying and occurring more and more frequently. Yields can quickly plummet, especially if this stress occurs at a sensitive stage. In this case, BEST-a is the ideal ally for a smooth transition.


#3 Is BEST-a from Elicit Plant a nutrient supplement?

No! BEST-a is a biosolution designed to support field crops during periods of water stress. It is neither a nutrient supplement nor a fertilizer. BEST-a’s unique formulation is based on the action of several phytosterols, molecules of plant origin. Applied to the leaves, these phytosterols trigger a cascade of metabolic reactions in the plant, designed to prepare it for water shortage: roots expand to explore a greater volume of soil to find more water, while some leaf stomata close, reducing the amount of water transpired without impacting photosynthesis. As a result, the roots absorb more water, the above-ground parts lose less and performance is maintained.


#4 When should BEST-a be applied?

Its mode of action makes BEST-a a solution designed to prepare crops for water stress. It is a preventive product, to be applied by foliar means, at the 6-10 leaf stage for optimal effectiveness. A single application is sufficient, as its action is persistent. It remains effective throughout the crop’s growth cycle.


#5 Do you have other products for other crops?

Following the release in 2021 of BEST-a, approved for corn, Elicit Plant has just announced the forthcoming launch of two new products, EliSun-a and EliGrain-a, dedicated to sunflower and straw cereals. By the end of 2023, BEST-a corn and EliSun-a will be available throughout Europe, while EliGrain-a will be distributed from 2024. Outside Europe, these solutions are already being used with excellent results. Thanks to its EliTerra® technology platform, Elicit Plant’s R&D department is also working on other formulations dedicated to various field crops.