Agro-ecological transitioning - Drought Stress

Testimonial: “Best-a has helped us to generate an extra 500 to 530 euros per hectare”

Winners of a competition organized by Elicit Plant in 2022, Stéphanie and Thomas Azéma were offered the chance to test Best-a on 50 hectares of corn. The yield was an amazing 14,990 kg! “From an economic point of view, Best-a has meant an extra 500 to 530 euros per hectare. We’ve been able to obtain yields that we hadn’t achieved in a decade.”

Mrs Azema farmer and Best-a user

Stéphanie Azéma and her son, Thomas, grow corn and cereals on 240 hectares in the south-west of France, and discovered Best-a at the Innov-Agri show in 2022. That year, the show was held close to their home in the Haute-Garonne department. They were curious to learn more about the protective action of phytosterols in cases of water stress. So, they went to meet the Elicit Plant team, and agreed to take part in the competition. Surprise, surprise: their names were drawn and they won first prize!

“We set up a trial with Elicit Plant,” explains Stéphanie Azéma. Supported by the company’s teams from start to finish, they planted two late corn varieties on 50 hectares, on which
Best-a was applied. An 8-hectare control plot was also sown and farmed in the same way, to be able to compare results.


A uniform plot and no ‘tip back’

While the mother-and-son team accepted the trial without really believing it would work, “We saw incredible results just a few months later,” testifies Stéphanie’s son Thomas.

Both were initially surprised by the uniform nature of the plot protected by the phytosterol-based solution. Thomas inspected the plants regularly and saw that the ears of corn were well formed with no ‘tip back’, a phenomenon characteristic of non-fertilization, kernel abortion or poor kernel fill at the tip of the ear.

Tip back is often linked to one or more climatic incidents at key stages of corn growth. However, at the Azémas’ farm, nothing of the sort occurred. On the 50 hectares treated, the plants clearly did not suffer from water stress.


A harvest of 14,990 kilograms on the plot treated with Best-a

“We were quite impatient to calculate plot yields, comparing the treated and untreated parts,” says Stéphanie with a smile. Their expectations were confirmed, as the results were exceptional. “We’ve been able to obtain yields that we hadn’t achieved in a decade!”

14,990 kilograms were harvested from the Best-a treated plot, compared with 12,000 kilograms from the control area. “From an economic point of view, it has meant an extra 500 to 530 euros per hectare,” adds Stéphanie.

The duo say they are ready to repeat the experiment on corn, but also on other crops. Thomas, whose aim is to take over a farm one day, says he will incorporate Elicit Plant phytosterols into his crop itineraries. “In the future, I’ll use this natural product to protect against climate hazards,” the young man testifies with enthusiasm.