Agro-ecological transitioning - Drought Stress

Testimonial : Volodymyr Yakovenko successfully trials Best-a corn in Ukraine

Elicit Plant is firmly established in Ukraine, a country where more and more farmers are looking at ways to counter the effects of global warming. Volodymyr Yakovenko, a grain farmer in the Vinnytsia region, tested Best-a on 10 hectares of corn. The results were an extra 800 kg to 900 kg of corn per hectare. Even though the current conflict is disrupting the markets, the Ukrainian farmer believes there is bound to be an economic gain.

See Volodymyr’s testimonial on video

Even in times of war, Ukraine is still a major producer of straw cereals, corn, sunflower and rapeseed. While the conflict with Russia is currently disrupting markets, this vast continental territory is also suffering from another evil: climate change. A farmer in the Vinnytsia region, south-east of Kiev, Volodymyr Yakovenko bears witness to the steady decline in rainfall.

“Our company has been working on these lands for more than 20 years.” Usually, during the corn season, they get between 300 mm and 380 mm of rainfall. “In our area, this is considered satisfactory. But for the last ten years, we have been observing a lack of soil moisture due to the fact that there is little precipitation, and every year it becomes drier and drier.”


Larger spikes with more rows and more grains per row

Volodymyr Yakovenko has a vast farm covering 1,500 hectares, mainly planted with corn, cereals, rapeseed and sunflower. Despite good soil quality, drought is impacting yields, and Volodymyr Yakovenko is actively looking for a solution to limit the effects of water stress and secure his yields. On the advice of his distributor, the cereal grower tested Best-a corn for the first time in 2023. The product was applied to 10 hectares.

“We experimented with Best-a corn on a plot with both traditional tillage and no-till, and got interesting results. On the plots treated with Best-a, the spikes were larger, the spikes had more rows and more grains in a row.” The lowest leaves were also much greener than those of the untreated corn.


Even better results with no-till

These observations are typical of the effect of phytosterols, the active ingredient in Best-a. By means of simple foliar application, these natural molecules enable plants to make physiological changes to help them adapt better to water stress. The crop’s vegetative mass is maintained and yield components are preserved during all the important stages of the growth cycle (emergence, flowering, fertilization, kernel fill).

In terms of harvest performance, yields were higher on the 10-hectare plot where Best-a had been applied. “On the treated plot, we obtained a yield of 11.2 metric tons per hectare, and on the untreated plot, we obtained 10.4 metric tons per hectare.” Remarkably, on the no-till section the results were even better, with an extra 100 kg in yield.

In France, Brazil, the United States and the Ukraine, the results demonstrated by Best-a are undeniable. Water consumption is reduced by 10% to 20%, and an average increase of 570 kg per hectare in yield observed over 100 trials. This average conceals veritable exploits of up to an extra 2 metric tons per hectare. To illustrate, at the end of the last two Innov-Agri open-air agricultural shows, post-harvest performance measured on the trial presented by Elicit Plant totaled an extra 2,180 kg per hectare in 2022, and an extra 1,540 kg per hectare in 2023!


Phytosterols, effective and easy to use

Because of the war, Volodymyr Yakovenko has not yet sold his harvest. “We cannot yet estimate how profitable it is financially,” Volodymyr continues, but he does think there is bound to be a gain, even at current prices. In any case, Volodymyr states that he is satisfied with the results so far and appreciates how easy it is to use the product. “We plan to use this product next year, and there are some new products that we would also like to try.”

EliSun-a (for sunflowers) and EliGrain-a (for spring barley) are both registered in Ukraine. Both have demonstrated exceptional performance, with gains of up to 10% whatever the soil and climate conditions.