“When BioCat+ is added to irrigation, results have shown that it acts as a broad-spectrum biostimulant that enhances root growth and resistance to diseases, also leading to a reduction in the use of herbicides and insecticides while improving yield,” says Henry Madders, the Managing Director at Citadel Environmental Solutions.
Citadel Environmental Solutions’ line of BioCat products are formulations of a large number of bacterial, archaeal, fungal, and viral species, which have been demonstrated to improve crop health when applied to the rhizosphere and foliage.
According to the company’s website, the use of BioCat+ on red table grapes increased the yield from 3700 to 6500 boxes. With tunnel-grown tomatoes, the yield increased by 17%, and the shelf life was significantly extended in the BioCat+ treatment group. In cucumber and lettuce trials, the incidence of fungal and bacterial diseases was significantly reduced with the use of BioCat+.
“BioCat+ is an organic product that combines a mixture of land and marine phages that bring the rhizosphere back into balance,” says Henry. “With its formulation of beneficial microorganisms, BioCat+ stabilizes the good bacteria in the root zone, improving their ability to absorb and destroy harmful bacteria.”
A multipurpose solution in horticulture
Citadel Environmental Solutions initially sold its BioCat+ line as a cleaning solution, as it is already used in this capacity in water treatment and animal agriculture applications. But as Henry explains, they quickly saw benefits in horticulture and soon had it approved as an organic product that can improve yields while also cleaning irrigation lines.
“We used BioCat+ instead of peroxides to keep irrigation systems clean and prevent blockages, but we saw benefits for growing, both in open field and greenhouse operations,” explains Henry.
Benefits extend to floriculture and cannabis, studies suggest
Citadel Environmental Solutions has also tested its products on flowers and reported similar benefits, with the flowers showing less disease, improved rooting, and increased shelf life. Similarly, BioCat+ has been tested on recreational and medical cannabis in greenhouses in the western USA, with BioCat-treated plants routinely producing 20% higher yield and increased THC content. Similar results were reported in South African field trials.
Strong collaboration with the UK’s John Innes Centre
Citadel Environmental Solutions has been conducting research with the John Innes Centre in the UK. The study, which is funded by the UK government, has delved into the diversity of bacteriophages and their impacts on crop health and resistance to pests and diseases.
Backed by this research and client case studies, Citadel Environmental Solutions is confident that its BioCat+ products for horticulture contribute to enhanced root growth, improved establishment, stimulated plant growth, increased yield and quality, reduced plant stress, and increased shelf life.