Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title







728 (1-18)


Crop productivity and yields can be greatly diminished by abiotic stress events including drought, extreme temperatures, excess moisture, and saline irrigation water. Multiple stressors occurring simultaneously can further exacerbate the strain on plants. Various types of biostimulants have been shown to mitigate abiotic stress and here, the results of 21 trials on corn, wheat, soybean, and various high-value crops are discussed in the context of the abiotic stress that either occurred naturally or was experimentally induced. Treatments in these trials included stressed and non-stressed plants, as well as either an untreated control or grower standard fertilizer applications alone and in combination with a natural organic matter (NOM)-based biostimulant. While stressed plants suffered compared with non-stressed plants, the stressed plants receiving the NOM-based biostimulant were healthier and larger, as indicated by whole, root, and shoot weights and yields at harvest. Plant response was stronger when stress existed, but the biostimulant also led to healthier plants when no stress occurred. Positive results occurred for 20 of the 21 trials, indicating that biostimulants can effectively mitigate abiotic stress events regardless of the plant species tested or the growing conditions encountered, by increasing sap Brix, enzymatic activity, and nutrient use efficiency.


© 2023 by the authors.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License.

Data Availability

Article states: Data not already included in the manuscript or Supplementary Information are available upon request from the corresponding author.

Original Publication Citation

Sleighter, R. L., Hanson, T., Holden, D., & Richards, K. M. (2023). Abiotic stress mitigation: A case study from 21 trials using a natural organic matter based biostimulant across multiple geographies. Agronomy, 13(3), 1-18, Article 728.


0000-0003-1833-7050 (Sleighter)