The BioPreferred Program is a USDA-led initiative that aims to assist in the development and expansion of markets for biobased products. BioBased products are derived from plants and other renewable resources. There is a standard in place overseen by the USDA for the measurement of ingredients in products that are being made responsibly by forward thinking companies. The benefits are huge for consumers, the environment and companies alike, riding the wave of the future.


Original CHO Green Formula BioPreferredSo you come across a website that has some great information on products you want to research. While scrolling through the site, you notice a certification label “USDA Certified BioBased Product” with the percentage listed. You may see this as just another pretty icon or you may sit up straight and take notice, wondering, “Just what does this mean?”

What are BioBased products
BioBased Products are derived from plants and other renewable agricultural, marine, and forestry materials. BioBased products provide an alternative to conventional petroleum derived products. These include a wide range of offerings such as lubricants, detergents, inks, fertilizers, and bioplastics.(1)

The Idea Behind BioBased Content
BioBased content is measured by a standard test method (ASTM D6866).  A ratio of a product’s new organic carbon to total organic carbon, as measured by this test method and BioBased content is expressed as a percentage. New organic carbon is derived from plants and other renewable agricultural materials. Total organic carbon consists of new organic carbon and old organic carbon (which originates from petroleum). The presence of new organic carbon is an important attribute in a product’s sustainability footprint.(1)

Benefits of Biobased Products
When you purchase a BioBased product such as SmartGrow System’s Cho Plant Food, you are helping many of the farmers across America who grow corn, soybeans, and other resources used by companies in the BioBased industry. For example, ethanol is currently one of the leading alternative fuel sources in the U.S. A majority of these ethanol plants are owned by a collective of farms across the midwest.(1)

Another key benefit of BioBased products is that they are not petroleum-based and instead contain organically derived compounds. This way you are minimizing harm to the environment in terms of biodegrability, toxicity, and pollution.(2) BioBased products replace the use of around 300 million gallons of petroleum per year in the U.S. This is the equivalent of taking 200,000 cars off the road.(1)

Why Do We Care?
You may have seen the BioBased label on our website on the Original CHO™ Plant Food pages. How does being a BioBased product benefit a company like Smart Grow Systems?

As you, like more and more consumers, consider purchasing a product with sustainable attributes, the USDA wants to make it easy for consumers to identify BioBased products. The USDA Certified BioBased Product label, proudly displayed on a Smart Grow Systems product is designed to inform consumers about the BioBased content of the product.(1)

Product Preview: ORIGINAL CHO is a USDA BioPreferred family of products that condition and adjust the pH of soils and water for clones and plants. ORIGINAL CHO is an acidic solution with a low pH which can be used to reduce the pH of water, growing media and nutrients prior to application. Each formulation is specific to a stage of your grow cycle.




Read More:
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

1. FACT SHEET: Overview of USDA’s BioPreferred Program

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

USDA BioPreferred FAQs

2. Wikipedia BioBased product

Donna Ebeling About Donna Ebeling
Gardening had always been my passion, until I learned about organic gardening. That's a whole new ballgame. So when I was asked to write for this blog, I jumped at the opportunity to research, to learn more about organic gardening and to write about that and other plant-related topics. Thank you for being here, I hope you enjoy these articles at least half as much as I do writing them!