The biologicals market is not the last frontier in agricultural development, but it certainly has proven to to be the next frontier, with the world market now worth an estimated $1 billion and growing an estimated 10% to 15% annually. Novozymes, the maker of several biofertility and biocontrol crop protection products, is the latest company to make a major investment in biological with its acquisition of Texas-based Natural Industries Inc.
Natural Industries Inc. has focused on the research and development of a particular type of soil microorganism called "Streptomyces," which are thought to have properties that can help control a variety of fungi, bacteria, nematodes, insects and weeds. Thomas Videbæk, head of BioBusiness at Novozymes, says he hopes the acquisition will strengthen the company’s presence in the biologicals market.
"Novozymes has long-term ambitions to be a key player in this market," he says. "Natural Industries Inc. brings a wealth of knowledge in the biocontrol area. The company has a proven portfolio of products, new pipeline opportunities and good market coverage for high-value crops in key regions of the U.S. The acquisition is a good example on how we can grow and utilize our platform and leading position in this area as well as accelerate innovation."
Terms and conditions of the acquisition were not disclosed, and it does not affect Novozymes’ financial guidance for 2012.
In other biocontrol news, Biopreparáty, spol. s r.o. and Gowan Company, LLC recently signed a commercial agreement for exclusive distribution of Polyversum, a biofungicide that company officials hope will appeal to both organic and conventional growers seeking unique IPM and sustainability solutions for their operations.
"Polyversum represents a new opportunity to further develop our Gowan BioRational portfolio that we started a decade ago," says Salvatore Strano, product manager for Gowan. Gowan is now "developing several plant extract products coming from our joint venture with EcoFlora Agro. We are committed to bringing reliable and efficacious solutions to conventional and organic growers worldwide," Strano says.