New Biofungicide Fights White Mold
Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. is introducing a new tool to help farmers fight pests. The biological fungicide, Amplitude, uses the same active ingredient as Stargus, another product from the company.
Amplitude uses a strain of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens discovered by Marrone Bio. Studies show the fungicide is effective against Cercospora leaf spot on sugar beets and white mold on soybeans, sunflowers, beans and canola and can be used in soil applications for Rhizoctonia and Phytophthora in potatoes. The studies were performed in the U.S., Mexico, Canada and Europe.
The product colonizes on root hairs, stems and other surfaces to prevent fungi and bacteria from establishing. The bacteria in Amplitude also trigger systemic-acquired resistance and induced-systemic responses in the plant, which make it healthier and stronger to ward of diseases, grow faster and boost yield.
To learn more, visit marronebioinnovations.com.
Wheat Seed Available Through FBN Direct
Arcadia Biosciences, creator of GoodWheat, recently partnered with Farmer’s Business Network (FBN) to offer its wheat varieties online through FBN Direct. GoodWheat is an identity-preserved specialty product that could help increase farmer profitability when compared with commodity wheat.
GoodWheat offers varieties with high fiber-resistant starch, reduced gluten and other specialties. Arcadia created the GoodWheat lineup to address consumer demands and provide farmers and food manufacturers with opportunities to differentiate their products at a premium.
This agreement allows Arcadia to scale up production of products to meet anticipated demand following the 2019 launch. FBN says Arcadia provides its users opportunities with wheat they might not otherwise have.
For more, visit farmersbusiness network.com.
Donmario to Sell Soybeans in the U.S.
For the first time, Donmario, one of the largest soybean genetics companies in the world, is bringing their soybeans to the U.S. In 2019, Burrus Seed of Arenzville, Ill., will market Donmario seed in Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin. The company plans to rapidly expand its geography as new genetics and distribution partners are established.
Donmario has 100 research locations in the U.S. and is testing more than 100,000 new varieties annually.
For more details, visit donmario.com/en/usa/home.
BASF Seals the Deal On Bayer Assets
In early August, BASF closed its acquisition of assets from Bayer, thus adding seeds, additional herbicides and nematicide seed treatments to its portfolio. The company says the products are a strategic complement to its own competencies.
To “reflect the expanded scope of its agriculture business,” BASF renamed its crop protection division Agricultural Solutions. It also established a new global business unit for seeds and traits.
BASF originally signed agreements to buy Bayer’s assets in October 2017 and April 2018. The all-cash purchase price was 7.6 billion euros. The company will gain about 4,500 employees as well as the following:
- Bayer’s global glufosinate-ammonium business
- Traits, research and breeding capabilities as well as trademarks for key row crops in select markets
- Bayer’s vegetable seeds business
- Research and development platform for hybrid wheat
- Seed treatment products
- Certain glyphosate herbicides in Europe
- The digital farming platform xarvio
- Non-selective herbicide and nematicide research projects
All transactions between BASF and Bayer are now complete, which means Bayer and Monsanto are officially one and the Monsanto name is retired. Learn more at bit.ly/Bayerdeal.
Vibrance Trio Gains EPA Registration
Syngenta’s newest seed treatment, Vibrance Trio, is a premix of three fungicide active ingredients (mefenoxam, fludioxonil and sedaxane). It’s used on soybean seeds to ensure strong stands and provide protection against the following threats: Phytophthora, Rhizoctonia, Pythium, Fusarium, seed-borne Phomopsis and seed-borne Sclerotinia. In addition, the sedaxane promotes healthy and robust root systems.
The company says trials conducted for a two-year period show a yield increase of 2.2 bu. per acre with Vibrance Trio compared with the industry standard in heavy disease environments.
For more information, visit syngenta-us.com.
Glyphosate Safety Called into Question
Brazil and California are putting the squeeze on the popular herbicide glyphosate. A jury in California said it caused cancer, and a judge in Brazil banned its use until more toxicology studies are performed. The outcome of each of these issues could have implications for U.S. farmers.
A jury found Monsanto liable in a lawsuit filed by Dewayne Johnson. He alleged Roundup caused him cancer and jurors ordered the company to pay $289 million. It awarded $39 million in compensatory and $250 million in punitive damages to the plaintiff. Jury members found Monsanto failed to warn Johnson and other consumers of cancer risks posed by Roundup.
“We are sympathetic to Mr. Johnson and his family,” says Scott Partridge, vice president at Monsanto. “The decision does not change the fact that more than 800 scientific studies and reviews—and conclusions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and regulatory authorities around the world—support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr. Johnson’s cancer.
“We will appeal this decision and continue to vigorously defend this product, which has a 40-year history of safe use and continues to be a vital, effective and safe tool for farmers and others.”
This trial is the first from more than 300 lawsuits against Monsanto under claims its widely used herbicide is connected to cancer.
Stakeholders in other countries are calling the herbicide’s safety into question, too. U.S. soybean farmer’s biggest foreign competitor, Brazil, faces new challenges as a judge moves to ban glyphosate. The ban, which comes on the heels of planting, would put Brazilian farmers in a troubling position. Much like farmers in the U.S., they face resistant weeds. Glyphosate is a critical burndown herbicide, and without it yields could be reduced as weed competition steals water, sunlight and nutrients.
California Bans Chlorpyrifos
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered EPA to cancel all registrations for chlorpyrifos by early October. This comes a year after another court denied a petition to ban the product.
Chlorpyrifos has been in the regulatory spotlight since 2015, when EPA proposed a ban on the chemical. At the core of this recent debate is the pesticide’s residue on food crops. This latest decision pivoted on the difference between “significant uncertainty” and “reasonable certainty” of safety.
“Chlorpyrifos is a critical pest management tool used by growers around the world to manage a large number of pests, and regulatory bodies in 79 countries have looked at the science, carefully evaluated the product and its significant benefits and continued to approve its use,” says Gregg Schmidt with Corteva Agriscience in a statement. “We note that this was a split decision of the panel, and we agree with the dissenting judge’s opinion. We expect that all appellate options to challenge the majority’s decision will be considered. We will continue to support the growers who need this important product.”
After a previous EPA ruling not to ban the pesticide, five states sued the agency. In June, Hawaii became the first state to ban chlorpyrifos. In late July, a state agency in California started to apply stricter regulations on the chemical. Nationally, chlorpyrifos is found in products registered by about 20 companies.