Crop Tech

Crop Tech

Valent BioSciences Expands Portfolio 

Valent BioSciences Corporation has acquired Mycorrhizal Applications, a producer of mycorrhizal fungal inoculum. Mycorrhizal inoculation boosts crop productivity by forging a symbiotic relationship with plant roots. As hyphae attach to the roots, it enhances the roots’ access to water and soil nutrients.

The acquisition of Mycorrhizal Applications adds another layer to Valent’s biorational business, providing more tools for the Biorational Window platform in development with Sumitomo Chemical.

“The acquisition of Mycorrhizal Applications will allow us to accelerate the development of our rhizosphere strategy and immediately reinforce our strength in the biorational business,” says Ted Melnik, Valent BioSciences executive vice president and chief operating officer. “The move affords us the unique opportunity to develop an entire suite of innovative rhizosphere products and technologies to meet the needs of growers around the world.”

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FMC Offers New Solution to Broadleaf Weeds

FMC Corp. has acquired international rights to a new herbicide effective in controlling broadleaf weeds. The herbicide, discovered by Kumiai Chemical Industry and Ihara Chemical Industry, will be used in corn, soybeans, cereals and sugarcane. FMC partnered with Kumiai and Ihara during the past two years to develop commercial potential of the new active ingredient. FMC controls intellectual property rights to the new molecule. 

“We are very pleased about the prospects of this new molecule given its potential across many crops, application flexibility and co-mixture opportunities,” says Mark Douglas, president, FMC Agricultural Solutions. “FMC’s global organization will develop the full potential of this new chemistry, part of a robust pipeline of six new active ingredients that includes other herbicides, insecticides and fungicides.”

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New Nitrogen Management Tool

A free tool from the Purdue University-led Useful to Usable project helps farmers manage nitrogen application for maximum crop benefit and minimum environmental damage.

Corn Split N uses historical weather data, fieldwork conditions and economic factors to determine the profitability of post-planting nitrogen applications for corn. The tool currently provides information for farmers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. In 2015, the tool will be expanded to also cover Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota,Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Corn Split N offers customized results based on planting, fertilization schedule, costs and equipment. For more information, visit 

Agrimetis Closes Financing at $7.3 million

Focused on discovery and development of natural product-derived compounds and related technologies, AgriMetis has completed a $7.3 million Series A financing campaign, led by Syngenta Ventures and Acidophil.  

“Natural products are tailor-made by nature for biological activity and selectivity, but high cost of production has limited their application in agriculture,” says Roger Kemble, AgriMetis director.

Philip Goelet, AgriMetis CEO, agrees. “The vision of AgriMetis is to marry recent advances in synthetic biology and chemistry with the advantages that natural products and their derivatives bring to crop protection, focusing on developing new products with improved pest specificity and lowering the cost of goods,” he says.

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