December 28, 2016

Monsanto: BioAg Alliance launches yield-boosting microbial seed coating




As part of a commitment to develop and commercialise innovative microbial solutions for farmers through The BioAg Alliance, Monsanto and Novozymes have revealed details of their newest product, the corn inoculant Acceleron® B-300 SAT.


Derived from a fungus found in soil, Acceleron B-300 SAT showed a two-year average yield advantage of more than three bushels per acre. The Acceleron B-300 SAT inoculant will be applied to all of Monsanto's new 2017 corn hybrids sold in the US.


"Harnessing the power of nature's microbes, farmers will be able to produce more crops while using fertilizer more efficiently and producing less CO2. This will benefit agriculture, consumers and the environment," Colin Bletsky, Novozymes' vice president for BioAg, says. "This is the first product jointly developed by Monsanto and Novozymes, and it shows the kind of innovation we can achieve in the BioAg Alliance. We believe it could be applied to more than 90 million acres by 2025 and become one of the biggest biological products in the ag industry."


Farmers use seed coatings to protect their crops from yield-affecting threats, to improve plant health, and to increase nutrient availability. Acceleron B-300 SAT increases plants' ability to take up nutrients and is an improved formulation of the JumpStart® inoculant (Penicillium bilaiae), a product that existed in Novozymes' pipeline before the formation of the BioAg Alliance.


The spores in previous versions of JumpStart last about 120 days on the seed after application. This means that farmers using JumpStart inoculants must treat their seeds within a short time before planting. With Acceleron B-300 SAT inoculant, scientists from Monsanto and Novozymes have developed a formulation that, when seed is stored in proper conditions, is viable for at least two years on the seed and is generally compatible with other seed coating chemistries. This allows Monsanto to coat the seeds with the microbial product before the seeds are shipped to retailers and farmers. Acceleron B-300 SAT inoculant is the first 'upstream' corn inoculant ever developed.


"Seed applied products - whether microbial or chemistry-based – can and should work together to help growers protect their seed investment and get more out of every acre," Juan Ferreira, global vice president of Monsanto's Vegetable Seeds, Seed Applied Solutions and Crop Protection businesses, comments. "Combining the fermentation and formulation expertise of Novozymes' scientists – along with the innovative approach to seed coating and field-testing capabilities of the Monsanto team – produced a product that will give growers more flexibility in their application decisions and can ultimately result in higher yield."


The Acceleron® B-300 SAT inoculant will be added to Monsanto's Seed Applied Solutions portfolio. In addition to applying the product to its DEKALB®, Channel® and regional brands' new 2017 corn hybrids, Monsanto says it will offer the product to its licensees and distributors.


Further highlights of the BioAg Alliance's 2016 microbial discovery field trial results – along with 2017 field trial plans - will be announced as part of Monsanto's First Quarter FY2016 Earnings Conference Call and R&D Pipeline Update on January 5, 2017.


First announced in December 2013, the BioAg Alliance is unique in the industry, bringing together Novozymes' BioAg operations and capabilities within microbial discovery, development and production with Monsanto's microbial discovery, advanced biology, field testing and commercial capabilities. The result is a comprehensive discovery, development and commercial collaboration to help farmers globally meet the challenge of producing more with less in a sustainable way – for the benefit of agriculture, consumers, the environment and society at large.


- Monsanto

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