Monsanto, Novozymes develop microbial biz; targets 250-500 mn acre

Monsanto, Novozymes develop microbial biz; targets 250-500 mn acre

6:39 AM, 20th November 2015
Monsanto, Novozymes develop microbial biz; targets 250-500 mn acre

BAGSVAERD, DENMARK: Monsanto Company and Novozymes A/S (BioAg Alliance) said they have decided to develop new microbial solutions to be used on 250-500 million acres globally by 2025, equivalent to 25-50 percent of all US farmland. Currently, the BioAg Alliance’s products are used on 65 million acre.

BioAg Alliance brings together Novozymes’ BioAg capabilities within microbial discovery and production with Monsanto’s microbial advanced biology, field testing and commercial capabilities.

“Emerging agricultural biological technologies can supplement every farmer’s toolbox. These products complement the integrated systems approach that is necessary in modern agriculture, bringing together breeding, biotechnology and agronomic practices to improve and protect crop yields,” said Robb Fraley, executive vice president and chief technology officer, Monsanto.

“Our growing world population and changing diets create a need to produce more crops from our arable land while using fewer resources. Nature’s powerful microbes can help us achieve that goal,” said Thomas Videbaek, executive vice president and head of business development, Novozymes.

Microbial-based solutions are derived from various bacteria and fungi and there are approximately 50 billion microbes in 1 tablespoon of soil. New methods of microbial discovery have made it possible to identify the ones that are most beneficial to farmers.

Each applied microbe product counts towards the total, so if 2 or 3 products are used on the same acre of farmland, this will count as 2 or 3 acres towards the target.

Announced in Dec 2013, BioAg Alliance is currently leading the world’s largest microbial research program to develop the next generation of products. This year alone, the Alliance tested more than 2,000 microbial strains across 500,000 field trial plots in more than 50 locations in the US.

The BioAg Alliance is already marketing two types of microbial products: inoculants products - which help plants take up nutrients and biocontrol products - which help protect plants against pests and disease.

The Alliance emphasized that it plans to continue seeking collaborations with academics, public institutions and other researchers as well as companies who are looking at the power of microbes.

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