The BioAg Alliance targets 250-500 million acres by 2025
Scientific breakthroughs and new products are expected to significantly increase demand for microbial technologies over the next 10 years. Microbes can increase crop yields and complement or replace agricultural chemicals and fertilizers.
Monsanto and Novozymes today announced a new 2025 acreage target that will guide the companies’ microbials business for the next decade. The two partners in The BioAg Alliance are dedicated to catalyze the development of new microbial solutions to transform global agriculture and envision that their products will be used on 250-500 million acres globally by 2025, equivalent to 25-50% of all U.S. farmland. Today, the Alliance’s products are used on around 65 million acres.
“Emerging agricultural biological technologies can supplement every farmer’s toolbox,” says Robb Fraley, Monsanto’s Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. “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.”
“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,” says Thomas Videbæk, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Development at Novozymes. “The science is complex, but the more we learn, the better we understand the importance of a healthy microbial community in the soil and around plants.”
Microbial-based solutions are derived from various microbes such as bacteria and fungi. There are approximately 50 billion microbes in 1 tablespoon of soil, and new methods of microbial discovery, fermentation technologies, DNA sequencing and analysis have made it possible to identify the ones that are most beneficial to farmers.
The new 250-500 million acre target is the first that has been communicated since The BioAg Alliance was announced in December 2013. 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. The target reflects a belief in a continued increase in demand of current and upgraded products as well as a significant contribution from new microbial products early next decade.
The 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 United States.
Those field trials produced promising results across broad geographies, the Alliance noted today. The top new microbes in the 2015 research program increased corn yields by 4-5 bushels per acre and soy yields by 1.5 bushels per acre.
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 products can be utilized by farmers that grow broad acre crops such as corn and soy, and on fruits and vegetables.
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.
The new acreage target does not impact Novozymes' previously communicated long-term financial targets.
About The BioAg Alliance
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 is committed to bringing a broad range of solutions to help nourish our growing world. We produce seeds for fruits, vegetables and key crops – such as corn, soybeans, and cotton – that help farmers have better harvests while using water and other important resources more efficiently. We work to find sustainable solutions for soil health, help farmers use data to improve farming practices and conserve natural resources, and provide crop protection products to minimize damage from pests and disease. Through programs and partnerships, we collaborate with farmers, researchers, nonprofit organizations, universities and others to help tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges. To learn more about Monsanto, our commitments and our more than 20,000 dedicated employees, please visit: discover.monsanto.com and monsanto.com. Follow our business on Twitter® at twitter.com/MonsantoCo, on the company blog, Beyond the Rows® at monsantoblog.com or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.
Novozymes is the world leader in biological solutions. Together with customers, partners and the global community, we improve industrial performance while preserving the planet’s resources and helping build better lives. As the world’s largest provider of enzyme and microbial technologies, our bioinnovation enables higher agricultural yields, low-temperature washing, energy-efficient production, renewable fuel and many other benefits that we rely on today and in the future. We call it Rethink Tomorrow. www.novozymes.com
Johan Melchior, Novozymes
+45 3077 0690
John Combest, Monsanto
+1 (314) 694-6397