Multi-faceted Biological Growth Continues
Charlie Hampton, North American marketing manager, Novozymes BioAg, said one of the benefits of such acquisitions is the investment needed to bring new products to the market can limit smaller companies’ potential.
Hampton also believes broad-acre growers are becoming more aware of plant development and the role that biologicals can play in it.
“They aren’t looking for 20- to 30-bushel yield bumps, but rather consistent yield increases,” he said. “If we can produce three- to five-bushel increases consistently in soybeans and five to eight bushels in corn, growers will stay with us. Optimize has been our flagship product, enhancing production for years, and growers have stuck with it through all the market fluctuations.”
COMPANIES STILL NEED RETAILERS
Malik pointed to compatibility as another big change in how companies like Bayer and others are bringing biologicals to market. “We make certain that our products are extremely compatible with all current equipment that growers use,” he said. “We also try to ensure they can go in tank mixes with herbicides and other pesticides and that they don’t require special handling like refrigeration.”
He emphasized that this doesn’t mean all biological are held to these same standards. “Retailers need to work with the manufacturer and distributor of biological products as they would with other products, to understand how they work and what the best conditions are for them,” he said. “They need to understand each product and not assume that all biologicals work all the time. Some require special handling. While our preference is for as robust and user-friendly a product as possible, if we find a product that fits a special customer need and it requires special handling, we would consider bringing it to market.”
Malik suggested that retailers and growers not think of biologicals as a separate input category. “At the end of the day, they are just another tool. Like traits or chemicals, biologicals just add another set of capabilities to the arsenal available to growers.”
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