As one of the fastest growing segments in agriculture, biologicals provide innovative solutions to help growers overcome current and future challenges.
FMC is supporting growers with a new generation of biologically sourced tools for crop protection in a unique way. Mathew Pye, biologicals subject matter expert for FMC, sees several factors that are driving the strategy behind the development of FMC biologicals.
“For decades we have delivered trusted solutions to row crop growers,” Pye states. “Our broad market access, formulation know-how and application expertise provides significant opportunities to bring new biological technologies to the agriculture market. These tools are an extension of the FMC mission to provide solutions for growers today and in the future.”
Better Formulations to Overcome Industry Challenges
FMC knows that growers need solutions that will work to address their challenges and optimize their yields. That’s why the FMC portfolio of biological solutions is designed to offer effective performance, grower convenience and the ability to align with evolving farming practices.
To create these solutions, FMC puts an emphasis on product formulation. These products are compatible with the broader product portfolio, allowing for easier integration into conventional row crop management programs.
“We are developing and creating formulations that are easy for growers to use, such as our liquid fertilizer ready (LFR®) formulations. LFR formulations from FMC are designed to be highly compatible with liquid starter fertilizers and other nutrients that growers use today,” Pye says. “This is important for growers because they won’t have to worry about making a separate trip across the field to apply these products. They can mix our biological solutions together with our synthetic products in the tank without affecting their performance.”
A common challenge with products in this market is shelf life, a crucial issue for microbial actives in the biologicals. The endospore-based Bacillus products used in FMC biologicals enable a longer shelf life of at least 2 years, which can help improve efficacy. This is in part because FMC solutions are spore-based, meaning they are dormant when applied and activated once the plant starts to grow, which makes them more resistant to temperature changes, heat, pH and other chemicals upon application.
Some other biologicals typically have a shorter shelf life and require growers to use more caution because they are sensitive to tank-mix components.
Consistent, effective performance
FMC is dedicated to developing effective products through rigorous research and development.
“All our biological products undergo on-farm trials to get real-world results and are evaluated for consistency to ensure they deliver or set proper expectations,” Pye says. “We start off with small plot research trials to understand how the product works in the system, then we perform large on-farm research trials. Before we do any large-scale launches of these solutions, we work with growers to better understand how it works out in the field and address any concerns before we bring it to the broader market.”
Committed to the discovery and development of biological technologies, FMC is continuously expanding portfolio offerings to help address current and future agronomic challenges. Today, FMC solutions are centered around soil diseases and nematodes with additional solutions under development.
To accelerate the speed of crop protection innovations, FMC has established new partnerships. The acquisition of BioPhero brings new, biologically produced pheromone technology to the FMC pipeline and product portfolio. With a goal to make pheromones widely available to the row crop market, FMC will be able to provide growers with a new tool for integrated pest management (IPM) programs and help control the buildup of insect populations.
A new strategic collaboration with Micropep Technologies will help accelerate the ongoing development of new solutions for controlling key herbicide-resistant weeds in corn and soybeans. These new micropeptide-based bioherbicides will target troublesome weeds to help growers overcome herbicide resistant weed pressure.
“We strive to provide our growers and retailer partners with the support and education they need to use our products confidently and effectively,” Pye states. “We work with growers to understand what they want to achieve with the biological and help create a plan that will work for their operation. We are there as a partner to help answer questions and troubleshoot issues, so we can help their operation find success.”
Always read and follow all label directions, precautions and restrictions for use. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states. FMC, the FMC logo, Avodigen, LFR and Zironar are trademarks of FMC Corporation or an affiliate. ©2023 FMC Corporation. All rights reserved. 23-FMC-1420 10/23