Monsanto and Novozymes 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 US farmland. Today, the Alliance’s products are used on around 65 million acres. (Earlier post.)
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.p>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. 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.
First announced in December 2013, The BioAg Alliance brings 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.