The rising interest in biological technology by crop protection companies is interesting, but what does it mean for your farm? While many farmers have deployed inoculants in their soybeans and biofungicides in some form in other crops, use of the technology is not widespread. For companies who have invested in these new tools, adding markets is important.
Monsanto, which took on Novozymes a few years ago to create Monsanto BioAg, has a program called the BioAdvantage Trials, allowing growers and retailers to experience what's on the market in a field scale, on-farm setting. Kelli Brown, seed applied solutions marketing manager, Monsanto, talked about the program and what it means for growers.
She noted that for 2017, there's a website where farmers can check in on how the technology is being put to work by participants in the program. You can see that at monsantobioag.com/BATrials17. "Our BioAdvantage Trials are designed to get farmers first-hand experience with the portfolio," Brown said. "This is a new product sector and we can give them experience and walk through the season with them, and at the end of the year get their thoughts on what performed."
The idea is to engage a local dialogue about biologicals, and farmers in the program work closely with their retailer and the MonsantoBioAg representative through the season. The 2017 growers are well involved, but Brown said the company is seeking farmers for 2018. "We're getting to the stage that we're going to solidify growers for 2018, and now is a great time to talk to the Monsanto BioAg sales representative if a grower is interested in taking part," she said.
She explained that chances to be involved in this program, which does come with some cost advantages as you trial products, are limited. Brown noted that the company wants growers to have a quality experience and MonsantoBioAg follows the process all the way through the season. "There is a trial amount of product associated with the program, and the sales team will consult with the growers before the crop is planted," Brown explained. "This is a controlled trial program, and we want to get quality data from those relationships."
Interested in putting new-tech biologicals to work on your farm? The BioAdvantage Trial may be just the ticket. This is a locally controlled program, so start with your Monsanto BioAg representative - you can find a name at monsantobioag.com. And you can learn about the products available from this bio-focused division of Monsanto.