Innovating crop protection tools isn’t an easy task. Companies are constantly working on new formulations of existing tools to improve their performance, or make use more convenient. But a Canadian company with some nanotech knowhow has come up with a system that’s making existing crop protection tools better in the field.
Vive Corp. has introduced a nanotech-based “shuttle” that essentially carries an active ingredient, essentially holding it in place, until it is applied. That approach — envision a spherical cage with the active ingredient molecule inside — means well-known active ingredients can be better mixed with fertilizers at application. Such an innovation is helping farmers in some crops do a better job of maintaining crop quality.
“We’ve seen expansion and high interest among potato and sugarbeet growers, says Darren Anderson, president. “We have a new agreement to work with United Potato Growers of America; and we’ve been recognized by American Crystal Sugar.”
Farm Progress first wrote about Vive technology two years ago when it was just entering the market. In that time, the company has continued to expand its coverage and is working on adding new active ingredients to its product line. For 2018, the company has its AZteroid FC and Bifender FC products, and a third — Fenstro FC. AZteroid uses the Vive system, Allosperse, to carry the familiar fungicide azoxystrobin; Bifender uses the tech to enhance the insecticide bifenthrin; and Fenstro uses the tech to deliver a mix of bifenthrin and azoxystrobin.
While the Vive technology has application in a range of row crops, those higher-end specialty crops see a benefit, too. Anderson explains that the company’s tech is being welcomed by potato and sugarbeet growers because it offers enhanced value for those crops. “We’ve added 1 million acres of business with those crops,” Anderson notes.
Both crops — potatoes and sugarbeets — are looking for new tools to boost production and maintain product quality. The Vive technology works well for those growers, and Anderson says it is providing the tools they need to combine operations. The nanotech means that the fungicide and insecticide can be laid in with a fertilizer application.
The added value of this approach is that existing tech, when used this way, will last longer in the market. “We’re providing new application opportunities,” Anderson explains. And the company is working to expand its offerings for the future.
New for 2019
The Vive technology plays well with rising interest in using in-furrow application to get crops off to a good start. Anderson notes that for 2019, there will be three new products from the company to expand on the AZteroid FC and Bifender FC business.
Imidacloprid FC will be applied in-furrow at planting; as a systemic insecticide, it will offer up to 100 days of residual activity for controlling a range of pests. The product offers foliar control of psyllids, Colorado potato beetle and aphids. The in-furrow application, Anderson says, also reduces worries of off-target impact of the neonicotinoid on pollinators.
Metalzxyl FC is a fungicide with a long-known active ingredient that will be enhanced by the nanotech. Also applied in-furrow, the product offers soil control of pythium leak and pink rot (key diseases in potatoes). And the product is systemic, so it’s taken into the plant for longer residual activity.
Averland FC will offer control of root and tuber-damaging nematodes, and will be part of a season-long control program. The active ingredient here is abamectin, offering a new use for this familiar active ingredient.
“We’re providing longer life for these products,” Anderson says.
You can learn more about existing products from Vive at vivecrop.com.