As harvest rolls around in the Midwest, now is the perfect time to evaluate the past season and plan for the next season. Increasing demand for organic food, potential regulations to limit use of agriculture inputs, and a brightening spotlight on sustainable farming practices are trends that, when combined, paint a tremendous opportunity for farmers to adopt biologicals in the upcoming growing season. A recent report is estimating that the global market for ag biologicals could reach $20 billion by 2029, with South America projected to be the fastest growing market. As a global leader in the biologicals market, Agrauxine by Lesaffre invited agriculture leaders from three continents to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at the end of June for BioPerformance Week – a series of authentic discussions about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to agriculture biologicals.
“Having a footprint in Europe, Asia, South America and North America gives us the opportunity to bring leaders together and learn from each other,” said Ronan Kempf, Head of Global Marketing and Development for Agrauxine by Lesaffre. “For some leaders in Europe, they have been using biopesticides and biostimulants for years. Farmers in Brazil and Argentina are seeing the benefits of using biologicals in soybeans. We’re just scratching the surface here in North America, so learning from those with experience can help U.S. farmers realize the benefits of biologicals in less time and with fewer investments.”
Among the conversations in Cedar Rapids, one consistent theme emerged from farmers around the globe: Money matters. If biologicals can help increase yield, decrease the use of other inputs, or fetch a higher price from end users, farmers are willing to put science to the test on their farms. In many cases around the globe, the science of biologicals is helping to offset environmental stressors on the farm. BioPerformance Week allowed leaders to share what they are seeing and hearing about biologicals in their own region.
“We are seeing dry weather reduce yields,” said Joao Conrado, General Manager of Marketing for Brazil’s IHARA crop protection company. “Using something like a biostimulant will help soybeans resist the effects of drought and we don’t lose as much yield potential as we could.”
“In California, we know more regulations are coming,” said Jason Ellsworth, Organic Portfolio Manager at Wilbur Ellis. “If producers don’t have crop protection tools to use when needed, they look for alternatives. Many of them in our region are seeing that biologicals give them protection from pests, disease and weather events without needing to turn to heavily regulated inputs.”
“Farmers in Argentina look for yield advantages wherever they can,” said Marcos Mares, Head of Global Business Development for Summit Agro Argentina. “It’s hard for us to compete with global competitors on quality sometimes, so we make up for it with yield. Biologicals are helping give some of our most innovative farmers an edge.”
From mitigating weather events to managing regulations, biologicals offer unique advantages to farmers who are willing to shift their mindset and be more proactive in managing their fields. In the case of Agrauxine by Lesaffre, a full portfolio of biosolutions provides seamless crop nutrition and protection, from pre-seed to post-harvest, both above and below the soil.
“For too long, we’ve been playing defense – attacking problems as they come up in the field,” said Chris Thrasher, Director of North America for Agrauxine. “Biologicals give us the chance to protect and enhance yields from the start. Our portfolio of biopesticides, biostimulants and bionutrition products are based on Lesaffre’s extensive experience in microbial production. That expertise, combined with our understanding of global agronomics, is the foundation of what makes our products effective.”
For more information about Agrauxine or its portfolio of biologicals, visit www.agrauxine.us.