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Agrow Awards 2017 curtain raiser

An overview of the applications shortlisted for Agrow Awards 2017 to be held in London on October 30th.

Best New Crop Protection Product or Trait

The non-profit 2Blades Foundation’s “2Blades inside” gene stacks provide durable protection against crop diseases. The Foundation applies advances in biotechnology to source naturally occurring disease resistance genes from crops and their relatives and combine these in food crops to produce long-lasting protection from diseases with reduced need for chemical protectants.

Dow AgroSciences’ (part of DowDuPont) genetically modified herbicide-tolerant Enlist cotton stacked with insect-resistant WideStrike 3 was launched in 2017. It provides tolerance to the herbicide, Enlist Duo (2,4-D choline + glyphosate), which combines two modes of action to combat tough-to-control and resistant weeds in cotton. WideStrike 3 contains three genes protecting from damaging lepidopteran pests, providing the full complement of insect control and herbicide tolerance.

The Indian Institute of Horticultural Research has found that native strains of Bacillus thuringiensis provide high protection against coffee white stem borers (Xylotrechus quadripes). The biocontrol of this pest had not been researched in the coffee plantation growing areas of the world in general and in India in particular. The Institute found that Bt Cry proteins caused 100% mortality of the pest.

Best Formulation Innovation

Dow AgroSciences’ (part of DowDuPont) herbicide, Loyant NeoEC (florpyrauxifen-benzyl – trade-marked as Rinskor), provides the simplicity and performance attributes of classical emulsifiable concentrates but in a sustainable and more environmentally friendly product. It is due to be introduced in spring 2018. The new auxin-like mode of action helps growers combat challenging weeds in rice, including many species resistant to existing chemistries.

The Indian Institute of Horticultural Research is seeking to develop a Bacillus thuringiensis biopesticide formulation with high efficacy and low cost. It evaluated a native Bt isolate with coleopteran insecticidal activity in granular, talc and liquid formulations. Granular and talc formulation bioassays were carried out against the larvae of Arecanut white root grubs (Leucopholis lepidophora and L burmeisteri) and white grubs (Holotrichia serrata).

Seipasa’s Fungisei is a patented low-risk liquid micro-organism formulation that does not contain biocides. It provides adequate microbial stability and a shelf life of two years. Other liquid microbial formulations incorporate biocides to protect the product from external microbial contamination. Fungisei is totally aligned with the European policy to accomplish “zero residues” and “organic agriculture” requirements.

Best Application Technology Innovation

Bee Vectoring Technology has developed a system that uses bees to deliver biopesticides. As the bees leave their hive to forage they pick up trace amounts of product and carry it to the bloom, where it can colonise and outcompete pathogens. The patented system drastically reduces the amount of wasted product and off-target application and can save thousands of gallons of water used in sprays.

Dow AgroSciences’ (part of DowDuPont) Drift Reduction Technology delivers improved physical properties, maintaining mean droplet size and preserving efficacy. The technology has been commercialised in the herbicide, Enlist Duo (2,4-D + glyphosate), and will be included in other products. Off-target drift reduces the amount of product reaching the intended target and deposits the product where it is not wanted, creating the potential for crop injury.

Stockton’s Regev is a “hybrid” fungicide based on tea tree extract and difenoconazole. It is a new way of controlling diseases in agriculture and is an innovative solution that brings the advantages of a mixture formulation for sustainable agriculture. The product is an effective resistance management tool with shorter pre-harvest interval limitations and lower residues than conventional products.

Best R&D Pipeline

AgBiome is a biotechnology company that applies advanced knowledge of the plant- and soil-associated microbiome by mining one of the world’s largest sequenced microbial collections. The broad pipeline includes research and development of biologicals and traits to control weeds, insects, fungi and nematodes. AgBiome is able to quickly identify promising product candidates to continue the rapid expansion of its portfolio.

Dow AgroSciences (part of DowDuPont) develops R&D goals strategically based upon a foundational understanding of key driving forces creating market trends. These include growers’ ability to maximise yields, improve sustainability practices and provide consumers with healthy and nutritious food. Its pipeline offers novel solutions in crop protection and traits that will help the agricultural industry face the challenge of feeding the growing world population.

Imperial College London is seeking to identify and validate targets of the insecticide, pyridalyl, and gain more information about its mode of action. Pyridalyl shows selective toxicity towards lepidopteran pests without harming beneficial organisms. The College is applying chemical biology to investigate this molecule and a strong target candidate has been discovered.

Jiangsu Yangnong Chemical is developing a number of pyrethroid insecticides. It has become a global leader in pyrethroid production and is the only publicly listed company with leading pyrethroid products in China. In 2016, the project for the development and application of green and efficient pyrethroid pesticides won a commendation from the China Industry Awards.

Marrone Bio Innovations’ bio-based products promote plant health and control insects, plant diseases, nematodes and a broad range of pests in agriculture, turf, ornamentals and water applications. The R&D pipeline will soon deliver biofumigants, bioherbicides and novel biostimulants. The company’s high-performance, competitively priced solutions help customers improve productivity and profitability, operate more sustainably and reduce risk in their operations.

Shenyang Sinochem Agrochemicals R&D Co discovered the herbicide, SY-1604, through a series of design, synthesis, optimisation and bioassays.  It can control broadleaf and grass weeds at low rates, especially glyphosate-resistant weeds such as Conyza canadensis and Eleusine indica. It is claimed to have a competitive advantage over existing herbicides such as glufosinate-ammonium and saflufenacil.

Best Biological Product

BASF’s Serifel is a preventative biological fungicide based on Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain MBI600 with multiple modes of action. It forms a protection shield around the plant, providing broad-spectrum disease control.  When used as part of an integrated disease management programme, Serifel provides conventional growers with a unique solution to address challenges in the food production value chain.

Mitsui & Co subsidiary Certis USA’s LifeGard WG biological plant activator is the first microbial biopesticide that works exclusively by inducing plant resistance to disease. Montana State University discovered Bacillus mycoides isolate J (BmJ), which has no direct antagonistic effects against plant pathogens, yet is efficacious against fungal diseases and viruses.  It had a limited US and Canadian launch in 2017 on conventional and organic crops.

Ecospray developed and registered its garlic extract-based nematicide, Nemguard SC, in the EU southern zone for use in drip irrigation systems on a range of outdoor and protected speciality crops. Registrations have also been received in Turkey, Morocco and Zimbabwe in various crops with other approvals either granted or pending worldwide. The active ingredient is exempt from an EU MRL or minimum harvest interval.

Mahindra Agri Solutions debuted its patented red green algae-based biological product, Jingo NXG, in late 2016. Red green algae are temperate sea plants that can quadruple their biomass in 45 days. Jingo NXG performs through receptor activation technology consisting of natural plant growth elicitors that encourage plants to produce growth-promoting molecules.

Responding to increased demand for chitosan from a range of industries, Plater Bio developed a fungal chitosan that marks a step change in chitosan technology away from food waste and sodium-based residue leaving chemicals. Increased production in Europe makes this product more attainable to growers who would otherwise have been priced out of this traditionally expensive pest control and biostimulation material.

Seipasa’s Fungisei is a patented low-risk liquid-microbial phytosanitary product. Its main advantage is that it is a microorganism-based liquid formulation without biocides that provides adequate microbial stability and a shelf life of two years. There are already solid and liquid microorganism-based products on the market, but those liquid formulations incorporate biocides to protect the product from external microbial contaminations.

Best Packaging Innovation

Dow AgroSciences’ (part of DowDuPont) Recruit AG FlexPack termite bait sachet packaging is mouldable, allowing for installation around corners or tight, angled locations. The sachet can also be mounted on flat surfaces covered by a rigid plastic case. The flexible sachets containing the bait are made from protective tear-resistant film, which provides an oxygen and moisture barrier.

The Brazilian national institute for processing empty packages, the inpEV’s, Ecocaps are produced from recycled pesticide caps and containers. They result in a high-performance sealing system that offers environmental benefits such as an 87% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared with a regular cap. Manufactured by Campo Limpo Lids and Plastic Resins, Ecocaps exemplify a circular economy by generating revenues and making the programme self-sufficient.

Nanjing Red Sun has developed a 20% water soluble gel formulation for the herbicide, paraquat, and a novel package designed for the formulation. The company claims to be the world's largest paraquat manufacturer and the only one with a gel formulation registration in China. It has fully implemented paraquat soluble glue packaging recycling, significantly reducing cases of suicide using paraquat in China.

Best Industry Collaboration

Agsafe’s partnership with Landmark Operations launched a new era for agvet chemical safety compliance in Australian rural stores. Agsafe delivered safety training to over 700 Landmark staff and external validation of its hazard audits. Similar agreements were negotiated across the agvet chemical supply sector using a model that meets the individual needs of store customers and regulatory requirements.

Dow AgroSciences (part of DowDuPont) and Agriculture Victoria Services established a collaboration to enhance the development of new technologies such as genome editing, transgenic plant development and genomic selection. The companies will integrate the technologies into breeding programmes for new varieties and hybrids through multi-disciplinary approaches including plant breeding, quantitative genetics, molecular biology, plant physiology, biochemistry and analytical chemistry.

Dow AgroSciences (part of DowDuPont) and SePRO Corporation developed a relationship to jointly bring a new solution for aquatic weed control based on Dow’s florpyrauxifen-benzyl (trade-marked as Rinskor). Dow brought Rinskor to SePRO for evaluation, recommendations and joint development in aquatic weed control uses. SePRO is focused on this specialty aquatic weed control market.

Marrone Bio Innovations’ (MBI) collaboration with Evogene focuses on developing novel insect-resistant crops and an organic bioinsecticide. The project leverages a bioinformatics-based algorithm along with associated proprietary software to predict insecticidal genes in MBI's bacterial collection.  Predicted genes with insecticidal properties are introduced into tomatoes and Arabidopsis spp to develop insect resistance traits. They are tested against economically important insect pests.

Vive Crop Protection and Arysta LifeScience (part of Platform Specialty Products) collaborated to combine Vive’s Allosperse delivery system’s polymer technology with Arysta’s proprietary fluoxastrobin fungicide chemistry to develop liquid fertiliser-compatible products for the in-furrow market. That resulted in the fungicide, Tepera (fluoxastrobin), and the combination fungicide/insecticide, Tepera Plus (fluoxastrobin + bifenthrin). Both products have best-in-class fertiliser compatibility and were launched for the 2017 growing season.

Best Marketing Campaign

Adama Agricultural Solutions'  (owned by ChemChina) fungicide, Cronnos (picoxystrobin + tebuconazole + mancozeb), gets its name from the Greek word Chronos and the company used that link to the personification of time for a new marketing campaign aimed at farmers worried about soybean rust. Called "It's Cronnus' Time", the multi-media campaign included a "time tunnel" at state fairs and farm events, proving a big hit in Brazil.

US agrochemical industry trade group CropLife America launched the #GiveaCrop campaign to promote open conversation about crop protection products, using humour to focus the discussion on the importance of pesticides to food production. The ongoing campaign uses videos and social media outeach to encourage consumers to share their views, helping to sustain a civil and informative dialogue about crop protection.

Dow AgroSciences (part of DowDuPont) created a campaign to promote its insecticide, Delegate (spinetoram),  with a message about food waste, noting that a single tomato lost per plant hurts farmers and contributes to global food insecurity. The "Every Tomato Counts" campaign focused on increasing production and linking social action, raising awareness of fresh produce losses and touting how Dow's product can help reduce losses.

DuPont Crop Protection (part of DowDuPont) unveiled "This Changes Everything" to promote the launch of its fungicide, oxathiapiprolin (trade-marked as Zorvec), and is the debut of its new global launch strategy. Developed to ensure creative and message discipline, the campaign focuses on content created at the global level and implemented locally and will be used to promote Zorvec in more than 40 countries. 

Chinese pesticide manufacturer Hangzhou Udragon Chemical launched its Pu Tian Long Lee project in 2016 to tout its set of integrated crop solutions aimed at safeguarding grapevines from diseases. Thanks to good promotional results from field trials, the successful project was well received by rural households and brought the company increased sales.

Indian company PI Industries debuted a brand campaign called "Gold Breaking News" to promote its Nominee Gold (bispyribac-sodium) brand of rice herbicide and fend off growing compeition from generic manufacturers. The marketing programme targets rice growers and users of the herbicide and helped the company maintain its competitive advantage in the herbicide marketplace.

UPL developed a marketing effort called "Saathi Haath Badao" to promote its rice herbicide, Saathi (pyrazosulfuron-ethyl), by connecting farmers with other farmers across India. The campaign focused on farmers already using the product and encouraging them to share their stories of success with other farmers through an array of new and traditional media outlets.

Best Stewardship Programme

CropLife Asia is pioneering an approach to engage farmers on biodiversity and responsible chemical use, while boosting their incomes. The Madhu Sandesh project has provided rented beehives to farmers growing pollination-dependent crops to provide first-hand experience for the need for responsible use of agrochemicals and the need for co-existence of pesticides with environmental protection.

CropLife Australia’s MyAgCHEMuse is a comprehensive best-practice digital reference guide providing up-to-date advice and tools to help Australian farmers and spray contractors manage spray drift and ensure the safe and effective use of crop protection products. The initiative has produced a one-stop shop of information, advice and tools from the plant science sector and gained substantial grower organisation support.

Dow AgroSciences’ (part of DowDuPont) Good Agricultural Practices Stewardship Programme has reached thousands in Brazil educating the agricultural community on GAPs that promote sustainability. It focuses on four pillars: weed management; IPM; application technology; and worker exposure. The pillars were included in three projects including an itinerant lorry and a digital library distributing information based on the GAP programme through digital and social media.

The European Crop Protection Association’s TOPPS Water Protection is a stewardship project that develops and promotes the uptake of state-of-the-art and highly practical measures to prevent or significantly reduce the entry of pesticides into water. The industry initiative is delivered in 23 European countries as a flagship contribution to water quality in the agricultural environment, responding to EU water and agriculture policy goals.

The Brazilian national institute for processing empty packages, the inpEV’s, empty pesticide container management programme has dealt with 420,000 tonnes of containers returned by farmers to over 400 receiving stations since 2002. From 2015, the programme began accepting obsolete and expired pesticides from farmers as well. The initiative expands responsible management of agrochemical products at no cost for farmers.

Syngenta Crop Protection’s (owned by ChemChina) Global Stewardship Network under its Good Growth Plan has committed to training 20 million farm workers on labour safety globally by 2020 through improved stewardship knowledge, attitudes and behaviours. Over the last three years, Syngenta has drawn on insights from behavioural science and the perspectives of its key stakeholder partners. It has 30,000 frontline trainers to drive safe and sustainable use.

Best Public Outreach Programme

BASF launched a campaign called "Clearfield" to raise awareness among Brazilian rice growers about the risks of using illegal seeds. The public outreach effort centred on a video showing farmers' statements about how the use of non-certified seeds can compromise the sustainability of rice farming and the future of the business.

A public campaign developed by the China Crop Protection Industry Association is aimed at growers, dealers and manufacturers of agricultural materials with the intent of encouraging safe pesticide use. It includes an array of public activities such as training programmes, meetings on crop protection solutions, recyling information and sustainability insights. 

US industry association CropLife America debuted a new effort to encourage farmers, agrochemical manufacturers and other agricultural interests to promote the value of crop protection and the importance of pesticides to modern agriculture. The "#AgLoudAgProud" campaign was created to ignite messages and images that show the strength and diversity of American farming.

CropLife International's "Food Heroes Campaign" invited farmers and plant scientists to share their stores about growing crops, the difficulties they face, and to explain the methods they are employing to stay ahead of diseases, pests and the weather. The project has helped personalise the plant science industry and provided a transparent and impartial perspective from those who work in it.

Dow AgroSciences' (part of DowDuPont) campaign "Hunger Solutions Network" was launched in 2011 by a small group of company employees to raise awareness and combat food insecurity across the globe. The programme has grown to include more than 400 Dow employees working with ten partner organisations to improve food security in underserved communities both locally and globally.

The European Crop Protection Association launched a new campaign in 2016 called "With or without pesticides?" to challenge negative perceptions surrounding the use of pesticides and the crop protection industry. The effort has improved the public's view of the agrochemical industry and helped companies engage in more constructive and positive discussions about crop protection.

Best Company from an Emerging Region

China-based Deqiang Biology Company is composed of several units that focus mostly on biopesticides, including R&D centres, modern production equipment and a major pilot plaint. The company has long-term stable partnerships with major Chinese and Russian researchers and last year boosted its production capacity by some 16% while cutting input costs and energy consumption.

Limin Chemical Company is a top Chinese manufacturer of a wide array of fungicides, with two production bases, a national R&D centre and four wholly owned subsidiaries. Assessed by Chinese officials as "China Well-known Trademark", the company exports to more than 80 countries and regions and is among China's top 30 pesticide exporters.

Nanjing Red Sun is focused on the manufacturing of “green” pesticides and eco-fertilisers and stands as one of China's top pesticide companies. Annual sales are nearly $600 million and the company's products are exported to 100 countries and regions, including the US, the EU, Australia and Brazil.

Sichuan Leshan Fuhua Tongda Agro-chemical Technology Company is a top Chinese manufacturer of the herbicide, glyphosate, and one of the world's top 20 agricultural enterprises. Valued at more than $10 billion, the company exports products worth some $400 million to more than 120 countries worldwide.

Best Supplier

Established in 1998, Hangzhou Udragon Chemical a Chinese pesticide manufacturer of off-patent products and developer of patented products. It has been granted eight patents since 2016. The company believes in sustainable development and invests in product innovation, and safe and environment-friendly production projects.

Lier Chemical engages in R&D, production and sales of pesticides and intermediates.  Its products cover over 30 active ingredients, and intermediates. Lier has the largest R&D and production base of chloropyridine products and is the major glufosinate-ammonium herbicide production enterprise in China. It has a third production base under construction, and has been granted various official Chinese brand and company awards.

Limin Chemical is listed as a top 50 pesticide and high-tech enterprise in China. The company is engaged in production and sales of agrochemcals, including new formulations, and other chemicals, and markets to more than 80 countries.  It is among China’s top pesticide exporters. The company is committed to providing "efficient, low-toxicity, low-residue" pesticide products.

Nanjing Red Sun focuses on the manufacture of environment-friendly pesticides, eco-fertilisers and other chemicals. Over 27 years, it has built a sales network distributing to over 2,000 Chinese cities and counties, and to more than 108 countries and regions, including in the US, the EU, Australia, Brazil and Mexico. By 2016, sales had reached $594 million, including exports of over $247 million.

Zhejiang Wynca Chemical Industry Group is an established glyphosate, diuron, chlorpyrifos, carbendazim and their formulations supplier. Its major businesses are agrochemicals and organic silicon materials with a leading role in glyphosate herbicide technical and formulations.  Wynca has established subsidiaries in North America, South America and Africa, driving its market shares.

Best Supporting Role

AZR Industria e Comércio de Confecções develops protective garments for pesticide applicators. It has long-standing partnerships with companies and institutions including BASF, Bayer, Dow, inpEV and CABI International. The company offers training in the correct and safe use of pesticides and has projects focused on standardisation of the production process, generation of jobs and social inclusion.

Dextra International works with clients in over 35 countries, providing services such as market intelligence, regulatory affairs and mergers and acquisitions. Projects involve working in many countries with varying regulations and timings. Dextra’s latest project management platform called DextraNet enables clients to follow each internal communication, view documentation, review processes or tasks related to their projects anywhere across the globe.

EPL Bio Analytical Services is a contract analytical laboratory that provides services customised for the agricultural industry. Since its inception in 1987, EPL has focused exclusively on agricultural science, building a reputation for communication, quality, compliance, flexibility and customer service. EPL says that its exclusive focus differentiates it from competitors who have agriculture as one of their divisions.

TeleGroup, an IT solutions provider, is a major owner of Greensoft, which has developed Agrolife, a holistic view platform that enables agronomists to plan efficiently and track activities in real time. An analytical system collects, analyses and enables informed decision making. The platform precisely suggests optimal crop activities, appropriate pesticide control and suitable fertilisers. It includes a disease and insect monitoring system.

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