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Corteva comes out on top at Crop Science Awards

After the dominance of DuPont and Dow AgroSciences at the Agrow Awards for over a decade, it was probably no surprise that the major winner at last night's rebranded Crop Science Awards ceremony was Corteva Agriscience during its first year as an independent business following the merger of Dow and DuPont. 

After the dominance of DuPont and Dow AgroSciences at the Agrow Awards for over a decade, it was probably no surprise that the major winner at last night's rebranded Crop Science Awards ceremony was Corteva Agriscience during its first year as an independent business following the merger of Dow and DuPont. Corteva collected three awards at the 12th event, namely Best R&D Pipeline, Best Packaging Innovation and Best Public Outreach Programme.

Corteva underscores the need to discover and bring novel agricultural technologies to market given increasing global food demands, changing consumer preferences and rising pest resistance issues. Its pipeline includes new crop protection active ingredients, seeds and trait technology, and an emerging set of diagnostic tools designed to create value for growers and consumers. FMC Agricultural Solutions, last year's winner of this category, was highly commended for its pipeline.

Corteva collected the Best Packaging Innovation award for its monomaterial, angled-neck, 5 litre, HDPE bottle for its cereal fungicide, fenpicoxamid (trade-marked as Inatreq). The bottle minimises operator exposure and allows easy product pouring. The angled neck is compatible with closed transfer systems and enables complete emptying.

The Public Outreach Programme award went to Corteva's "Follow the Food" series with the BBC. The eight-episode documentary series was designed to provide well-rounded information on agriculture and food production to a diverse audience, including viewers in the agriscience industry, government officials, NGOs and other thought leaders. CropLife Canada was highly commended for its "Real Farm Lives" documentary web series.

Bayer won the Best Formulation Innovation award for its fungicide, Fox Xpro SC (trifloxystrobin + prothioconazole + bixafen), for the control of Asian soybean rust (Phakopsora pachyrhizi). The formulation was developed with the intention of delivering as much of the ais to the target as possible and minimising unwanted off-target losses for reduced environmental impact. Judges' commendations went to Batelle Memorial Institute/Mitsui AgriScience for Banyan Technology, Eden Research for Sustaine and Schelkovo Agrohim for Deposit ME.

Bayer subsidiary The Climate Corporation collected the Best Innovation in Digital Farming Technology award for its Climate FieldView platform. It visually displays a farmer's data as he passes through a field, providing a real-time view of activity and characteristics in specific field zones. Cropin Technology was highly commended for its SmartRisk platform.

The award for Best New Biological Product – Biopesticide went to FMC for its bionematicides, Quartzo and Presence (Bacillus licheniformis strain FMCH001 + B subtilis strain FMCH002). They can be used on a range of crops including sugar cane, soybeans, maize, cotton, rice, coffee, fruits and vegetables. Eden Research was highly commended for its biofungicide, Mevalone (eugenol + geraniol + thymol).

The award for Best New Biological Product – Biostimulant went to Locus Agricultural Solutions for its soil amendment product, Rhizolizer (Bacillus amyloliquefaciens + Trichoderma harzianum). It increases crop productivity and soil carbon deposition by enhancing soil health, improving root growth, maximising nutrient uptake and supporting against biotic and abiotic stresses.

Bee Vectoring Technology won the Best Application Innovation Technology award. It has developed a system that bypasses issues inherent to conventional pesticides, by using bees to deliver biopesticides. As the bees leave their hive to forage, they pick up trace amounts of a product and carry it to the bloom, where it can colonise and outcompete other pathogens. Judges' commendations went to FMC and XAG.

XAG collected the award for Best Innovation in Precision Farming Technology. The company's Smart Agriculture Solutions consist of four parts: building digital farming infrastructure; providing drone and robots for precision agriculture; connecting land, crop, farmer and consumer by utilising Agriculture IoT System; and making agriculture artificial intelligence practical. ChemChina subsidiary Adama was highly commended for its smart sensing solution, Agrint.

The award for Best Stewardship Programme went to CropLife Canada's Manage Resistance Now initiative. It provides a holistic approach, which includes resources on cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical best management practices. It aims to increase knowledge and promote adoption of strategies that will lead to a reduction of weed, insect and disease resistance. Judges commendations went to Corteva and FMC.

Adama collected the award for Best Marketing Campaign for its "Made by Many" campaign. It tells the story of the development and launch of the company's new crop protection packaging. The campaign's main message that "farmers spoke, we delivered" reflected the fact that Adama created its new packaging and specific features in response to input from farmers around the world.

The Best Company from an Emerging Region was ALFA Smart Agro, with XAG being highly commended. The Best Supplier was Limin Chemical and the award for Best Supporting Role went to YEN (Yield Enhancement Network).

The Best Manager with Strategic Vision award went to Chengdu New Sun Crop Science Co's founder, chairman and CEO, Qiming He.

This year's Lifetime Achievement award went to Markus Heldt, the former president of BASF's Agricultural Solutions division, a position he had held for ten years. After 40 years shaping the agricultural industry through positions at Boehringer Ingelheim, Celamerck, Shell, Cyanamid and BASF, Mr Heldt began is well-earned retirement in June 2019.



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