12 January 2024, AU: A step change is coming for plant health, sustainability, and yield, with Corteva Agriscience introducing its new range of biologicals to market in Australia, beginning with a product which allows plants to access nitrogen out of thin air.
Biologicals are a new category of agricultural products where the active constituent is, or is derived from, a living organism. Releasing ladybugs to consume damaging aphids is a type of biological pest control.
Corteva Agriscience’s position as a global leader in the rapidly expanding Biologicals market was cemented with the acquisitions of Symborg, an expert in microbiological technologies, and Stoller, one of the largest independent companies in the Biologicals industry.
Adding these two companies to Corteva’s existing internal capabilities, and strategic partnerships with biological development organisations around the world, has allowed the discovery and development of products that can put specific natural benefits to work in farmers’ fields.
Before bringing any biological product to market, Corteva ensures there’s a thorough understanding of how the product works and how it performs for farmers, with rigorous testing to make sure it delivers. This commitment to the highest standards of research and development offers peace of mind about product quality and performance and the return on investment it will deliver.
By complementing existing practices, biologicals can help tackle the challenges of resistance, provide an enhanced return on crop investment, reduce reliance on conventional chemistry and preserve your land for the future.
Utrisha®N: unlock something incredible.
The first product from Corteva’s Biologicals range to be launched in 2024 in Australia is Utrisha®N.
Utrisha®N is effective in all plants, including cereals, canola, and horticultural crops, enhancing a naturally occurring process that allows a plant to absorb nitrogen from the atmosphere and convert it to ammonium to boost nutrition and yields.
Corteva Agriscience’s manager for Plant Health in Australia, Dan Cornally, said Utrisha®N is the result of years of development across the globe and reflected the commitment to science and performance that are hallmarks of Corteva’s research and development division.
Utrisha®N utilises naturally occurring Methylobacteria and has been developed into a sprayable form that only needs to be applied to annual crops once. It enters the leaf through the stomata and colonises the plant allowing it to absorb atmospheric nitrogen and convert it to ammonium (NH4+).
“Normally a plant extracts nitrogen from the ground, so it is expending energy and using water to transport the nitrogen in the ground into its root system, and then move it around to where it needs to be,” Mr Cornally said.
“Utrisha®N is producing nitrogen within the leaf. The plant doesn’t need to expend that energy or extract that water to still get the benefit of the nitrogen. In addition to that energy saving, you are also getting improvements in soil moisture use. We are seeing a ‘stay green’ effect where crops appear to stay greener for longer under moisture stress conditions.”
The Utrisha®N demonstration program
Utrisha®N has been trialled extensively and is commercially available in overseas markets with close to 100 trials conducted across Australia to verify the yield and quality gains of Utrisha®N in a variety of domestic crops and conditions.
“We have conducted trials on a huge variety of crops, from wheat and canola to rice, cotton and fruit and vegetables,” Mr Cornally said.
“Essentially, the idea behind these trials was to say, ‘without changing anything other than adding Utrisha®N into your tank, what benefit are you going to get’?
Utrisha®N is applied at a fraction of the rate of conventional synthetic fertilisers, unlocking the potential for a reduction in input costs, as well as potential environmental benefits.
“Utrisha®N has one use rate across almost all crops which makes use and application simple for farmers,” Mr Cornally said.
Utrisha®N will be launched in the second quarter of 2024 with a product pipeline of Biologicals including biostimulants and biocontrol products to follow.
Biostimulants help plants do what they already do naturally, so they perform those processes better and more efficiently.
Different biostimulants work in different ways. Nutrient efficiency biostimulants make nutrients and water more available to plants. Plant metabolism biostimulants can be applied at different stages of the plant’s life to help improve factors like growth, reproduction, and quality. Stress mitigation biostimulants help plants deal with environmental stresses like drought, extreme temperatures, salinity or ultraviolet radiation damage.
The ultimate goal is to improve plant health and vitality and deliver yield improvements.
Biocontrol blends nature and science through the use of naturally occurring microorganisms or molecules to bring more options for controlling pests and preventing damage to valuable crops.
Some biocontrol products work by directly attacking the pest to control it. Other biocontrol products trigger a plant’s ability to defend itself against pests and can protect against future pest attacks, much like getting a vaccine to prevent a disease.
When used with conventional pest control products, biocontrol products can help farmers reduce their environmental footprint, spray less frequently and manage resistance.
Join the revolution
Biologicals herald a bright future for agriculture, offering cutting-edge and complementary solutions to challenges like resistance management and environmental impact, and providing a powerful new tool in the quest to farm more sustainably. Biologicals will help keep your operation viable, enhance marketability, meet consumer preferences, and boost ROI and profitability on your farm.
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