20 November 2021, Philadelphia: At this year’s IHS Markit Crop Science Forum and Awards, FMC Corporation’s regulatory director for Latin America, Maria de Lourdes Setten Fustaino, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, highlighting an evening that awarded FMC with Best Innovation in Digital Farming Technology and High Commendation for Best Stewardship Program.
“Maria has been a critical member of the FMC team for nearly 40 years,” said Dr. Kathy Shelton, FMC vice president and chief technology officer. “She has made incredible contributions to FMC and the entire industry while being a champion for agricultural workers and the environment. Maria’s service to the industry is fully worthy of the Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Maria has long been an advocate for agricultural education across the Latin America region and was recognized by the National Association of Plant Protection (ANDEF) in Brazil on seven separate occasions with the Phytosanitary Merit Award for plant health. She also received several awards for innovative programs which addressed the health of workers and the environment and contributed to the field training of more than 600,000 people across Latin America.
As a 20-year member of the Regulatory Committee of CropLife Latin America, she contributed to the crafting of new regulations across Brazil and other Latin American countries. Lourdes was elected as a member of the Board of Directors of SINDIVEG (Sindicato Nacional da Indústria de Produtos para Defesa Vegetal) and served for three years, actively participating on industry-related topics.
Maria also served as a technical expert for Brazil’s Sustainability Department in the Ministry of Agriculture for over eight years, and most recently, she has been a member of CropLife Brasil’s Committee for Biological and Agricultural Pesticides.
“Working in the agricultural industry has given me the opportunity to impact the lives of growers while supporting them in their mission to provide nutritious food to people all over the world,” Maria said. “I’m grateful for FMC’s support and am humbled by this award. I am very proud to share this recognition with my colleagues and family and to represent all the women working in the crop protection industry.”
FMC also took home the award for Best Innovation in Digital Farming Technology which recognized FMC’s Arc™ farm intelligence platform, FMC’s proprietary mobile solution that helps growers better understand and manage pest pressure. It does so by leveraging predictive modelling based on real-time and historical data, entomological models, hyper-local weather data and in-field sensors.
The innovative platform offers a full suite of features, including customized alerts through a mobile app to indicate when action is needed in a field. The app enables two-way communication with FMC agronomists and provides reliable data and high-quality graphics and analytics, including trap-level detail to understand local pest pressure. Users have access to regional heat maps and predictive models that provide visibility into pest pressure over the growing season. Arc™ farm intelligence has been engineered with open APIs and can easily be plugged into growers’ existing digital ecosystems.
This technology delivers insights to growers so they can make more informed decisions about pest management. Arc™ farm intelligence allows farmers to spray at the right time and in the right place to address pest pressure more efficiently, and to manage infestations before they escalate. The more effective, targeted applications offer a more sustainable approach and can also help delay pest resistance issues.
“This award shows how much the industry values the technology FMC is bringing to growers around the world,” said Brian Angeli, FMC’s vice president of corporate strategy and precision agriculture. “FMC’s Arc™ farm intelligence is an incredibly powerful tool for helping farmers make critical decisions that protect their livelihood against the destructive pressures of insects. I’m very proud of the recognition FMC received and look forward to introducing new solutions to assist growers and our channel partners address a broader range of pest pressure in the coming years.”
FMC was also given High Commendation for Best Stewardship Program for rapidly taking the initiative to build scientific and operational capacity in India to manage the 2018 infestations of fall armyworms (Spodoptera frugiperda) through a stewardship program called Project SAFFAL (Safeguarding Agriculture & Farmers against Fall Armyworm). The program, a grassroots, public-private partnership, focused on balancing chemical and non-chemical control measures, controlling the infestation’s spread and ultimately educated more than 300,000 farmers and 450 retailers.
“We are very honored to be recognized by our industry peers for the work we do to support the growers who contribute everyday to the world food supply,” Shelton added. “We are particularly proud that the awards highlight our efforts to bring technological advancement to the agricultural industry and the programs aimed at supporting the growers who need us most. These two areas exemplify the breadth and care that define FMC and I’m glad they, like Maria, received the recognition they deserve.”