MustGrow Reports 100% Control of Banana Disease at Economic Rates; Advancing to Field Trials in Colombia

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  • 100% control of Fusarium wilt TR4 disease at economic rates as low as 5 gal/acre (49 L/ha).
  • National State of Emergency declared in Colombia in 2019.
  • Fusarium wilt TR4 is existential threat to the $25 billion global banana industry.
  • MustGrow advancing to field study trials.

09 February 2021, Canada: MustGrow Biologics Corp. is pleased to announce further laboratory results of its mustard-derived natural biopesticide on the disease Fusarium wilt TR4.  Fusarium wilt TR4 (previously referred to as the Panama Disease) is a devastating pathogen ravaging the $25 billion global banana industry.  Testing and reporting in this second Colombia study was completed by a different third party independent laboratory than was used in the first study to add further validation.

MustGrow’s safe and effective natural biopesticide is plant-based – harnessing the mustard seed’s natural defense mechanism to control diseases, pests, and weeds.  

Highlights:

100% control as low as 5 gal/acre (49 L/ha);

Confirmation of economical rates in laboratory;

Field study trials to commence.

Fusarium wilt TR4 samples were treated with MustGrow’s mustard-based liquid biopesticide at various low-rate applications which demonstrated 100% control, and also potential economical proficiency if extrapolated to a plantation field scenario.  100% control was achieved at economic rates as low as 5 gal/acre (49 L/ha) within a 3 day testing period.  In comparison, control samples (without MustGrow’s product) showed Fusarium wilt TR4 was still vibrant and growing. These results further strengthen MustGrow’s body of work in Colombia as preparation accelerates for its highly-anticipated field studies.

On Dec. 1, 2020, MustGrow announced it had successfully controlled (100% kill) Fusarium wilt TR4 definitively in a laboratory setting – a unique feat MustGrow believes no other agri-science team has achieved.  MustGrow’s cumulative laboratory work has reaffirmed its approach to simultaneously pursue a potential “fast-track” registration in Colombia.  Additionally, MustGrow believes its work in Colombia will serve as a beachhead to expand into other leading banana producing countries.

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Colin Bletsky, COO of MustGrow, commented, “With this additional efficacy confirmation, we are very excited about the opportunity to potentially help the banana industry manage this devastating disease.  Reproduction of the same positive results through yet another independent laboratory has further validated our approach.  With a more defined dose response, we are now ready to commence field testing with deeper refinement of our study design.”

Fusarium wilt TR4 

Fusarium wilt TR4 is the world’s most destructive banana disease, affecting particularly Cavendish bananas, which comprise half of global banana production.  Currently, there are no effective treatments for infected banana plantations, with the disease remaining viable in soil for decades and can cause 100% yield loss.  The spread of Fusarium wilt TR4 through banana plantations in South America has prompted Colombia to reportedly declare a National State of Emergency, enacting special measures to stop the disease from spreading, including the preventive eradication of infected plantations.  A flurry of media reports has followed, revealing a race to save bananas from extinction after the disease has left a trail of scorched banana plantations in its wake.

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