19:33 PM | November 13, 2020 | Akashpratim Mukhopadhyay
Corteva Agriscience and FMC featured as winners of two major categories each at the Crop Science Awards, the ceremony for which was held virtually today (4 November). The 13th chapter of the event, considered the most prestigious of its kind within the crop protection industry, saw some of the biggest players in the field participating in a live webcast to celebrate the achievements of industry peers.
The award for Best Formulation Innovation went to Corteva for its insecticide, Hibifen, a water-dispersible granule formulation for rice growers that can also be sprayed using drones. The co-formulants in Hibifen provide excellent sustainability attributes, and the offering is slated for launch in the Asia Pacific region during the spring of 2022.
FMC clinched the award for Best R&D Pipeline, for its range of new chemistries and novel modes of action. The company expects to introduce several products over the next decade, including the first new herbicide mode of action in over 30 years. BASF received judges’ high commendation for its broad product pipeline involving sustainable solutions, seeds and traits, chemical and biological crop protection, and digital agriculture solutions.
FMC was announced winner for the category of Best Biological Product (Biostimulant), with it claiming the award for Accudo, a biostimulant based on the bacterium, Bacillus licheniformis. The solution was introduced in South Korea last year for use on fruits and vegetables. It stimulates soil-root-plant symbiosis from the start and has demonstrated a more than 15% increase in yields.
Kwizda Agro emerged the winner in Best Biological Product (Biopesticide) category for Xilon, the first broad-spectrum soil fungicide. The product contains a strain of Trichoderma asperellum (T34) and is a unique formulation suitable for hybrid technologies and resistance management programs. The category also included Vestaron’s AI GS-omega/kappa-Hxtx-Hv1a technology-based SPEAR-Lep formulation, which received a high commendation from the judges.
In the category of Best New Crop Protection Product or Trait, the award was claimed by Syngenta for its fungicidal seed treatment, Saltro (pydiflumetofenâ€•trade-marked as Adepidyn). The offering is highly potent against sudden death syndrome (Fusarium virguliforme) in soybeans and provides a new mode of action to curb blackleg (Leptosphaeria maculans) resistance in canola.
BASF’s subsidiary, BASF Digital Farming, put up a tough fight to win the award for Best Innovation in Digital Farming Technology for its Xarvio Healthy Fields platform. It equips farmers with customized plant protection strategies based on field zone specific crop production algorithms. This results in improving application timing for crop protection products, besides optimizing product choice and field-specific dosing.
Bayer and Arvinas won the Best Industry Collaboration award for their joint venture, Oerth Bio, through which they seek to apply new biopharmaceutical technologies to sustainable agricultural operations. The companies are optimistic about their new venture and say that it can tackle some of the toughest challenges faced by farmers.
The award for the hotly contested Best Marketing Programme went to Adama. The company reached out to Colombian potato farmers through a unique campaign based on the region’s traditional game, Tejo. This translated into surging sales for the company and a return on investment of $35 for every $1 it spent. FMC was commended by the judges for its augmented reality-based campaign in Pakistan to promote the cotton insecticide, Talstar (bifenthrin).
Corteva had two entries for the category of Best Stewardship Programme, and its Safe Food Safe Farmer initiative for the Indian state of Maharashtra bagged the award. The program to educate farmers on the safe use of seed and crop protection products has reached nearly a million stakeholders since inception in 2018. Corteva’s other initiative, Red de Custodia, for Spanish speaking countries in the Meso Andean region, was highly commended by the judges.
The award for Best Company from an Emerging Region went to Indian crop protection company UPL, which has evolved to become one of the top five agricultural solution providers in the world. With a presence in 138 countries, the business marked its biggest takeover with the acquisition of Arysta LifeScience in 2018.
Compliance Services International won the award for Best Supporting Role, while GVK BioSciences received a high commendation from the judges. Lier Chemical won the award for Best Supplier.
With Corteva’s sterling performance fetching it many an accolade at the Crop Science Awards over the years, it came as no surprise that the Lifetime Achievement Award this year went to Dr. Neal Gutterson, the company’s chief technology officer. He has led Corteva to develop a promising product pipeline, which is expected to deliver 21 products by 2023, with estimated combined peak sales in excess of $6 billion. Dr. Gutterson is a proponent for the adoption of new breeding techniques such as CRISPR and has helped the company in expanding its biotech and enabling technology platforms.