Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Monsanto launches corn seed coated with fungus

Monsanto is using technology developed by Novozymes A/S of Denmark to coat seeds with a performance-boosting fungus.

Monsanto says this is a breakthrough for microbial technology.

Corn crops treated with the new Monsanto-Novozymes microbial -- officially known as Acceleron B-300 SAT -- had better yields than those without the treatment, the companies said in a statement this week.

The product stays on seeds longer and is compatible with other chemical treatments, unlike previous versions, the company says.

It boosts early-stage growth. The companies speculate that it will be used on corn to plant 36 million acres by 2025.

The seed treatment could “become one of the biggest biological products in the ag industry,” said Colin Bletsky, vice president for Novozymes’ BioAg unit.

“Harnessing the power of nature’s microbes, farmers will be able to produce more crops.”

Fungi develop as long strands and are able to transport nutrients from soil to the rhisozone next to roots.