Driving innovation in the Crop Care market
Agriculture is responsible for approximately 20% of carbon emissions globally, so it is not surprising that the environmental impact of the agricultural industry is becoming a high-profile issue. While the industry has traditionally relied on chemical fertilisers and pesticides, the potential of biologics in crop care is now better understood. The role of predators to control insects in greenhouses is well established but micro-organisms and naturally occurring compounds also have potential as biostimulants and biopesticides.
Through Croda’s acquisition of the Incotec Seed Enhancement business in 2015 and the Plant Impact Biostimulants business in 2018, we are well placed to address some of the challenges in the adoption of biologics. These include the survival of micro-organisms before use, compatibility with application methods and variations in environment. We have developed new technology, which when applied to soybean seeds results in stimulation of shoot and root growth, and increased yields. We are now evaluating this biostimulant in different seed application technologies. In collaboration with Royal Holloway University of London, we are also further developing seed enhancement as the optimal method of microbial application. We are also using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to address the big data challenge of optimising biologics for specific environments.