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Agricultural biologicals are innovative nature-based technologies that can serve as an important part of many integrated crop management systems – often in the form of biocontrols and biostimulants. When complemented by leading seeds & traits, digital tools, and chemical crop protection, biologicals can help growers achieve the best results in their fields.
While many biologicals come from microbial solutions, exciting improvements in existing tools are expanding what kinds of biologicals are available as options. Plant-derived botanical extracts and pheromone biomimicry are also showing the way forward for safe, effective, and tailored solutions that provide growers with new alternatives.
At Bayer, Biologicals are an important part of our commitment to encourage diversity in modern agricultural practices and enable regenerative agricultural practices by providing a broad range of solutions to support farmers. Bayer partners with leading innovators around the world to bring new biologicals from the open innovation ecosystem to growers of all kinds.
With Bayer’s trusted brand, global commercialization capabilities, and unparalleled agricultural systems expertise we help bring effective biological products to market more quickly. Partners who may only reach thousands of growers alone will be able to impact millions of growers with Bayer.
Microbes are a fundamental part of nature. In fact, healthy soil is saturated with microorganisms — a tablespoon of soil could contain up to 50 billion of them.
In agriculture many products are now being developed that contain microbes, or that are derived from microbes. Microbial solutions may be applied to the surface of seeds, directly in the soil, or to plants themselves to complement — or provide an alternative to — chemical agricultural products. By combining traditional and biological crop protections growers can help to improve resistance management, narrowly target certain pest insects, or reduce residues in fruits and vegetables while providing effective protection from pests and disease.
Microbes are also a rich source of natural substances that can be used to enhance crop production. A new approach to delivering the next generation of biologicals is to harness microbes to make specific natural substances. With synthetic biology, we can enlist existing organisms to produce compounds which can help in the areas of crop protection, nitrogen fixation, and carbon sequestration. It works by giving microbes new capabilities, similar to how bacteria are used to produce insulin for people with diabetes, rather than sourcing it from animal organs.
Bayer has partnered with Ginkgo Bioworks’ agricultural synthetic biologicals platform, in a multi-year collaboration focused on next-generation programs, including the continuation of Bayer’s work on nitrogen fixation through enhanced microbials.
Botanical Natural Products
Some plants naturally produce biochemicals that can be concentrated for use in agriculture. These biologicals are often called botanicals, or plant extracts.
Bayer is partnered with Kimitec to advance and establish biological solutions derived from natural sources, including crop protection products that address pests, diseases and weeds, as well as biostimulants to promote plant growth.
Biological pheromones, also called semiochemicals, present a non-toxic, innovative opportunity for biological crop protection while safeguarding biodiversity and beneficial pollinators. By mimicking the signals that insects use to navigate, or find a mate, pheromones can prevent harmful insect populations from growing. These pheromones can be paired with natural insecticides to provide an attract and control strategy.
Bayer is partnered with M2i Group to supply fruit and vegetable growers around the world with pheromone-based biological crop protection products.