The biofumigant—dubbed MBI-601 EP— is based on a strain of Muscodor albus, which produces volatile compounds that either kill or inhibit the growth of certain destructive nematodes, pest insects, and plant diseases such as Fusarium root rot, damping off, southern blight, and Verticillium wilt.
Marketsandmarkets pegs the global fumigant market at approximately $1.4 billion, with a US market projected to be worth $625 million in 2016. Chemical fumigants, however, have come under fire for their environmental and human health risks.
Field trials showed increased yields in strawberries, lettuce, and other crops. MBI, however, will initially on focus strawberry growers in California, where there is a “critical need” for products to control soil disease, nematodes, and insects.
MBI expects Muscodor albus to also have applications for turf, forestry seedlings, post-harvest application and in the seed treatment market.
EPA also designated MBI-601 EP as compliant with the USDA National Organic Program.