Monsanto, Novozymes have high expectations for new corn inoculant

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In St. Louis, the BioAg alliance between Monsanto and Novozymes has developed a corn inoculant that will be applied to all corn hybrids Monsanto sells in the United States in 2017.

Acceleron B-300 SAT is a seed coating derived from Penicillium bilaiae, a fungus found in soil that improves the plant’s uptake of nutrients.

The product is based on an inoculant Novozymes had been developing before the formation of the BioAg alliance in 2014. That formulation was only viable for about 120 days; the latest generation, when stored properly, is viable for at least two years. This extended shelf life means it can be applied by Monsanto prior to distribution to retailers and farmers—making it the world’s first “upstream” corn inoculant.

Field trials have demonstrated a yield advantage of more than 3 bushels per acre. Monsanto says the product has a market potential for more than 90 million acres by 2025. According to Colin Bletsky, Novozymes’ Vice President for BioAg, Acceleron B-300 SAT could become “one of the biggest biological products in the ag industry.”