PHC said it has now begun commercial discussions with leading crop protection companies in the country
() chief executive Chris Richards said its soybean seed treatment has the potential to be ‘truly disruptive’ following the preliminary results from trials of its technology in Brazil.
PHC279, which has been named Saori for the local market there, was deployed on 16 fields to tackle Asian Soybean Rust, which is caused by a fungus that can result in a crop yield loss of up to 90%.
The data demonstrated the potential to deliver disease control and increased crop yield worth an average of about US$85 per hectare, or a ‘six-times or more’ return on investment.
It also highlighted Saori’s potential as part of an integrated pest management approach that could reduce the use of less safe agrochemicals.
PHC said it has now begun commercial discussions with leading crop protection companies in Brazil.
Many of them have planted their own soybean trials to independently confirm the performance of Saori.
The product is the first to be commercialised from the company’s PREtec platform, which designs chains of amino acids called peptides that, when applied to crops, increase growth, or disease resistance.
PHC, which has 34 trials ongoing, is planning a commercial launch of Saori in the second half of this year.
Brazil is the world’s leading soybean producer with more than 95mln acres planted in the current season.
The company expects to make ‘significant’ inroads into a market that is estimated to be worth US$2.56bn.
“Saori has the potential to be a truly disruptive and sustainable technology in soybeans, boosting crop growth while improving disease control,” said CEO Richards.
“It is not only highly cost-effective, but also delivers a big step in improving the sustainability of soybean production.”
Outside Brazil, the company is preparing to launch PREtec products in the US and other countries, initially targeting markets with opportunities greater than US$5bn.