Nutrien Ag Solutions announces a partnership with Elemental Enzymes, a leading agricultural biotechnology company, for a peptide-based biochemical pesticide to combat fungal and bacterial diseases including Huanglongbing, otherwise known as citrus greening. Currently, 100% of the acres in Florida are being impacted by citrus greening.
The biochemical peptide-based product, delivered as a foliar spray or trunk injection, is currently under review by the EPA. The specific peptide, containing Vismax technology, increases yield and accelerates the recovery of trees infected with the pathogen that causes citrus greening.
“Since 2005, citrus growers have been plagued by citrus greening — a yield- and quality-robbing disease complex that has devastated the industry — causing farm gate losses of more than $8 billion,” says Ryan Bond, Ph.D., senior director of innovation, research and development at Nutrien Ag Solutions. “Growers are calling for new alternative biological technologies, and today, we’re taking the first step toward mitigating future losses with a science-based solution.”
Elemental Enzymes and Nutrien Ag Solutions will launch this product on other specialty crops across North America. In addition to its effect on citrus greening, the biochemical peptide is active on a wide variety of diseases, such as blossom blight in almonds and powdery mildew in various fruiting vegetables and leafy greens. Elemental Enzymes and Nutrien Ag Solutions are working to bring this powerful alternative biochemical to the market with no negative environmental or crop safety impact.
“We’re excited to partner with industry leader Nutrien Ag Solutions to provide agronomic solutions to growers across the citrus and specialty markets,” says Brian Thompson, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Elemental Enzymes. “And given this year’s record for fruit drop in Florida, it is clear that growers need this additional tool against citrus greening now more than ever.”
Since 2016, Elemental Enzymes has actively engaged in the discovery and development of Vismax for use in citrus to mitigate the effects of citrus greening, with more than 65 field trials in Florida. In replicated field trials on multiple citrus varieties, foliar-applied Vismax improved fruit retention 95% of the time, increasing field boxes harvested by 17% on average. Additionally, CLas bacterial titers decreased by up to 96% when Vismax was applied as a foliar spray or trunk injection.
Together, Elemental Enzymes and Nutrien Ag Solutions have worked together to create an effective and economical alternative to conventional chemistries and are dedicated to bringing this novel solution to growers in 2022.