INSIDERS How Space Research is Helping Farmers on the Ground

How Space Research is Helping Farmers on the Ground

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Our climate is changing, there is no doubt about that. And this is causing two things. On the one side there is an increased abiotic stress with more extreme swings in temperature, drought, and excess precipitation. And on the other hand, we see that farmers are being confronted with pests and diseases that until now were not particularly important, but due to the changing climate are on the rise, and require a different solution

So, for us in the seed sector, that means that we will need to be able to deliver products that can better cope with that. Seed companies will need to shift gear and start offering something that can help crops and therefore farmers. Not only a need for better genetics, but also a need for better seed applied technologies (SAT’s) that are giving plants a competitive advantage.

At the same time, there is a different regulatory demand towards lower quantity and less toxicity. I am happy to say that most of our portfolio is composed of new active ingredients that are perfectly suited to that shift in demand. We are offering products with lower usage rates, lower environment impact, very safe to farmers, to seed treatment operators and to beneficials (microorganisms or non-target insects). Besides that, our company is investing massively on bringing biological offers to be able to assist our customers in all their needs.

One of the products that I am really excited about is LUMIDAPT. This is a new type of organic mineral fertilizer engineered to enhance plant’s metabolic activity, physiology, and stress durability in a proactive manner. Did you know that it was developed in space? Amazing to realize that this product comes from research in one of the most hostile environments to life and is now providing such great benefits to plants on earth.

This solution brings a whole bunch of benefits to crop establishment such as visible early stage effects on germination, plant root development and young plant’s strength/height, all leading to potential higher yields. Just to give you a recent example: early on in 2020, several fields were affected by an unusual very cold spring (early frost), and there it was easier to observe plants treated with our product as the seeds were germinating faster and recovering quicker from the stress versus untreated plants. In 2020 over 5 million hectares of hybrid crops with this brand-new growth nutrition seed treatment was grown, and our goal for 2021 is to reach over 10 million hectares with this solution. It is quickly becoming the new standard for hybrid crop establishment.