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Fusarium biocontrol agent licenced
Adjuvants Plus Inc. (API) has reached a licensing agreement with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC’s) Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization (OIPC) for the patented technology to prevent Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) in cereals with a fungal organism called Clonostachys rosea strain ACM941.

Clonostachys rosea strain ACM941 is a patented organism that protects plants against fungal pathogens. It is particularly effective in controlling FHB in wheat and has potential for use in other crops. API will facilitate the introduction of this important new disease management tool.

“Fusarium Head Blight has cost Canada’s wheat growers $1.5 billion since the 1990’s and continues to threaten annual wheat revenues of almost $5.4 billion. We are pleased to play a role in helping growers prevent this devastating disease in wheat with support from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada,” said Dr. Bill Brown, President, Adjuvants Plus Inc.

Dr. Allen Xue of AAFC’s Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre patented this specific fungal strain of Clonostachys rosea in 1999 after observing positive results in the lab and in field trials on wheat that demonstrated that ACM 941 inhibited soil- borne and seed-borne fungal pathogens.

“I am pleased to learn that our years of hard work have finally come to fruition. I look forward to seeing the commercial production of this new bio-fungicide and the positive impact it will have on Canadian agriculture and food safety,” said Dr. Xue.

Clonostachys rosea ACM941 is a fungal microbe isolated from the lower leaf of a field pea plant in Manitoba that infects and kills Fusarium and other disease pathogens. This natural mode of action can be used to control FHB in cereals and may
find applications in many field and horticultural crops, including those in the greenhouse industry.

AAFC’s Pesticide Risk Reduction Program will provide API with regulatory assistance in submitting their application to Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency to seek regulatory approval of the ACM941 patented organism.

BASF study highlights need for innovations
A majority of U.S. consumers and farmers agree that farmers are responsible for feeding the world and new technology and innovations are critical to achieving this goal.

These findings were uncovered in the latest BASF Farm Perspectives Study, conducted in early 2014, comparing consumer and farmer viewpoints on agriculture-related issues. More than 9,000 people located in seven different countries participated in the study.

Nearly all farmers (95.6%) in the surveyed countries agree they have a shared responsibility to feed the growing population, and they are held to high expectations when doing so. With the world population expected to reach nine billion by 2050, production will need to increase by 70 per cent, and must include production of high-quality crops.

Although farmers feel prepared for this tremendous responsibility, most feel the responsibility is not valued by consumers. Only 40 per cent of U.S. farmers feel respected by the general U.S. population. Despite this feeling, farmers understand the importance of feeding the world and look forward to new innovations and technologies to help them achieve this goal.

The U.S. results of the BASF Farm Perspectives Study were announced at the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa. The most recent wave of the study was conducted in early 2014 and included more than 2,100 farmer and 7,233 consumer participants in seven countries: U.S., Germany, France, Spain, Brazil, India, and China.

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