In the News
Another expert in soil and biologicals is Dave Lanciault, the CEO of Agricen Sciences in Frisco, Texas. Like Hinrichsen, Lanciault is fascinated by how stronger soil leads to higher and healthier yields. There is yet, he says, even more to learn about what’s happening below the ground: “The Dean at one of our ag colleges once told me that we know more about what’s happening at the bottom of the ocean than we do about the soils in our own backyards. For me, that means the potential for discoveries is almost unlimited.”
Maud Hinchee received her Bachelor of Science in Botany in 1975 and then returned to UC Davis and completed a Doctorate of Philosophy in Botany in 1981. Hinchee possesses decades of experience in the fields of botany and plant biotechnology. She works as the chief science officer at Agricen Sciences in Pilot Point, Texas.
David Lanciault, President and CEO of Agricen Sciences, says research and application in the field shows a promising future for biostimulants. He adds the first order of business is demonstrating where they fit in within the broader biological sector. That can be a little tricky when industry, the states, USDA, and EPA have not yet defined what biostimulants are.
Biopesticides used in combination with conventional fungicides have proven themselves in recent years. Now, biostimulants and biofertilizers are moving into the accepted category as companies big and small introduce products that deliver grower benefits. It is a trend that is building quickly, according to Dave Lanciault, president and CEO, Agricen Sciences.
Seaweed, organic acids, amino acids, and other complex organics — all of which have been in the market for some time — will, in the near term, be the most popular products. “These are the higher-volume products in the market, today, and will continue to have the most impact as the market grows,” [Lanciault] says. As the R&D engines grind on, a “second wave” of biostimulant technology will reach readiness.
With all the scientific advances that will help grow the market, “the most significant impact will be the maturation process over the next 10 years to thinking about the use of these technologies much more systemically — that we are managing soil/plant ecosystems as biological systems, through combinations of approaches, rather than layering on products that solve very specific problems,” Lanciault says.
Though there are still a number of challenges and issues to address as the segment continues to grow, plant health products seem to have shed their once questionable reputation and been embraced by major manufacturers of traditional crop protection products. “It isn’t only the smaller, startup, or midsize companies investing heavily in the technology; the largest investors are the big traditional crop chemistry players, ” says Dave Lanciault, president and CEO of Agricen Sciences.
Dr. Hinchee will lead development activities focused on sustainable and efficient plant nutrition technologies.
Dr. Robert Ames shows how bionutrition puts turf in the best position to take advantage of
nutrients in the soil.
Dr. Bob Ames, director of applied sciences at Advanced Microbial Solutions, shows how bionutrition can help turf get the most out of a fertility program.