Plant Health Care (LON: PHC), a leading provider of novel patent-protected biological products to global agriculture markets, has today provided the following update in relation to its New Technology business in corn and soy crops.
– Plant Health Care’s novel PREtec (Plant Response Elicitor Technology) has very large potential in the more than 375 million acres of corn and soy planted in North America, Brazil and Argentina.
– Three more global agricultural/seed companies have signed agreements to evaluate Plant Health Care’s PREtec product candidates on multiple crops on three continents.
– These new collaborators are seeking novel, low toxicity biological products such as PREtec, to enable farmers to be more productive with lower environmental impact.
– Plant Health Care is continuing field trials with the Company’s Innatus 3G peptide PHC279 against Asian Soybean Rust (ASR) in Brazil.
PREtec is a novel, environmentally friendly approach to protecting crops, based on peptides derived from natural proteins. These proprietary peptides are stable and compatible with mainstream agriculture practices. By activating the innate growth and defence mechanisms of plants, PREtec peptides lead to higher crop yields and better protection against disease and environmental stresses such as drought.
Corn and soy are major targets for PREtec. They are grown on more than 375 million acres in North and South America. A yield increase of just 2% brings a soybean farmer in Brazil almost an additional $10 per acre; in the USA it brings a corn (maize) farmer almost $13 per acre. Plant Health Care’s evaluation partners supply most of the leading corn and soy seed treatments.
PREtec peptides can also reduce the corn yield losses caused by drought stress during critical growth stages. Under the drought conditions of the Company’s field trials, corn plants whose seeds were treated with PREtec increased yield by an average of almost 17% over three consecutive growing seasons compared to untreated plants.
Three additional global agricultural companies have now signed agreements to evaluate several platforms of the PREtec technology. These companies join existing evaluation partners, who are looking for novel technology that will boost yield in row crops and have a safe environmental profile while solving significant problems faced by growers today.
In the 2018/19 soybean growing season in Brazil, Plant Health Care will be conducting further trials of PHC279 against Asian Soybean Rust (ASR). Last season this product did not deliver a decisive impact on disease symptoms as a foliar spray, but did show yield improvements. This season, trials will assess the economic value of PHC279 seed treatment and early season sprays.
Chris Richards, Plant Health Care Executive Chairman & Interim CEO, said
“As we continue to generate positive results from our PREtec platform of peptides, we are delighted to expand our range of partners who will evaluate our technology on multiple crops in multiple regions during the 2019 growing season.”