Arcadia Biosciences' Verdeca showcases HB4 drought tolerant soybeans at Expoagro in Argentina
Mar. 13, 2020
- HB4 trait has regulatory approval in more than 80 percent of the global soybean market
- Early adopters to be signed up for next cycle of seed multiplication, expected to move HB4 acreage to over 100,000
Verdeca, a joint venture between Arcadia Biosciences Inc. (Nasdaq: RKDA) and Bioceres Crop Solutions Corp. (NYSE American: BIOX), showcases pre-commercial soybean varieties carrying the drought tolerant HB4® trait to more than 150,000 South American growers at Expoagro 2020, being held March 10-13 in San Nicolas, Argentina. The HB4 soybean varieties deliver two layers of value for growers: drought and herbicide tolerance. The HB4 stack is Verdeca’s newest product release from its pipeline of traits developed to benefit soybean producers through quality improvement, stress mitigation and management practices. At Verdeca’s pavilion, growers will be able to inspect field plots of HB4 soybeans, a unique technology which protects crops against drought conditions. More than ten years of field trials in production regions of the northern and southern hemisphere have demonstrated that HB4 soybeans preserve yield when crops are challenged by water and salinity stress.
“HB4 is a novel soybean trait that provides yield stability across diverse environments, delivering a biotech solution beyond the traditional packages, primarily focused on pest control traits,” said Martin Mariani Ventura, general manager of Verdeca. “This technology provides farmers with an important tool to address challenges associated with climate change.”
In addition to drought tolerance, HB4 soybeans also offer resistance to a broad-spectrum herbicide utilized to prevent growth of a wide range of annual and perennial broadleaf weeds and grasses. Field plots at Expoagro compare the effectiveness of the trait-plus-herbicide combination, compared to soybean fields artificially infested with volunteer corn and Amaranthus grass weeds.
“We’re excited to show farmers first-hand the benefits of our HB4 trait stack at Expoagro,” said Matt Plavan, president and CEO of Arcadia Biosciences. “As the only commercial soybean trait for drought tolerance, we believe HB4 has the potential to significantly improve the performance of soybean cultivation globally.”
Federico Trucco, chief executive officer of Bioceres Crop Solutions stated, “This year’s event marks our advance beyond technology demonstration in a single material to showcasing our breeding program and more specifically, the pre-commercial varieties that are currently being multiplied in close to 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres). Expoagro brings together an invaluable audience which will help us further validate the attractiveness of our value proposition to farmers and sign-up early adopters for our next cycle of seed multiplication.”
The second recruiting round for the HB4 program candidates will take place during the third day of the event, with potentially more than 100,000 acres available for seed multiplication during the next crop season.
Currently, the HB4 trait has regulatory approval in more than 80 percent of the global soybean market, including the U.S., Brazil, Argentina and, most recently, Paraguay. Regulatory submissions are currently under consideration by China, Canada, Bolivia and Uruguay. Import approval from China is needed for commercial launch in Argentina. Expectation to obtain such approval in late 2020 is under review in light of recent developments in China.
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