Field trials in 2021 for Marrone Bio Innovations’ (NASDAQ: MBII) next-generation product for environmentally sustainable control of yield-robbing pests in corn and soybeans demonstrated excellent efficacy with substantial yield gains at reduced application rates.
“MBI-306 continues to demonstrate the benefits that farmers and consumers desire in healthier foods grown with a lighter environmental footprint,” said Marrone Bio’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin Helash. “This second-generation product offers growers a more sustainable solution to controlling pests with better yields. Additionally, with a reduced application rate, MBI-306 will be even more competitive against leading synthetic standards in terms of efficacy, price and ease of use.” Helash added, “We anticipate MBI-306 and its variants will generate a peak potential revenue of $100 million, providing valuable return to our stakeholders as well.”
MBI-306 will offer corn growers a new alternative in treating for corn rootworm, a pest that accounts for more than $1 billion of crop damage annually1. When tested as a seed treatment to control corn rootworm larvae, MBI-306 improved corn yields by up to 23 bushels per acre, a 14% increase when compared with untreated seed. This bioinsecticide also outperformed the leading commercial standard, delivering a 4% yield advantage. These yield gains equate to an estimated return on investment of $131 per acre versus untreated seed and $41 per acre versus current commercial products.
Similar benefits were demonstrated against soybean cyst nematode, the leading pest in soybeans and contributor to more than $1 billion in crop damage2. As a seed treatment, MBI-306 increased soybean yields by 11 bushels an acre, a 19% improvement and $130 per acre in additional revenue versus untreated seed. This novel bionematicide also showed excellent control with 6% higher yields when compared with commonly used treatments, providing growers an additional $47 per acre in returns.
Marrone Bio is an international leader in sustainable bioprotection and plant health solutions, with 18 commercial products and 15 products in its research and development pipeline, including MBI-306. MBI-306 is a second-generation novel bioinsecticide/bionematicide built on the same proprietary microbe that serves as the active ingredient in the company’s Venerate® XC Bioinsecticide and Majestene® Bionematicide.
MBI-306 was recently submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for approval and is anticipated to be commercially available for the 2023/2024 growing season. It has shown to be non-toxic to humans, wildlife, aquatic life, earthworms and pollinators.
MBI-306 also was tested in 2021 as a soil treatment, or in-furrow, for control of corn rootworm larvae, with an average yield advantage of more than 21 bushels per acre versus no treatment.
1 Utah State University Extension
2 University of Minnesota Extension