Oct. 11, 2022
Corporate Communications Manager
Valent BioSciences LLC
With its strong global presence, Valent BioSciences is a worldwide leader in the research, development, manufacturing, and commercialization of biorational products for the agriculture market whose mission is to reimagine agriculture through the power of fermentation and microbiology. The Valent BioSciences product family includes bioinsecticides, biofungicides, bionematicides, mycorrhizal fungi, soil enhancement products, and plant growth regulators utilized in sustainable growing systems. These products are used on more than 200 different crops globally, including a wide range of vegetables, pome fruit, stone fruit, nuts, potatoes, berries, vines, and oil palm.
To deliver its innovative biorational solutions to customers in a timely and efficient manner, Valent BioSciences works with numerous regional affiliates around the world.
Biorationals and Sustainability
Biorational products are typically derived from natural or biological origins. They include:
Biorational crop protection products, including biofungicides, bioinsecticides, and bionematicides
Plant Growth Regulators
Technologies to enhance soil health and carbon capture
Microbial seed treatment
The need for innovative biorational technologies and products has never been greater, and these biorational products provide sustainable and effective controls for agriculture.
In fact, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations projects that the world population will reach 9 billion people by the year 2050. Meeting the demands of this growing population requires technologies that deliver measurable value to food producers, food distribution, and consumers of food and fiber. However, the world also needs technologies that provide benefits to agencies that govern, regulate, and safeguard diverse peoples and lands.
Valent BioSciences’ broad portfolio of biorational products figures prominently as sustainable solutions that address each of these challenges. Biorationals deliver value in a way that is consistent with evolving consumer preferences, environmental stewardship, and public policy, both in the near- and long-term. Biorationals help to maximize quality, productivity, and sustainability in agricultural production systems.
The increased global focus on sustainable agriculture and carbon-smart farming fits the mission of Valent BioSciences to develop biorational products that create value and solve problems for customers around the world.
Valent BioSciences’ parent company, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, aiming to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by its production and business activities. One area of focus to achieve carbon neutrality is the development of new products and technologies across the company that can help advance the goal of carbon neutrality for society. Additionally, the company continues to deliver its existing products and technologies to the market.
Biorational products such as DiPel® Biological Insecticide, ReTain® Plant Growth Regulator, ProGibb® Plant Growth Regulator, and MycoApply® technologies provide farmers with sustainable, high-quality, highly efficacious performance for optimum plant health and productivity.
Driven by these products, as well as new biorational product launches, Valent BioSciences has achieved significant annual growth during recent years and is on track to outpace the market in the coming years. The company, along with Sumitomo Chemical, continues to invest strategically in the business to support continued growth in the biorational market.
Sustainable Solutions Business Units
One such investment is the establishment of regional Sustainable Solutions Business Units (SSBUs), which are composed of biorational experts who identify and facilitate the sharing of best practices across the regions. The SSBUs work closely with the regional sales teams and are dedicated to ensuring customer success with every Valent BioSciences product that is utilized in sustainable operations.
Biostimulants Business Unit
To further help support the goal of Sumitomo Chemical to achieve carbon neutral status by 2050, Valent BioSciences has established a new operating unit designed to expand its biostimulants line. The objective is to create new internally and externally developed products for both the U.S. and global markets in this important and rapidly growing crop production segment.
The new biostimulants business unit will also work with partners in discovering, developing, and commercializing arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) products.
This business unit will be responsible for commercializing those products in the U.S. upon its launch in October 2022.
At its state-of-the-art biorational manufacturing facility in Osage, Iowa, Valent BioSciences is making significant investments in facility expansions. This plant, constructed in 2014, was the first facility ever designed and built for the sole purpose of manufacturing biorational products. To accommodate the significant growth of Valent BioSciences’ products made there, the company recently broke ground on construction that will generate additional capacity.
The additions include new production-scale fermentation and recovery equipment, a new pilot plant facility, and expanded laboratory space. The company is also restoring 34 acres of native prairie land adjacent to the Osage facility that will sequester approximately 170 tons of carbon dioxide annually, helping mitigate the effects of greenhouse gases in the environment. In addition, a 1.5-megawatt alternating current (AC) solar field being constructed on land adjacent to the prairie will provide approximately 8% of the Osage facility’s total annual electricity usage.
Valent BioSciences' Biorational Research Center is located in Libertyville, Illinois.
Research and Development Investments
In addition to the Osage plant enhancements, a major expansion is planned for the Biorational Research Center in Libertyville, Illinois. Driven by business growth in synthetic biology, biostimulants, fermentation, and downstream processing, the facility, which opened only four years ago, will be expanded significantly with support from parent company Sumitomo Chemical. The improvements will include new laboratory and pilot plant areas, office and meeting space, and an additional greenhouse.
Valent BioSciences subsidiary Mycorrhizal Applications LLC has also announced an expansion of its research facilities at the Bio Research & Development Growth Park at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The enhancements will provide increased laboratory capacity for in vitro research related to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, as well as additional office and meeting space. Mycorrhizal Applications is also expanding the lab space at its headquarters in Grants Pass, Oregon, to increase overall research capacity.
The Future Outlook
Biorationals, sustainability, and carbon neutrality are key elements of Valent BioSciences’ strategic planning for future industry growth. As the need for biorational and sustainable products escalates, Valent BioSciences and Sumitomo Chemical are dedicated to developing, manufacturing, and commercializing effective, best-in-class technologies for the agriculture market around the world. The objective is to remain the industry’s ultimate innovator, expanding business through organic growth with current platforms and leveraging decades of expertise to generate new opportunities for sustainable solutions for customers.
This article was initially published in the magazine 2022 Biologicals Special.
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