Originally published by Tim Hammerich in California AG Today
With increased consumer and regulatory pressure on crop protection products, many companies are looking to develop alternatives to legacy chemicals. Crop Enhancement is one such company that’s taking a novel approach to protection from insect pests. Here’s CEO Damian Hajduk.
Hajduk… “Our approach at Crop Enhancement has been to focus on the plant surface and we wanted to make that surface harder to attack. We’ve created non-toxic plant-based coatings that protect crops from pests and diseases. We supply them as a concentrate that gets diluted in a spray tank and applied just like other crop protectants.”
Read the full article in the California Ag Today.
Originally published by Crystal Nay in Nut Grower Magazine
From mating disruption to sterilized insect technology, biological pesticides, navel orangeworm has been the subject of a great deal of research into mitigating and/or eliminating the pest. Aside from the technologies chemistries themselves, there’s an environmental sustainability factor that is quickly jumping to the Forefront of industry. In addition to the current options, a new alternative is making its way onto the scene and yielding intriguing results.
Crop Enhancement, based in San Jose, California, and founded by chemical engineer David Soane in his Soane Labs incubator, is gearing up to commercialize in the U.S. a unique product called CropCoat – an organic, non-toxic alternative for the control of navel orangeworm (NOW) that doesn’t actually act on the pest, but on the pest’s environment.
Read the full article in the National Nutgrower Magazine Pest Control Issue.
Originally published in AGDaily by Jaclyn Krymowski
As with so much else in nature, crop pests — including insects, fungi, and diseases — are not static. They are ever-changing and evolving, forcing agriculturalists to come up with new ways to combat and respond to them.
One of the beautiful things about modern-day agriculture is the many ways farmers can diversify their arsenals to better combat these pests to best fit the needs and situation of their particular farm. Among these tools are biological pesticides (or biopesticides).
Originally presented on The Farm City Newsday by AgeNet West
Get the latest agriculture news in today’s Farm City Newsday, hosted by Danielle Leal. This podcast episode is filled with stories covering reactions to the reintroduction of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, the FDA proposed traceability rule, and what Glenda Humiston of UCANR has to say about the restoration of UC’s budget. Tune in to the show for these news stories, recipes, features, and more.
Originally published in AgriBusiness by David Frabotta
CropCoat is showing that there are effective organic control options for insects and disease. Biological startup Crop Enhancement is growing its pilot trials on cocoa, coffee, and almonds and is setting the stage for entry into pistachios, apples, grapes, and higher-value vegetables like tomatoes, broccoli, and spinach.
“We are generating an approach for safer biological-based crop protection. It is really a new class of product. There are very few products that act the way our product does,” says Jean Pougnier, Crop Enhancement CEO. “We don’t act on the pest. We change the pest’s perception of the environment so that the plants are camouflaged from the insects, and that provides the protection, so it’s a unique technology.”
San Jose, CA — February 23, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. PT — Crop Enhancement, a maker of sustainable crop protection products, today announced the results of pilot trials on coffee and almond trees. Crop Enhancement’s solution, CropCoat, takes a different and biological approach than traditional chemical pesticides. Rather than trying to control pests with harsh chemicals, CropCoat coats crops in a non-toxic film to camouflage them and mitigate damage from insects and diseases.
Field trials on coffee trees conducted across Hawaii, Central and South America over the past three years found CropCoat reduces damage caused by the coffee berry borer, a significant pest of coffee, by up to 60%, compared to untreated trees. The trials also found CropCoat is able to successfully control the coffee leafminer, another common enemy of coffee. Coffee treated with CropCoat is not expected to be subject to the import restrictions that many coffees treated with synthetic pesticides face.
Crop Enhancement has also conducted field studies on almond trees in California over the past three years and found CropCoat reduced the damage caused by navel orangeworms, a familiar pest of almonds, by up to 40% compared to trees left untreated. This protection prevents economic losses of several hundred dollars per acre and provides almond growers with a sustainable solution that does not require additional equipment or protective gear for application.
“Crop Enhancement continues to achieve outstanding results in a wide variety of crops and is proving to be a leading biological solution,” said Jean Pougnier, CEO of Crop Enhancement. “We’re able to achieve promising results in a safer, more sustainable way and still see nearly the same efficacy of some of the best chemical products on the market.”
“Biological pest control has the potential to fundamentally change the agricultural industry and these results are exactly what we need to get one step closer in making that shift happen,” said Damiam Hadjuk, chief technology officer at Crop Enhancement. “We remain committed to providing farmers and growers with more sustainable solutions and believe CropCoat will continue to prove itself as a valuable alternative.”
Crop Enhancement recently announced trial results in cocoa as well, which found CropCoat boosted cocoa yields by 33% and increased grower net income by 21%. In addition to coffee, almonds and cocoa, Crop Enhancement’s CropCoat technology targets major fruit and vegetable crops across the world. The company continues to develop its technology and is expanding trials to include apples, leafy vegetables, brassicas, and more. The product is currently available in Indonesia and will become available in the U.S. once registration from the Environmental Protection Agency is received next year.
The application of CropCoat does not require growers to purchase additional equipment and is safe for both workers and the environment. Crop Enhancement’s formulations can be applied in addition to other agricultural inputs such as nutrients, and other active ingredients, enabling farmers to reduce costs.
About Crop Enhancement
Crop Enhancement is pioneering a new approach for safer, biologically-based crop protection, enabling growers to meet increasing demand for sustainably produced food. With Crop Enhancement’s CropCoat® solution, growers now have a nontoxic choice for protecting crops from destructive pests without the need for chemical pesticides and without harm to the environment. Crop Enhancement’s mission is to create innovative, safer, and more sustainable pest control solutions for growers. Visit us at www.crop-enhancement.com.
Latest trial conducted with a group of 30 Indonesian cocoa growers in Cargill’s network demonstrated a 33% increase in crop yields and 21% increased income.
San Jose, CA — January 27, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. PT — Crop Enhancement, a maker of sustainable crop protection products, today announced the commercial launch of its CropCoat® solution after conducting a successful pilot project with Cargill cocoa growers in Indonesia. Growers and producers are now able to purchase Crop Enhancement’s CropCoat® solution to effectively meet sustainability goals and diminish the use of chemical pesticides without negatively impacting production.
Crop Enhancement’s solution takes a different approach than traditional chemical pesticides. Rather than trying to deter pests with harsh chemicals, CropCoat® coats crops to camouflage them and mitigate damage from insects, and disease. In the latest Indonesia trial conducted by Cargill’s NGO partner Swisscontact with a select group of 30 cocoa farmers, CropCoat® technology has been shown to boost cocoa yields by 33% and increase grower net income by 21%.
“With an increasing demand for more sustainable pest control options, more and more growers are discovering there are better solutions available that can still meet their needs,” said Jean Pougnier, CEO of Crop Enhancement. “CropCoat® has shown that growers can provide consumers with chemical-free fruits and vegetables without having to change their operations.”
“The pilot demonstrated that this innovative, non-toxic solution was effective in helping Indonesian cocoa growers improve productivity of their farms, which in turn supports their livelihood and local communities, all of which are very important to Cargill,” added Megan Willis, Asia-Pacific Sustainability Lead, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate.
In addition to cocoa, Crop Enhancement’s CropCoat® technology was developed to target major fruit and vegetable crops across the world. The company continues to develop its technology and is expanding trials to include almonds, coffee, apple, leafy vegetables, brassicas, and more. The product is currently available in Indonesia and will become available in the U.S. once registration from the Environmental Protection Agency is received.
According to Crop Enhancement, the application of Crop Enhancement’s formula does not require growers to purchase additional equipment and is safe for both workers and the environment. Crop Enhancement’s formulations can be applied in addition to other agricultural inputs such as nutrients, and other active ingredients, enabling farmers to reduce costs and increase crop yields.
About Crop Enhancement
Crop Enhancement is a venture-backed agriculture technology corporation based in San Jose, California. Founded by renowned materials scientist and serial entrepreneur Dr. David Soane, Crop Enhancement is developing sustainable agrochemical formulations that employ advanced and environmentally friendly products to improve crop yields, eliminate or minimize pesticide use, and enable precise and effective delivery of active ingredients and fertilizers. Visit us at www.crop-enhancement.com.
Originally presented on The Modern Acre by FarmTogether
Damien Hajduk, Ph.D., is the CTO and COO of Crop Enhancement, a San Jose-based startup that works at the intersection of materials science and biology to bring new and effective solutions to agriculture that help growers protect their crops and the environment, while meeting the global need for sustainably produced foods.
In this podcast, Damien joins us to talk about his impressive background that ultimately led him to Crop Enhancement. We discuss the origin story and how they have approached going to market with their sustainable crop solutions. Tune in to learn more!
Originally published in Forbes by Jennifer Kite-Powell
Michael Lavin, founder and managing partner of Germin8 Ventures, says over the past decade, consumers have shifted their mindset around food in exciting ways.
“Whereas we once favored convenient nutrition at low-cost, over time we have placed greater importance on clean labels and wholesomeness, and now consumers want functional, health-supportive ingredients as well,” said Lavin.
Originally published in IFT by Dale Buss
Tomorrow’s grain rows, vegetable fields, and specialty crop groves will be much busier places than the relatively passive acreage of yesterday. On the surface, sensors built into crops will signal soil conditions; digital irrigation systems will precisely direct water streams; and robotic guardians will pull weeds. In the air above, satellites and drones will photograph plants with enough precision to count the spots on a ladybug’s wing. In the soil below, new wonders of botanical manipulation and digital information will optimize available nutrients, elevate plant performance, and store results.