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.
Originally published in New Atlas by Ben Coxworth
While pest insects can have a devastating effect on crops, pesticides can likewise cause a great deal of damage to the environment. That’s where CropCoat comes in, as it’s designed not to kill harmful insects, but to “hide” plants from them instead.
Created by California-based startup Crop Enhancement, CropCoat consists of a proprietary blend of non-toxic ingredients including an undisclosed botanical extract. It gets mixed with water then sprayed onto crops, using conventional agricultural equipment. Within 12 to 24 hours, the water evaporates and the CropCoat hardens into a biodegradable film that coats most of each plant’s stems and leaves.
Crop Enhancement Appoints Industry Veteran Jean Pougnier to CEO
Pougnier brings more than 30 years of global experience as a senior agtech executive to lead the next phase of growth
SAN JOSE, Calif.— Jun 17, 2020: Crop Enhancement Inc., an innovator of sustainable plant-based crop-protection products that protect or enhance crop yields, announced the appointment of Jean Pougnier to CEO from his former role as chief business officer, succeeding Kevin Chen, Ph.D., who moves to a new role as an independent board director of the company, effective June 22.
Pougnier takes leadership of Crop Enhancement at an opportune time in the company’s growth trajectory as further field validation of its CropCoat® technology platform brings the product towards commercialization with key partners and distributors. A highly respected, seasoned executive from the agrochemical industry, Pougnier brings decades of management and business development experience over 30+ years at industry leaders DuPont, FMC, and AMVAC. Notably, he served as global business development director for DuPont’s multi-billion-dollar crop-protection portfolio, and led business development and marketing for AMVAC prior to his joining Crop Enhancement last December.
“It’s an exciting time for Crop Enhancement. Our field trials have proven that our initial product, CropCoat, is a very effective deterrent to pests for several important crops, so we’ve engaged with key partners to optimize it for more applications,” saidPougnier. “I look forward to working closely with our partners to launch Crop Enhancement’s unique technology and provide to growers outstanding pest control in a sustainable way. I would like to thank Kevin for his strong leadership and tireless efforts, which have positioned Crop Enhancement for continued growth.”
“With a full slate of field trials placed for the 2020 season on our CropCoat platform and numerous evaluation engagements underway with agrochemical strategic partners, Crop Enhancement has officially entered into its next phase of growth,” said Chen. “With these objectives secure, I am pleased that the board has approved my nomination of Jean to succeed me to lead the charge in this next chapter of our company’s trajectory. I’m extremely proud of what has been accomplished during my tenure as CEO and thankful to have worked with such talented employees, visionary investors, and dedicated partners. Crop Enhancement has never been stronger. As a director, I’ll continue to work with Jean and our board to realize the maximum potential of our business.”
“We were thrilled to bring Jean on board last December as chief business officer, and he has proven invaluable in our efforts to identify strategic partners and establish key go-to-market relationships around the globe,” said Andrew Chung, an early investor in Crop Enhancement and managing partner at 1955 Capital. “Jean’s extensive leadership, deep industry knowledge, and solid track record as a top executive at DuPont will propel Crop Enhancement into this next phase of growth, something he already demonstrated during his tenure.”
“We are delighted to have Jean as our next CEO, and I am certain he will have high impact,” said Marcus Meadows-Smith, chairman of the board of Crop Enhancement. “Thanks to Kevin’s effective leadership over the last 4.5 years, Crop Enhancement advanced from a seed-stage startup through Series A and B equity raises. Kevin recruited a world-class team and established Crop Enhancement as a valuable Silicon Valley company with an agronomically proven crop-protection product now in trials with multiple top-tier strategic partners. As Kevin begins his next challenge as a venture capital investor, we are grateful for his service as CEO and look forward to his continued contributions on the board.”
Crop Enhancement has developed proprietary sustainable biological products that, when sprayed using conventional farm equipment, beneficially protect plant surfaces—leaves, stems, and fruit—to significantly improve their resistance to pests and diseases and decrease the need for synthetic pesticides and pesticide applications.
The company’s first product, CropCoat®, offers growers a new sustainable solution with effective modes of action that has demonstrated yield protection and enhancement relative to synthetic chemistries in several global crops. CropCoat can also be applied in conjunction with agricultural inputs such as nutrients and other active ingredients.
About Crop Enhancement
We work 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. Our investors include Spruce Capital Partners, 1955 Capital, Phoenix Venture Partners, Cavallo Ventures, Bandgap Ventures, Davinia Investment Ltd, and Alexandria Ventures. For more information, visit crop-enhancement.com and follow @CropEnhancement on Twitter.