Marrone Bio Innovations Inc (NASDAQ:MBII) announced Tuesday that two of its biofungicide products -- Stargus and Regalia -- have been approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency for indoor and outdoor use on hemp plants.
In a statement, the company said Stargus and Regalia improve hemp plant quality and yield, as well as treat and protect hemp plants from a range of diseases, including powdery mildew, Botrytis bud rot, Sclerotinia white mold, Fusarium rots and wilts and other fungal and bacterial diseases.
Marrone Bio said this is the first time that the EPA has approved crop protection products on hemp since the crop became legal to grow under the 2018 Farm Bill.
“With more than $1.1 billion in revenues in 2018, the hemp market is projected to more than double by 2022,” said CEO Dr Pamela Marrone.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Marrone Bio to extend our business into a rapidly growing market, which will only continue to grow as the acres continue to expand. With Stargus and Regalia now approved at the federal level for hemp, we are well positioned to grow alongside this burgeoning market.”
Chemical pesticides dominate today’s $60 billion global pesticides market, but the fastest-growing category of crop inputs is biologicals, the company noted.
When integrated into crop production and pest management programs, biologicals like Stargus and Regalia can offer higher-quality crops and better yields. Both products are applicable for organic farming as well.
The bacteria in Stargus work by colonizing plant root hairs, leaves and other plant surfaces, thereby preventing the establishment of fungal and bacterial pathogens. The Stargus bacteria also produce natural compounds that inhibit detrimental bacterial, fungal growth and spore germination. Further, the Stargus bacteria trigger immune responses in the plant to ward off diseases and increase both growth and yield, creating a healthier and stronger plant.
Marrone Bio’s Regalia Biofungicide, based on a plant extract, delivers better yield and improved harvest quality. Regalia helps to increase crop performance by stimulating a plant’s innate ability to fight diseases. The fungicide offers preventative activity and early control of yield-robbing diseases, resulting in increased marketable yield and top profit on every acre.
Marrone Bio, based in Davis, California, provides bio-based pest management and plant health products for the US and international agricultural and water markets.
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