The new green revolution: how BVT is enabling the agricultural revolution our planet needs
There are almost eight billion people on our planet.1 By 2050, that number will be closer to 10 billion.2 In order to feed the world’s future population, we will need to double the crop yields that we achieve today.
How will we do that, exactly?
Over the past century, the agriculture industry has made incredible productivity gains through the use of chemicals. For most of this time, there was no knowledge about climate change or the impact that chemicals could have on the planet. Farmers, growers, agriculture companies and society at large all did the best they could, based on the technology available at the time. Fast forward to today, and climate change has become a much more significant concern worldwide. Existing farming methods use too much water and produce too much CO2 to be sustainable for the future of food production. They also use spraying methods that prevent many effective treatments from being put into mainstream use because application through spraying is simply too wasteful. In addition, past farming practices have caused the microbiome for plants and soil to become depleted, and given rise to consumer backlash against chemicals. But the situation remains that we need to grow more food on less land, using less water, fewer chemicals, and in responsible ways that don’t hurt the planet.
That’s a tall order. How do we double food production without doubling the resources we use to grow it? We must change how we grow food. And we must change in a very big way. The time has come to shape a new agricultural era.
Before we talk about that bright future, let’s take a deeper look at the past
The first agricultural revolution of the modern era (as opposed to those in centuries past) began in the early 1900s with the invention of the Haber-Bosch process. This new process converted atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia, allowing industrial scale production of fertlizers which in turn allowed farmers to feed their crops more effectively – leading to increased yields.
The agricultural revolution entered its second phase in the 1950s with the growth in usage of chemical pesticides and other technologies that were geared towards increasing yields, such as the introduction of high yielding crop varieties. Though they brought significant increased yields too, we now know that some of those increases came at a cost – impacting the health of the microbiome and contributing to climate change. In the 1990s came the advent of genetically-modified (GMO) plants, which also increased yields but caused consumer concerns.
Now it’s time for the next green revolution
Since 2000, there’s been a shift happening that focuses beyond growing more crops – today, it’s about growing more crops, more responsibly. It’s about introducing breakthrough green practices that dramatically increase yields, cut costs for farmers, reduce their environmental footprint – and promise to feed the Earth’s billions for centuries to come.
This is the next phase of the agricultural revolution (what we term as a new green revolution) that’s about rebuilding the microbiome and revitalizing the earth‘s soil. It’s about introducing naturally-derived pesticides (called biologicals) that do the work of chemical agents – without damaging the health of farmers, consumers or the environment. And it’s about modernizing delivery of those biologicals with new precision methods that make them more effective and much less expensive to use.
A new delivery system that’s disrupting the agriculture industry
Bee Vectoring Technologies is breaking ground with a new targeted delivery approach – one that replaces wasteful spray methods and delivers product only where it’s needed, directly on blooms, naturally through commercially reared bees.
Putting all this into more relatable terms, let’s say you had to take some medication to get rid of a virus in your body. You’d probably put it directly into your mouth, right? Well, imagine a scenario where your doctor had to spray your whole body in the hopes of getting some of it in your mouth. That’s what crop spraying is like – 98% of product doesn’t get to where it is needed to actually protect plants and help improve crop yields.
The high volume of spraying means a lot of innovative treatments go unused because they are cost-prohibitive in large amounts. But what if you needed less of them? That changes the game.
Here’s how BVT stacks up to spraying, illustrated with an example from strawberry production in Florida, USA: it takes 4 kg of spraying chemical pesticides to do the same work as only 0.02 kg of BVT biologicals. BVT’s proprietary bee delivery system and VECTORITE™ with CR-7 is used in two hives per acre, with CR-7 trays replaced every five days. Compare that to ten sprays of Switch fungicide at a rate of 14 oz per acre, per spray. That’s a dramatic savings and comes with a much lower environmental impact when you consider that 98% of the sprayed product doesn’t make it to the right place (directly on blooms).
A honey of an idea
The BVT delivery system prevents the waste associated with spraying by delivering the product directly into the bloom, exactly where it needs to go to benefit the plant the most. And it happens in the most natural way possible: with bees. Revolutionary bee vectoring technology uses bumblebees and honeybees to carry biological agents directly to a crop’s flowers. There’s no waste. No mechanical processes. And no heavy reliance on water and fossil fuels. Just natural crop protection that works.
Crops are healthier, yields are up to 29%3 higher, water and air get cleaner, soil is revitalized and the microbiome has a chance to return to its natural, balanced state. It’s good for farmers (improved disease control and yields), consumers (fewer chemical pesticides consumed), the environment (healthy soil absorbs more CO2) – and it’s good for bee health, too (more to come on this soon).
BVT is a major enabler of the new green revolution
Our targeted application method is already attracting the attention of major companies searching for innovative precision methods for their own products, putting BVT at the forefront of an up-and-coming precision industry. The use of biologicals and innovative precision delivery systems marks an exciting shift that’s quickly gaining traction. As we look to the future, it is quite likely that biologicals will become the standard in agriculture, and BVT will be right there driving that change.