Bee Vectoring Technologies Enters State-funded Trial in Sunflower Crops with North Dakota State University
Mississauga, ON Canada and Sacramento, CA USA (July 28, 2020) – Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (the “Company” or “BVT”) (TSXV: BEE) (OTCQB: BEVVF) (CVE:BEE) today announced that it has entered a new trial with North Dakota State University (NDSU) for sunflower crops. The trial will evaluate optimal hive distribution for application of BVT’s biological fungicide, CR-7, in sunflower crops in North Dakota. The project is funded by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, is approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and will be run by NDSU in cooperation with BVT. In addition to the trials with NDSU, the Company will be doing demonstration trials in Minnesota and Idaho with key sunflower growers. Setup of the trials is complete, with blooming season expected to start in early August.
“This is an exciting trial because it will allow us to determine which segments of the sunflower industry, which is valued at nearly US$470 million(1) through 1.3 million harvested acres(2) annually in America alone, we can participate in, and help determine the optimal bee hive distribution to apply CR-7 in the fight against Sclerotinia head rot. The disease is a major challenge for sunflower producers and identified as a high priority by the National Sunflower Association. The heightened need for a cure has led to the state electing to fund the trial,” says Ashish Malik, CEO of Bee Vectoring Technologies. “BVT is focused on improving agriculture sustainability, and this trial aligns 100% with that focus. As a large field crop, pinpointing optimal hive distribution impacts sunflower growers greatly. Too little hive distribution impacts efficacy and too much is an economic hardship for them.”
Sclerotinia head rot is a very serious constraint to sunflower production that has led some growers to abandon production. Crop rotation and fungicides are ineffective against this disease, and partially-resistant hybrids are not available. The study will validate the technology, quantify distribution of hives needed to achieve satisfactory head rot control, and address a significant need in the sunflower industry.
Above: A BVT honey bee dispenser system on a sunflower field.
In the BVT system, commercially-reared bees come into contact with the biological control agent as they exit their hives. As they pollinate the sunflower florets, they deposit the agent directly into each bloom. In trials conducted in 2016, 2017 and 2018, bees were used to inoculate sunflower heads with CR-7, BVT’s fungal biological control agent, resulting in 33-60% reductions in Sclerotinia head rot under moderate to severe disease pressure. The goal of these trials is to develop a disease management strategy for strong, consistent control of head rot, even under severe disease pressure. Results will be disseminated to producers and industry stakeholders at outreach meetings, in trade publications, and with reports published online.
“The disease management practices we help develop doesn’t just impact North Dakota producers,” says Mr. Malik. “They are directly applicable to producers in neighboring states (Minnesota, Montana, and South Dakota) and provinces (Manitoba and Saskatchewan). And with minor adjustments, they will be applicable to producers in other parts of the world.”
(1) (2) Source: 2016, 2017 National Ag Statistical Service (NASS)
BVT, an agriculture technology company, is a market disruptor with a significant global market opportunity in the $240 billion crop protection and fertilizer market. BVT has pioneered a natural precision agriculture system that replaces chemical pesticides and wasteful plant protection product spray applications by delivering biological pesticide alternatives to crops using commercially grown bees. BVT’s award-winning technology, precision vectoring, is completely harmless to bees and allows minute amounts of naturally-derived pesticides (called biologicals) to be delivered directly to blooms, providing improved crop protection and yield results than traditional chemical pesticides – and improving the health of the soil, the microbiome and the environment. Currently, BVT has over 65 granted patents, over 35 patents pending in all major agricultural countries worldwide, and has US EPA registration of its VECTORITE™ with CR-7 (EPA Registration No. 90641-2) for sale as a registered biological fungicide for use on the labeled crops.
Ashish Malik, President & CEO
Babak Pedram, Investor Relations
Virtus Advisory Group
Adam Lowensteiner, Investor Relations (for US inquires)
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