Bee Vectoring Technologies Announces Ongoing 2022 Almond Trials in California; Disease and Yield Data to Come
Mississauga, ON Canada and Sacramento, CA USA (March 31, 2022) – Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (the “Company” or “BVT”) (CSE: BEE) (OTCQB: BEVVF) (CVE:BEE) today announced it is conducting 10 almond trials in the 2022 growing season, which started during the almond bloom period (mid-February to mid-March) and will continue through harvest in the Fall. The locations are throughout California’s Central Valley, including in Bakersville, in the Fresno area, and in Northern California. This is the second year for BVT almond trials as farmers require multi-year data under local conditions for proof of efficacy.
The California almond market is important to BVT because of its huge market potential, and California almond pollination is believed to be the largest single pollination event worldwide. Valued at over US$6 billion,(1) almonds are California’s largest non-dairy crop in the state, with over 1.2 million(2) acres in production. Almond growing is big business and the sector has key sustainability objectives: the Almond Board of California has committed to increasing adoption of environmentally-friendly pest management tools by 25% by 2025.
Four R&D trials are being conducted to gather further disease and nut rot data, and to determine nutmeal quality. Four grower demonstrations are being used to collect harvest yield and nutmeal quality data to allow farmers to evaluate BVT in stage 1 of the new customer sales adoption cycle. Some of the trials are with large and influential companies in the almond growing community. Across the eight trials, four varieties of almonds are being treated with BVT’s proprietary Vectorite with CR-7 (Clonostachys rosea CR-7) biological fungicide, applied with bee vectoring.
Two further spray trials are being conducted with the University of California Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology. This is the second year CR-7 has been included in the research program, spraying it on almond trees at bloom to assess control of brown rot blossom blight (Monilinia laxa) and jacket rot (Botrytis cinerea).
“Last year’s almond trials were initial proof of concept trials, secured quickly after BVT was granted California regulatory approval in January 2021,” said Ian Collinson, Sales Manager at BVT. “Despite last year’s dry conditions which resulted in limited data, there was positive feedback from researchers and growers alike which led to their support for the 2022 trials program.”
BVT’s precision agriculture system helps growers meet this goal. The 2022 trials will grow awareness and provide proof of concept that BVT technology controls key fungal pathogens in almonds in a manner consistent with the objectives of the Almond Board.
“California almonds use over 2 million(3) bee colonies for pollination every year,” said Mr. Collinson. “When a nut grows, it’s because a bee pollinated a flower. So why not have those bees do double duty – and carry biological fungicides to those flowers? BVT is a natural fit with almonds – and the California market is a massive opportunity for the Company.”
For trials to be useable, the disease has to be present, which isn’t the case every year, particularly in dry windy seasons. Several seasons and multiple sites may be required to demonstrate effectiveness for disease control. At minimum, the yield data obtained will be extremely valuable in initiating the sales process with almond growers.
“In this second year, we doubled the number of trials and established more relationships with key growers and almond industry influencers,” said Mr. Collinson. “Now that the bloom period is over, we are waiting for the crop to develop on the trees. We will do disease assessments in a month. Then, when crops are harvested in October, we will obtain harvest and postharvest data on yield.”
(1)(2) Source: Almond Board of California almond almanac
(3) Source: Goodrich, Brittney (January 6, 2020). 2020 Almond Pollination Market: Economic Outlook and Other Considerations
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.
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