Bee Vectoring Technologies Signs Two New Grower Deals in the Blueberry Market as it Progresses in the Commercial Phase of Operations
Mississauga, ON Canada and Sacramento, CA USA (November 6, 2019) – Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (the “Company” or “BVT”) (TSXV: BEE) (OTCQB: BEVVF) today announced it has signed deals with two leading commercial blueberry growers in Georgia to use its proprietary bee delivery system and VECTORITE™ with CR-7. Blueberries represent the second crop that the Company has successfully penetrated into commercially. These two new deals follow closely behind BVT’s recently announced commercial deal with a top-tier grower in the strawberry market.
BVT is currently in discussions with more than 10 additional blueberry growers in Georgia, as well as in other blueberry growing regions, and is expecting additional order commitments over the next several weeks.
“The blueberry market push for BVT has been very well-received since we received our US EPA approval,” says Ashish Malik, CEO of Bee Vectoring Technologies. “We are progressing very well executing on our commercialization strategy and we’re excited to have these two growers as our first partners in the blueberry market, building on the momentum we are seeing in the strawberry market. We look forward to announcing further updates as we progress toward the late winter and early spring blueberry season which starts in Florida in January and February, and then expands to Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, Michigan, reaching the Pacific Northwest states of Oregon and Washington in April and May.”
Blueberry field with BVT natural precision agriculture system on-site during the blooming period.
The two signed blueberry growers will be using BVT on a combined 250 acres of conventional fields for the upcoming 2020 season. In conventional fields for commercial crops, growers traditionally use only spray applications of chemical pesticides for disease control. The addition of BVT’s natural precision agriculture system, which uses biological pesticide alternatives delivered directly to blueberry flowers by commercially grown bees, is expected to increase yield and protection against disease while using a fraction of the product required with traditional spray applications. Water consumption and use of fossil fuels is also significantly reduced for producers using the BVT system.
It’s a proven approach that benefits crops, growers and consumers: in a 2019 open field demo in Georgia, using BVT increased yield by 29% on a highbush blueberry crop. BVT’s naturally-derived fungicide, otherwise known as a biological, helps with disease and pest control in both low and highbush blueberry crops, improving crop yields through better pollination, offering greater fruit set (more berries per stem) and bigger berries.
For this coming season, one of the contracted blueberry growers will adopt BVT on 100% of their fields, after trials on progressively larger sections in past seasons. The second grower is a first-time user this season, adopting BVT on 25% of their acreage to start. As is typical with growers, they plan to progressively add BVT to their entire operations over two to three seasons.
“Our sales strategy allows for controlled, progressive adoption, with highly trained personnel who build grower confidence and ensure an exemplary experience,” continued Mr. Malik. “In past seasons, we’ve observed that growers initially adopt BVT on a small fraction of their fields. Once they see the successful results in disease control and improved yields, they’ll commonly expand to a greater portion of their farm in the second season – and reach full adoption by the third. Neighboring growers also frequently end up placing orders. So when we get sales commitments this early in the adoption cycle, we are very pleased because we anticipate a multiplicative effect in future seasons.”
Blueberries are a major market that’s ripe for a change. A high-value commercial crop, blueberries fetch up to USD$18,000(1) in revenue per acre. North America grows 54% of the world’s blueberries, with close to 300,000 acres cultivated in the US and Canada representing a total farm gate value of USD$ 1.1 billion.(2) The commercial blueberry market is widespread across the two countries, with key growing regions in Washington, Oregon, Georgia, Michigan, California, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Florida in the US, and the Atlantic provinces and British Columbia in Canada.
(1) Source: UGA Extension, IPM Blueberries
(2) Source: USDA, 2018 Agricultural Statistics Annual and STATCAN, 2018 Fruit and Vegetable Production
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 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 60 granted patents, over 30 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
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