Volume 88 Issue 45 | pp. 24-27
Issue Date: November 8, 2010

Seed Defenders

Agrochemical firms combine chemistry and biology to fend off pests and boost plant health
Department: Business
Keywords: agriculture, agrochemicals, seed treatments, insecticides, fungicides, innoculants, microbes

Early every spring, farmers drop tasty, expensive seeds into furrows of damp, cold soil. Hungry insects and famished fungi await this gift from above, often chowing down before the seeds even have a chance to germinate.

When seeds get eaten, or tiny sprouts wither from fungal invasion, the promise of today’s pricey genetic traits goes unfulfilled. To wait until the climate is more forgiving means a shorter growing season, which in colder climates can be . . .

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