Pivot Bio and Monsanto Company, a member of the Bayer Group, announced a collaboration entered into earlier this year to develop Bradyrhizobium strains with enhanced nitrogen production for U.S. soybean growers. Widely found in U.S. soils, Bradyrhizobium strains help soybean plants thrive by fixing atmospheric nitrogen. Increased access and utilization of nitrogen supports better yields.
“A collaboration that brings together Pivot Bio’s microbial expertise with Bayer’s experience in developing and commercializing chemical and biological crop protection products will ultimately benefit soybean farmers worldwide,” said Karsten Temme, Ph.D., CEO & co-founder of Pivot Bio. “We are committed to finding innovative solutions that help farmers be more productive while reducing their environmental footprint. A new Bradyrhizobium solution co-created by Pivot Bio and Bayer has the potential to do both.”
“No single entity can solve the challenges farmers around the globe are facing – producing food for a growing world population on fewer acres in a sustainable manner,” said Scott Bollman, microbial traits portfolio lead at Bayer. “Pivot Bio’s deep knowledge of improving natural soil microbes – and their dedication to developing products that improve on-farm sustainability – make them ideal partners for this research.”
Bradyrhizobium strain sourcing and evaluation is expected to begin immediately, and field testing of the first microbes could take place as early as 2021.
The Bradyrhizobium project will further bolster the significant expertise Bayer has in developing and marketing biological solutions. In the U.S., the company develops biologicals at its R&D sites in West Sacramento and La Jolla, California, as well as its R&D facility in Chesterfield, Missouri.
As a recognized leader in developing nitrogen-producing microbes, Pivot Bio will add another crop to its growing list of focus areas through the Bradyrhizobium project. In addition to launching a product for corn called Pivot Bio PROVENTM, the company is developing products for wheat and rice.
Pivot Bio and Bayer have placed environmental sustainability at the forefront of their R&D innovation engines. Founded with a commitment to create sustainable agricultural solutions, Pivot Bio’s first product optimizes microbes’ natural ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen and apply it to the corn roots daily, giving farmers confidence that their corn crop is receiving the nitrogen it needs throughout the growing season. Bayer recently reiterated its commitments to sustainability and food security, and more information on Bayer’s sustainability strategy can be found in their 2017 Annual Report.