NewLeaf Symbiotics and Meristem Crop Performance Group, LLC have announced a new strategic alliance designed to efficiently bring new biologicals to more farmers faster. Under the new relationship, Meristem and NewLeaf will work together to make this yield-enhancing technology reliable, accessible and easy-to-use.
“We are thrilled NewLeaf has selected Meristem’s new, efficient pathway to reach top growers and millions of acres,” says Mitch Eviston, Meristem Founder and CEO. “Better market access will pull even more innovation, such as the natural corn rootworm biocontrol product NewLeaf is planning to release in 2023, pending regulatory approval.”
Eviston points to the fact that NewLeaf has drawn great attention to this need for sustainable solutions and raised investor capital from big global players like Koch Disruptive Technologies, Sabic, and S2G as evidence of their quality as a development partner. “From the start,” he says, “it’s been our intent at Meristem to provide this sort of direct pipeline for cutting-edge products that need a clear and honest shot at proving their worth on more acres. They have the wherewithal to help us build those new solutions.”
First of the new products to be released under the agreement is Meristem’s REVLINE HOPPER THROTTLE, powered by Terrasym. It’s a nutrition enhancer featuring azospirillum, micronutrients and NewLeaf’s Terrasym technology in an 80/20 combo of talc and graphite. Terrasym, in hundreds of replicated trials across four years, has proven the ability to improve germination, enhance nutrient uptake, build larger root mass and boost more consistent stands in corn and soybeans.
“NewLeaf has invested significant time, energy, and dollars into validating Terrasym technology across large-scale operations,” says Matt Helms, NewLeaf Chief Commercial Officer. “We see our alliance with Meristem as another step toward taking our great in-field results to more growers across the Corn Belt. Meristem’s building the channel of the future and their focus on ROI (return on investment) to farmers makes them the perfect partner for us to benefit more growers.”
Terrasym is the first in a new class of biologicals that infuses plants with naturally-occurring pink pigmented facultative methylotrophs (PPFMs). Since discovering Terrasym, NewLeaf has launched pipeline products for corn, soybeans, and peanuts, with a variety of additional crop targets on the horizon including tomato, rice, and cannabis. Meristem and NewLeaf are already at work on field trials of other products in the pipeline, including a corn rootworm bio control coming for the 2023 crop season as an alternative to harsher chemicals.
“NewLeaf Symbiotics is changing the industry by collaborating closely with growers to develop true partnerships,” says Rob McClelland, President and CMO of Meristem. “They’re conducting trials across large AND small plots and making their data transparent. That open and honest approach fits perfectly with our desire to bring more efficiency and integrity to the process of bringing new solutions to market.”
NewLeaf Technical Product Manager, Dr. Allison Jack, says that connection with leading growers has been invaluable to developing Terrasym. “We view our growers as co-developers of this technology with us,” she says. “This process allowed us to connect with a progressive group of farmers who are interested in more sustainable technologies that deliver enhanced crop performance alongside convenience of application and return on investment.”
Eviston of Meristem says he’s very happy to be a part of the solution for this sort of development and go-to-market need rather than a part of the problem.
“Consolidation of multinational players and their traditional reliance on an antiquated distribution system makes it difficult for many smart people developing this new innovative technology to find a clear path to market,” Eviston says. “We are excited to have a passionate team and new allies to be a part of the solution for farmers.”