Valent Takes A ‘Microscopic’ Look At Soil Health
Valent BioSciences is launching a biorational soil health initiative following more than four years of strategic investment, including acquiring Mycorrhizal Applications. The company is expanding research and development and business development to enhance its position in biological solutions for ag’s soil microbiome.
“Today marks the culmination of one important growth phase for Valent BioSciences and celebrates the beginning of another,” said Ted Melnik, executive vice president and COO of Valent. “Biorational soil health is a natural extension of our business, one that promises a whole new array of possibilities for Valent BioSciences, our customers and our wide range of stakeholders around the world. It’s an exciting time.”
The company is focusing on biorational soil health because the industry is begging to understand the role microbes play in soil health (the physical and chemical properties of soil health are better understood). Valent will focus on improving soil health through these microscopic organisms.
At the core of this effort is Valent’s MycoApply product line. The products were created with a consortium of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. The fungi create symbiotic relationships with 80% of all plant species by connecting to roots and forming strands (hyphae) that extend root absorption zones. This relationship helps increase water and nutrient uptake as well as mitigate stress.
Valent currently has the largest research program dedicated to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi with ongoing trials for 30 crops in 30 countries.
“The plant health benefits of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi have been an evolving area of study since the late 1960s,” said Randy Martin, Valent global technical development specialist for soil health, “but it’s only recently that the full extent of soil health benefits have been better understood.”
By Sonja Begemann, Farm Journal Seeds & Production Editor