Organic farmers hot for OMRI-approved seed, soil, and plant growth product
January 14th, 2015
Inocucor hires 7 to keep up with demand for Garden Solution, shown to boost produce yields by up to 15%
Agriculture biotech company Inocucor Technologies Inc. said Wednesday it hired seven new employees to keep up with the burgeoning demand from organic farmers, greenhouse growers and conventional farmers for its OMRI-approved, organic soil, seed and plant growth accelerators.
The Montreal-based company’s first-generation product, called Garden Solution, is a proprietary and patented biological soil, seed, root system, and plant growth product fermented from live microbes, including yeasts and bacteria, to improve the health of the microbial community, known as the phyto-microbiome, in both the plant and soil.
Garden Solution also helps plants survive extreme weather conditions, including drought, and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers, the company said.
The product can be used as a seed treatment, soil drench or foliar spray, and works in combination with existing conventional or organic farming methods, Inocucor said. Garden Solution can also be applied using conventional equipment on large-scale farms as a tank mix with fertilizers and nutrients.
Inocucor said field tests of Garden Solution showed increased yields of 10 to 15 percent by promoting plant growth, boosting plant biomass and causing earlier maturation of fruit and vegetables.
Garden already is registered as a water treatment under the brand name Aqua Solution in the provinces of Québec and Ontario, and as a soil amendment in 12 U.S. states, with approval by 12 more states expected by mid-2015, Inocucor said.
In Septmber, organic inputs review group, the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), approved Garden Solution for use in the United States as an organic soil amendment.
Since then, demand for the product – from organic growers, urban farmers, and farmers looking to undertake the three-year transition to become organic, to farmers who simply want to cut chemical usage on their farms – made Inocucor’s decision to hire the seven new employees an easy one.
“We designed Garden Solution as a vital piece in the sustainability puzzle for organic and conventional farmers,” said Ananda Lynn Fitzsimmons, co-founder and vice president. “It gives all farmers a way to naturally condition soil, restore the soil-vegetation balance and reduce run-off of chemical fertilizers into groundwater.”
Inocucor also has co-product development partnerships underway with Axter Agrosciences Inc., one of Canada’s leading providers of foliar feeding crop solutions, and with McGill University’s Department of Plant Sciences.
Inocucor said its second- and third-generation products under development are microbial, cell-free, biological product formulations that will offer “powerful solutions for bio-stimulation” and better disease management for large-scale production farmers.
“The complexity of the soil environment’s microbial ecology is so great that even the experts can only speculate on how many species are down there under our feet,” Margaret Bywater–Ekegärd, Co-founder, Inocucor Technologies One thing we do know is that the inhabitants of the soil and plants are all ‘talking’ to each other.”
Meet Inocucor’s new employees:
- Fazli Mabood, a Ph.D. graduate from McGill’s plant sciences department, joined Inocucor as Group Leader: Discovery, New Biological Entities. He has more than 15 years’ experience in plant physiology and plant-microbe interactions, specializing in bio-fertilizers, bio-stimulants and identification of new biological entities. Mabood was involved in independent studies at McGill to verify biological effects of Inocucor’s first-generation product, Garden Solution, on germination and early plant growth. His work at Inocucor will focus on development of its second- and third-generation products for bio-stimulation and bio-protection.
- B. Pratyusha Chennupati joined Inocucor’s scientific team as senior development scientist in charge of quality control and quality assurance, bioassay development and expanding Inocucor’s cGMP pilot facility. Her M.Sc. plant sciences degree from McGill resulted in the publication of five scientific papers in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. She received the MITACS Accelerate Graduate Internship Award in 2012 while with A&L Biologicals in Ontario. She holds a biotechnology engineering degree from Andhra University in India.
- Christina Sawchyn joins Inocucor as technical applications specialist to support the sales team and customers conducting field demonstration projects with its existing and experimental products. She previously worked in plant biology research at Hawaii Agriculture Research Center. Sawchyn holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in biology from Concordia University.
- Nicolas Atala joined Inocucor as finance manager. He is an experienced CPA, CGA who previously worked with SDL International, P.A. Services Conseils Inc. and IMCO Groupe. Early in his career, he was a researcher and teacher of applied mathematics. He holds a M.Sc. and completed graduate studies in finance and accounting and the CPA, CGA program at McGill.
- Heather Copeland brings 20 years’ experience in international planning, human resources and operations to her role as human relations specialist. She has worked previously in the biotech, insurance, animal health and international real estate arenas, including recent positions with Metis Companies and IdentiGEN North America. She holds a B.A. in Russian and Eastern European studies from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and studied French civilization at the Université Paris Sorbonne.
- Karen Benlolo was hired as administrative assistant/sales and marketing coordinator. She previously worked for Crofton Moore commercial real estate and Aloft Montreal Airport Hotels and holds a B.A. from Concordia University.
- Luke Pritchett joined Inocucor’s U.S. operations as sales manager for Florida. He has worked in agriculture as a soil specialist and agronomist and holds a B.S. and M.S. in Agronomy from the University of Illinois and Purdue University, respectively.
by Sustainable Food News
January 14, 2015