Not only in several seminars at Cultivate last July, this topic was discussed, also biological companies are seeing demand increase. Canadian-based Anatis Bioprotection, for example, is experiencing rapid sales growth year over year. "It demonstrates the increasing awareness and demand for environmentally friendly solutions in all growing communities," says the company's Business Development Manager, Gary Schulenberg.
The team at Cultivate'23 in Columbus, Ohio, USA.
How Anatis Bioprotection start?
So how did the company start? "The founder, Dr. Silvia Todorova, originally from Bulgaria, arrived in Montreal in 1990 with just $10 in her pocket. Despite this humble beginning, Silvia went on to earn a master's degree and her PhD. in environmental sciences and eventually founded Anatis Bioprotection in 2005, thanks to her enthusiasm for crop protection by employing biological controls. She continues to be a resource professor at UQAM (Universite du Quebec à Montréal). The company today has a team of 26 employees working from multiple locations: in its insectary & operations center (the farm) in Saint-Jacques-le-Mineur, Quebec, its research and development location in Laval, Quebec, and a sales force across Canada and the United States."
Research, insects, and fungi
Anatis Bioprotection focuses on research and production of 2 types of biological methods to aid growers in advancing sustainability through its biological solutions, namely insects and fungi, Schulenberg explains.
Micro fungus BioCeres
Their core product is the OMRI Listed 'BioCeres,' a micro fungus, specifically Beauveria bassiana. What makes this fungus so special? "Beauveria bassiana is a naturally occurring fungus, but in order to discover the optimum match, Dr. Todorova evaluated a wide range of strains from around the globe. In 2000, she isolated a unique cold weather strain, ANT-03, from a Lygus lineolaris (TPB) in Canada. Following additional research at the Laval location and numerous trials across North America, it has become a favorite mycoinsecticide for growers in controlling pests like whiteflies, thrips, and aphids at all life stages, with only a 4-hour REI, 0-day PHI, no known resistance to date, and proven data of no phytotoxicity."
'BioCeres' is available in 3 formulations; A wettable powder (BioCeres WP) and a newly formulated oil-based emulsified concentrate (Bioceres EC) both for foliar spray and dipping applications. "And the newest to market formulation in granular (BioCeres GR), for topical and soil mixing applications with proven impact on soil born pests like Japanese beetle larvae, Rice root aphid, Thrips pupae, and others."
Insects and Insectary
Secondly, but just as critical, insects and an insectary, Schulenberg continues. "In 2008, Anatis Bioprotection purchased their 'farm' in Saint-Jacques-le-Mineur, Quebec, and transformed it into a facility for raising beneficial insects and mites that help eliminate a variety of pests attacking crops. "This site serves as the primary shipping, operations, and customer service hub for our products and can ship them anywhere in Canada and the United States."
Sharing experience and discoveries
The company's goals are to share its experience and discoveries, hoping the knowledge is adopted to application. They continue with technical support and education and stress a "pitchfork" approach (using several biological tools in parallel to control pest pressure). "Silvia believes to not entirely eliminate pests, but rather reduce their presence to a non-harmful threshold to protect crops and ensure successful harvests, she emphasizes the importance of each insect having its designated role in the ecosystem."
As said earlier, Anatis Bioprotection has experienced rapid sales growth year over year. "At Cultivate'23, biologicals was a big focus, coming up in many different education seminars, even the AmericanHort Keynote presentation. I think due to changing regulations by different governmental bodies and a desire to return to safer practices, it is front of many growers' minds that just a few years ago may not have been the case."
"Shaping the future of pest control"
With their team, Anatis Bioprotection is currently supplying and supporting many American and Canadian growers through either direct relationships or distribution agreements, depending on the location. Further, the company is working on obtaining approvals in various other regions. "Anatis Bioprotection is at the forefront of sustainable agriculture, providing effective and eco-friendly solutions for farmers worldwide. With a commitment to research, innovation, and collaboration, the company is shaping the future of pest control in a way that benefits both the environment and agricultural production."
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