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NewLeaf Symbiotics bags another $45m to bring its ‘new class of microbial amendments’ to more row crops

December 21, 2023

Image credit: iStock

St. Louis, Missouri-based NewLeaf says it has been significantly increasing product shipments over the last few years, growing from 800,000 acres in crop year 2022 to 3.5 million in 2023. The company predicts its products will be on 11 million acres in crop year 2024.

NewLeaf is developing what it calls “a new class of microbial amendments” that can naturally boost plants’ nutrient uptake and ability to fight environmental stressors. The core of its technology are pink-pigmented facultative methylotrophs, or PPFMs, which are found on most plants.

The growing biologicals market comes at a time when population growth, increasing pest resistance and input prices are putting strain on the food system and creating a need to look beyond chemicals for crop protection.

“Farmers across the globe face increasing challenges every season, and PPFM technology can support them in finding sustainable solutions to positively impact the way food is produced,” notes Peter Odemark, managing director of Re:food.

NewLeaf’s products, which can be applied as seed treatments or planter box applications, are meant to work alongside growers’ existing operations.

So far, the company says it has screened more than 12,000 PPFM strains for application in corn, sorghum and soy crops.

The new funding will go towards further developing PPFM technology for biostimulants and microbial inoculants, biocontrol products, nitrogen use efficiency and methane mitigation.

“This round of funding is a testament to the science-led, proven performance of NewLeaf PPFM technology,” says NewLeaf president and CEO Brent Smith.

In 2024, the company plans to release a biopesticide technology to combat the corn rootworm. Biostimulants for peanuts and cotton are also in the works, along with continued research and development around rice.

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