This post is part of our Future of Agriculture series in which we interview the leading founders and executives who are on the front lines of the industry to get a better understanding of what problems the industry is facing, what trends are taking place, and what the future looks like.
1. What’s the history of AgBiome? Where and how did you begin?
BM: The AgBiome concept started with an idea generation session between two of our Founders, Dr. Scott Uknes and Dr. Eric Ward. They considered the unlocked potential of soil microbes as potential gene/trait sources as well as the actual usage of the microbe as disease/insecticide/fungus-controlling agents. AgBiome was formed in 2013 and now has grown to roughly 90 people located at the Research Triangle Park in Durham, NC.
2. What specific problem does AgBiome solve? How do you solve it?
BM: The primary mission is the control of harmful insects, weeds, pathogens, and nematodes that impact the yield and quality of crops. We solve this problem by isolating beneficial bacteria from the microbiome and develop biological solutions that help plants grow better.
3. What’s the future of Agriculture?
Prediction #1: Digital Ag will play an increasing role in grower decisions.
Prediction #2: A continued growth of biologicals for pest management and especially the synergy of biologicals plus synthetic chemistry.
Prediction #3: Gene editing will move into mainstream Ag.
3. What are the top 3 technological trends you’re seeing in Agriculture?
Trend #1: The demand from consumers to have sustainable and safe food.
Trend #2: Increased efforts to have high-performance products with reduced environmental residue or footprints for improved crop safety.
Trend #3: The continued growth of organic segments and consideration of how our products will fit and satisfy these growers’ needs.
4. Why is the AgTech industry ripe for disruption?
There are a few reasons, including increasing pressure on growers for profitability, increasing demands from consumers for safe and high-quality products, and greater transparency in crop production from the grower to the consumer, reasons which all make the Agriculture industry ripe for disruption.
About Bond McInnes
Bond McInnes is the Business Development Manager for AgBiome Innovations. He previously worked for over 13 years as the Fungicide, Nematicide, and Biologicals R & D Technical Manager for DuPont Crop Protection, where he oversaw field trial biological evaluation and market fit of new active ingredients and existing products as well as label development, and coordination with regulatory authorities, marketing, and asset managers. With more than two decades of experience in agricultural technology, McInnes specializes in Agrochemicals, Biologicals, Sales Operations, Biotechnology,Agronomy, and Agribusiness.