Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI) has expanded beyond biopesticides and crop protection to the biostimulant market.
The company’s first biostimulant product is Haven Anti-transpirant to reduce sun stress in a broad range of fruit, nut, and vegetable crops, plus corn, wheat, and turf.
Anti-transpirants are compounds applied to the leaves of plants to reduce transpiration, the evaporation of water from plant leaves to cool plants. In intense sunlight or drought, excess transpiration can cause significant damage to crops.
Haven is derived from plant-based compounds which reflect light and heat to maintain lower leaf temperatures while reducing water loss. Results can include reduced crop stress and higher yields and crop quality.
According to MBI, two to four applications of Haven sprayed on crops usually starting at early fruit-nut set has reduced sun stress and increased yields for certain apple varieties, almonds, walnuts, grapes, citrus, tomatoes, corn, wheat, and turf.
Field trials have also demonstrated a reduction of bitter pit in apples which can cause calcium deficiency. This deficiency can cause substantial crop loss in certain apple varieties.
Unlike most current sun stress/anti-transpirant products on the market which form a physical barrier to block the sun MBI says its Haven product brings the added benefit to growers of leaving no visible deposit or residue on the crop.
Various market research firms estimate the biostimulant market was a $1.5 billion business in 2015, and is growing by 10 to 13 percent annually. The market could reach $3 billion-plus by 2021 or 2022.