Why Botanical?

Discovering the Secret Life of Plants

Nothing is more potentially robust in the face of disease than a well-functioning, internal immune system. Through evolution, plants develop efficient molecules which cannot be synthesized by conventional chemistry. That’s why identifying a plant that is naturally defiant to pests and fungi poses interesting potential for protecting the growth of other crops.

Plants produce numerous chemicals for defense and communication and can prompt their own form of chemical control against pests and pathogens. The exploitation of these chemicals for the protection of crops from pests and pathogens is probably as old as organized agriculture itself.  The use of plant materials, crude plant extracts and isolated phytochemicals – the biologically active compounds found in plants – have traditionally been employed by farmers throughout the millennia and around the globe.

Botanical-Based Research The Next Wave of Biologicals

Today’s botanical-based biopesticides are derived from naturally occurring properties in plants and algae and applied in a form of either extracts or isolated molecules. With each new research and development project, the STK R&D team endeavors to verify:

 

  • Can we successfully identify a specific chemical agent on a molecular level and recognize its mode of action?
  • Can these natural chemicals be isolated, harvested and transformed into a commercial grade application?
  • And if so – will a formulation sprayed externally on a “foreign” plant produce the same type of disease resistance and behave the same way as it does within the internal immune system of the plant from which it is sourced?

Botanical-Based Research The Next Wave of Biologicals

Today’s botanical-based biopesticides are derived from naturally occurring properties in plants and algae and applied in a form of either extracts or isolated molecules. With each new research and development project, the STK R&D team endeavors to verify:

 

  • Can we successfully identify a specific chemical agent on a molecular level and recognize its mode of action?
  • Can these natural chemicals be isolated, harvested and transformed into a commercial grade application?
  • And if so – will a formulation sprayed externally on a “foreign” plant produce the same type of disease resistance and behave the same way as it does within the internal immune system of the plant from which it is sourced?

STK-R&D

Guided by Nature, Perfected through Science

 

STK’s current R&D efforts focus on the discovery of single new molecules with IP potential. Molecules that present both extrinsic and intrinsic potential are more likely to advance through the process and be developed into a commercial-grade formulation. STK utilizes a mechanized efficacy screening system in conjunction with state-of-the-art genomic tools (through various biotech collaborations, including the Weizmann Institute) to screen for extrinsic and intrinsic properties in parallel.

 

The metabolic information we gather is used to understand the interaction between the molecule and the plant; for understanding its mechanism; for Tox Data generation; and for optimizing food production.

commitment

Proprietary Portfolio

STK’s successful, ongoing foray into botanical research, coupled with the application of cutting-edge bio-ag technology, has led to the creation of a portfolio of next generation, proprietary botanical-based solutions. Spearheaded by the multi award-winning Timorex Gold® – the flagship of our fleet which has proven to be an effective solution in the prevention and cure of a broad spectrum of diseases in multiple crops – STK continues to expand its range for additional target pathogens and crops that enable farmers to achieve higher yields with improved quality while significantly reducing environmental impact.

Proprietary Portfolio

STK’s successful, ongoing foray into botanical research, coupled with the application of cutting-edge bio-ag technology, has led to the creation of a portfolio of next generation, proprietary botanical-based solutions. Spearheaded by the multi award-winning Timorex Gold® – the flagship of our fleet which has proven to be an effective solution in the prevention and cure of a broad spectrum of diseases in multiple crops – STK continues to expand its range for additional target pathogens and crops that enable farmers to achieve higher yields with improved quality while significantly reducing environmental impact.

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STK REGEV® ‘Hybrid’ fungicide, now registered in Argentina!

September 10th, 2018 (Petach Tikva, Israel) – STK bio-ag technologies, the innovative Israeli-based leader in bio-ag technologies for sustainable crop protection and aquaculture, is announcing that its ‘hybrid’ fungicide STK REGEV® is now registered in Argentina for peanuts, with future label extensions on potatoes, wine grapes, tomatoes, peppers, blueberries and tobacco. STK REGEV® protects and heals a variety of diseases, including Cercospora Arachidicola (early leaf spot), Cercosporidium Personatum (late leaf spot) for peanuts, Powdery mildew, Alternaria, Rust and Botritis for other crops. STK REGEV® is the world first foliar ‘hybrid’ fungicide, and is currently used successfully in ten countries in various regions of the world, with plans for global expansion in 2019. STK REGEV® is a ready to use fungicide, used exactly as other fungicides, but with the added benefits of reduced chemical residues and much better resistance management due to its highly complex formulation of Tea Tree Oil and Difenoconazole. This ready to use fungicide serves as a ‘bridge’, enabling farmers who have never used any biological product to try one, without having to mix, rotate or do anything different, thereby expanding the use of biologicals products for sustainable agriculture. Field test data has shown STK REGEV® performs as well or better than solo chemical leader market fungicides. Only with REGEV®, farmers will realize all the benefits of lower chemical load, reduced chemical residues and having a new tool for resistance management. According to STK Argentina’s country manager Mariano Laurencena, STK REGEV® is going to be distributed exclusively by SummitAgro. STK is also happy to answer questions directly on TIMOREX GOLD®, STK’s botanical-based bio fungicide, which Argentinean and other farmers throughout Latin America have been using with great success for many years on about 15 different crops. About STK Founded in 1994, STK is a bio-ag technology company, committed to food protection from field to fork. Our botanical-based solutions (BBS), a synergy of cutting-edge scientific research and technology, enhance the safety, yield and quality of multiple crops. STK helps growers, food companies and supermarkets deliver healthier and safer food to market. Our botanical and hybrid solutions are easily integrated into conventional spraying programs, helping to advance the Integrated Pest Management approach to food production. STK’s flagship product Timorex Gold® is used to control a broad spectrum of diseases in diverse crops. The product demonstrates an efficacy equivalent to chemical fungicides and is suitable to be used in conventional and organic agriculture. Timorex Gold® is registered and sold in over 30 countries.

Effective solution for avocado disease found

Shay Shaanan, STK Bio-Ag Technologies This is according to Shay Shaanan, the company’s Vice President of Research and Development. “In collaboration with the growers, we found a very effective solution for this disease, using Timorex Gold®.” Timorex Gold® is a broad-spectrum, botanical-based fungicide that can be used for many different crops or diseases. “Here, we are talking about Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, and Peru. We are still in the process of registering this solution in Chile. It looks like avocado is becoming the next big crop for us. Avocado is the new banana”, says Shay. “We are constantly developing new applications for the product because it has many modes of action.” Shay explains why Timorex Gold® is so versatile. “It is made from the extract of the Australian tea tree. This extract contains various molecules. Each molecule has a different function. Basically, Timorex Gold® is a product that can be used in many different ways. It counters many different diseases and has different effects on different plants.” Interesting finding in banana plants He goes on to say that they have learned from the banana growers in Brazil that Timorex Gold® affects their trees’ roots when sprayed directly onto the tree’s leaves. According to Shay, this combats Fusarium disease, which affects the roots of the banana tree. “This is very interesting.” “We know that Timorex Gold® molecules penetrate the plant, but not moving systemically down to the roots . Spraying the tree’s leaves with this product dramatically influences its roots and the entire plant. We are researching exactly how this happens, but we now know that Timorex Gold® has another good attribute.” The benefit of using Timorex Gold® is also being recognised further down the food chain. One of the international supermarket chains in Brazil has introduced a high taste and quality category, requiring that produce have no chemical residue and pass labor and environmental audits. Bananas treated with Timorex Gold® have qualified for this program and have received the taste and quality label. The use of Timorex Gold® has been reauthorised in Chile until 2022 and has been expanded to include other fruits & vegetables. It has been approved in China, Brazil, and just about every US state. Expanding quickly Shay goes on to say that STK is growing very fast, with its technologies expanding geographically. “There have been so many new developments with Timorex Gold®, Aviv®, REGEV ™, and partnerships in the last six months or so”. This company is one of a handful that focuses on developing botanically-based pesticide solutions. One of these partnership deals for Timorex Gold® is with BASF, the largest chemical producer in the world. “Our strategy is based on this kind of cooperation”, says Shay. “We see the benefits of this from two angles. Firstly, these large companies have access to the big markets. They can usually offer our product better than us because of the army of salespeople that they have at their disposal.” “The other angle is that we are developing new lines of biopesticides based on mixing biological and soft chemical solutions. In order to develop these new products, we need to cooperate with large multinational companies to get access to their data packages in various countries. This is the most costly part of trying to register new solutions on the market, especially in Europe and the US.” Shay adds that Europe is a much a tougher market to penetrate than the United States. “It takes much longer, and the costs are much higher”, he says. “European farmers will not use unregistered products. We are working hard to get Timorex Gold® onto the European market. We have submitted a registration, which should be completed in 2021. This is only in two years time, but in our industry two years is like tomorrow.” AVIV ‘Low Dose’ Bacillus subtilis biofungicide Another well-known STK Bio-Ag Technologies product in the US is AVIV®. AVIV® is an advanced microbial solution, a low-dose fungicide that contains Bacillus subtilis”, says Shay. “You only use a very small fraction compared to other well-known similar products. This is a big advantage.” Shay continues, “The strain of Bacillus in AVIV® as is also much more efficient, so you need much less in order to get the same efficacy.” “It is much easier for the farmer to use”, says Shay. “The very friendly and clear formulation makes the difference. This product is selling well, especially in the USA.” AVIV has recently been approved for use in California and 26 other American states. “Things are progressing ahead of schedule”, says Shay. Hybrid Fungicide: REGEV® REGEV™ is STK Bio-Ag Technologies’ first hybrid. “It is a completely new solution on the market”, Shay says. “We call it a bridge. We believe that this is a nice link for us to reach conventional farmers. These farmers are feeling pressured into using more environmentally-friendly solutions. They are hesitant to go all out in using purely biological products. These are usually not as efficient as the chemical pesticides.” “Once you tell them REGEV™is a mixture of a biological fungicide with a chemical they know,” he continues to say, “it makes it much easier for them to use it. In many cases, this solution performs better than the chemical solutions they are familiar with. At the end of the day, they reduce the amount of chemical they use dramatically. It is also very versatile when it comes to which crops it can be used on. In each country, different crops respond well to this product.” “REGEV™ solves a big problem”, adds Shay. “The use of bio-pesticides is growing at an average of annual rate of something like 15 - 20 %. In contrast, synthetic pesticide usage is only increasing by three per cent year-on-year. Yet, most growers are still not using any biologicals. Why is this?” He says REGEV™ addresses this issue. “It is a premix, so the farmer does not have to mix anything, and they do not have to do rotations between bio-pesticides and conventional pesticides. So, the grower can use REGEV in exactly the same way he used his chemical pesticide. Only now, with REGEV™, the farmer gets to participate in this biological revolution and gets to have a more sustainable profile. He also has a new product with which manage crop disease resistance.” Hybrid Technology at LATAM BioControl Conference Shay says the company has great faith in this product. “We can see how fast the farmers and industry are accepting this product. That is why there several new hybrid solutions in the pipeline. We have many interesting, attractive developments in the works.” Jose Antonio Estevez, STK Bio-Ag Technologies’Colombia Country Manager, will be doing a presentation about its ‘hybrid technology’ at the upcoming LATAM BioControl Conference. This is the largest international event dedicated to biocontrol in Latin America. It is to be held on 14 November in Medellin, Colombia. Publication date : 9/6/2018 Author: © FreshPlaza.com