Plant Health Care (AIM: PHC), a leading provider of naturally derived products to the agriculture industry, announces that it has signed an agreement with MANA Crop Protection (MANA), to combine PHC's dry formulated Harpin αβ protein technology for use as a foliar spray in corn, soybeans, and dry beans with select MANA technologies in the USA. In 2012, MANA and PHC will test market combinations of PHC's yield-enhancing Harpin protein technology with MANA's Bumper® and Incognito® foliar fungicides. This program follows the same model that will result in an estimated three million acres of soybeans being treated with Harpin seed treatment in 2012. Financial terms of the agreement are confidential.
In 2011, the US-foliar corn fungicide market exceeded $135 Million in grower value. More than 80% of expenditures were strobilurin-based fungicides, yet the crop protection industry's Fungicide Resistance Action Committee has classified strobilurin fungicides as high risk for developing fungal resistance. The use of Harpin protein in combination with non-strobilurin-based fungicides mitigates the development of strobilurin-based fungicide resistance, and represents a new opportunity to be an effective replacement in situations where popular strobilurin-based fungicides may no longer be effective.
In direct comparison across multiple, commercial-scale farm trials that were set-up and managed by the Iowa Soybean Association's On-Farm Network in 2011, a harpin-propiconazole combination produced higher average yields than the market-leading strobilurin-based fungicides. These foliar Harpin/fungicide on-farm trials are consistent with 3 years of PHC-managed replicated evaluations in which Harpin recorded higher yields and a higher percentage of wins than the non-Harpin treated comparison blocks.
According to John Brady, CEO, PHC, "We're very excited to work with a company of the caliber of
MANA Crop Protection. The three years of field results achieved in corn with Harpin plus fungicides led to our test marketing agreement with MANA, and validates our beliefs that Harpin can be used effectively to improve the performance of foliar fungicides in these crops. Makhteshim Agan Industries, MANA's parent company, is the largest manufacturer and seller of post-patent crop protection chemicals in the world and we are discussing additional opportunities and crop segments to combine MANA technologies, such as the fungicide thiophanate methyl, with our Harpin technology.
"MANA Crop Protection's leading goal is to provide producers with high-value, innovative products that improve their bottom line while encouraging them to adopt technologies that manage resistance," said Keith Miller, MANA's Innovation Product Leader. "We believe PHC's Harpin, in combination with proven fungicides like Bumper! or Incognito!, will meet both objectives."
About Plant Health Care plc: Plant Health Care plc ("PHC") is a leading provider of naturally derived products for plants and soil. Established in 1995 in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) in the United States, PHC currently has operations in the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Spain, and the Netherlands. The Company's ordinary shares have been quoted on the Alternative Investment Market ("AIM") of the London Stock Exchange since July 2004 and listed on the Official List of the Channel Islands Stock Exchange ("CISX") in February 2010 (ticker symbol/ mnemonic: PHC).
PHC's products are aimed at agriculture industries and are environmentally beneficial. Through the commercialisation of these products, PHC is capitalising on current long-term trends toward natural systems and biological products for plant care and soil and water management. Further information is available at: www.planthealthcare.com.