Acadian Plant Health’s James Maude Discusses Climate Change and Regenerative Agriculture
Apr 08, 2023
AgriBusiness Global talked with James Maude, Senior Vice President of Acadian Plant Health, about the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations stating that 90% of the Earth's topsoil is likely to be at risk in 2050 and agribusiness’ role in helping to improve soil with synthetic chemical crop protection practices.
ABG: With food production companies and governments investing in regenerative agricultural practices to improve soil, what kind of growth are experiencing right now? What do you project for the next five years?
JM: The issue of sustainability is gaining widespread attention as more people recognize the importance of environmental health. This growing awareness is leading to increased emphasis on sustainable practices in various aspects of life, which has manifested in the regenerative agriculture movement.
The sustainable agriculture shift is creating a biostimulant market size that is anticipated to grow at over 12% CAGR over the next several years. This increase in market value has many companies engaging extensively to develop innovative products – including Acadian Plant Health.
We see a market potential exponentially larger than last year or the year before. We need to produce 70% more food by 2050. The ag chem market is projected to grow to $280 billion by 2028. Regenerative and sustainable ag technologies need to support these macro trends. We are investing to support the demand by ensuring we have flexible raw material supply and manufacturing capacity. We are driven and planned by demand.
ABG: What regions are experiencing the most growth?
JM: Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific all have the need for sustainable agriculture and are able to change agronomic practice to drive change. North America is slow to adopt and adapt, but when it does is likely to move in big steps.
ABG: With FAO stating that 90% of the Earth's topsoil is likely to be at risk in 2050, how is your company helping growers revitalize their soil?
JM: When our seaweed extracts are used as a crop care input, they are helping an entire industry move toward regenerative agriculture methods without sacrificing productivity or yield. That's because they improve plant and soil health – both of which are foundational to any regenerative and sustainable agri-food system.
Acadian Plant Health seaweed extracts are proven to increase root biomass in plants, which in turn increases soil organic matter, at the same time as feeding the soil microbiome and creating living soil.
ABG: How do your products work with fertilizer or crop protection products?
JM: Our seaweed extracts are complimentary to fertilizer and crop protection products and can be applied on the seed, soil, or as a foliar application.
We’ve been able to understand how our seaweed extracts can play a key role in bridging the gap between regenerative and conventional crop systems. As a complimentary input, biostimulants such as our seaweed extracts, can combine with traditional crop protection or fertilizer to improve crop quality and yields, but also improve soil health.
For instance, a key area of regenerative agriculture is soil health and restoring degraded soil. Acadian's Ascophyllum nodosum seaweed extract is well documented and scientifically proven to improve soil micro-biodiversity, with increases in the growth of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi – an integral part of regenerative agricultural improvements.
ABG: How is your company affecting climate change?
JM: Agriculture is one if not the most powerful industry in the world when it comes to impact on climate change. The opportunity is not only to stop producing greenhouse gas emissions but also to reverse the damage to a fundamental carbon capture process.
By bringing soil back to life we promote plant health which in turn improves the photosynthetic capacity to adsorb atmospheric carbon and create oxygen for the planet to thrive. Acadian Plant Health's product life cycle works at both ends by multiplying the carbon sink through sustainable harvesting and then increasing carbon adsorption through improving the plant's photosynthetic capacity.
AgriBusiness Global connects the crop input value chain from raw material manufacturers down to distributors and trading partners around the world. Our content empowers smarter sourcing and business decisions by providing key insights to buyers and sellers of crop inputs including crop protection (both traditional agrochemical and biocontrol) and plant health products (including fertilizers, biostimulants, macro and micronutrients). See all author stories here.
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ΔABG: With food production companies and governments investing in regenerative agricultural practices to improve soil, what kind of growth are experiencing right now? What do you project for the next five years? JM: ABG: What regions are experiencing the most growth? JM: ABG: With FAO stating that 90% of the Earth's topsoil is likely to be at risk in 2050, how is your company helping growers revitalize their soil? JM: ABG: How do your products work with fertilizer or crop protection products? JM: ABG: How is your company affecting climate change? JM: