Bee Vectoring Technologies have revealed the successful results from their 2016 sunflower trials that were conducted in three countries: USA, Serbia and Canada.
The field trials were designed to evaluate the ability of the BVT system to manage sclerotinia head rot, an invasive fungal disease that causes high levels of loss in sunflowers. Growers have very limited choices in battling this disease since chemical sprays are not economically viable. To assess the efficacy of the system, several plots were inoculated with the disease and plots where the BVT system was deployed were compared against plots that were left untreated. Additional measurements on the yield of the crop and quality attributes were also made where possible in the trials.
In replicated trials conducted at North Dakota State University using bumblebees, the BVT system delivered a 36% reduction in incidence and a 22% reduction in the severity of the disease on average across three different observations. These reductions in disease incidence and severity were statistically significant. The BVT system produced a yield increase in the crop of 8%.
In replicated trials conducted in Serbia in collaboration with the Arthur Dobbs Institute and the Serbian Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops and its commercial arm “NS seme”, the BVT system delivered a 43% increase in disease-free flowers, a 25% yield increase and a 5% higher bulk density which is an important quality attribute of the sunflower seed.
In addition, a trial conducted on a sunflower crop in Ontario, Canada resulted in a 46% increase in yield.
BVT CEO, Ashish Malik said, “These are excellent results, and clearly demonstrate the significant opportunity we have to help sunflower growers around the world manage sclerotinia, a devastating disease they have been battling unsuccessfully for many years. There are 1.6 million acres of sunflowers planted in the US alone, and over fifty million acres planted worldwide so this crop represents a significant commercial opportunity for us.”
Malik added, “We learnt a lot from the trials carried out in 2016. Our system can not only help manage this devastating disease, but is being shown to deliver significant increases to yields as well as improving the overall quality of a crop. With the growing body of positive, verified results using our system on sunflowers, we anticipate a significant ramp up of our development activities in this area during 2017. We will be meeting with growers and important stakeholders in North Dakota in December to plan the next steps.”
BVT has developed and owns patent-pending bee vectoring technology (consisting of a proprietary tray dispenser containing a unique carrier agent) that is designed to harmlessly utilize commercially reared bumblebees as natural delivery mechanisms for a variety of powdered mixtures comprised of organic compounds that inhibit or eliminate common crop diseases, while at the same time stimulating and enhancing the same crops. This unique and proprietary process facilitates a targeted delivery of crop controls using the simple process of bee pollination to replace traditional crop spraying, resulting in better yield, organic product and less impact on the environment without the use of water or disruptions to labour.
Additional information can be viewed at the Company’s website www.beevt.com.