There’s a saying that it takes a village to raise a child. The same can be said for start-up companies.
EcoPesticides just added to our “village,” recently signing a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Under the agreement, we’re conducting joint research with the USDA’s Pest Management Research Unit in Sidney, Montana, to further develop and validate the field efficacy of our UV-protectant microencapsulation technology. The goal is to extend the potency and effectiveness of encapsulated biopesticides in controlling grasshoppers and other crop-destroying insects, while doing no harm to any other living thing.
What’s exciting about this joint research is that the USDA is home to experts with deep knowledge in biologic pesticides. We’re working with Stefan Jaronski, Ph.D., a research entomologist and noted authority on the biocontrol of rangeland grasshoppers. “Hoppers” are responsible for significant crop losses in the United States and around the world.
It’s a very synergistic partnership. Dr. Jaronski and his team at the USDA-ARS have conducted considerable screening of possible UV protectants of biopesticides, and have developed evaluation systems for UV protectants. They also have the perfect environment for field trials. What they don’t have is EcoPesticides’ UV-protectant technology, which could be the solution we all want: a more effective, environmentally friendly crop protection.
The opportunity to work with the USDA-ARS and Dr. Jaronski has the potential to accelerate development—and potentially the adoption—of Ecopesticides’ biologic pesticide and microencapsulation technologies. Our hope is to empower farmers to move away from chemical pesticides and adopt :green” solutions that protect soil, water, and the environment at large.