How will the agriculture industry grow an increasing amount of safe, healthy food in an environment of more stringent regulations coupled with less water? This question was answered by John Kasper, commercial business unit director for FMC Corporation, during the opening session of the 42nd annual California Association of Pest Control Advisers. The sold-out event focused on feeding a nation and fighting the fear and one fear growing among consumers is the fear of pesticides, just one concern that has fed the fire of changing regulations.
Kasper led off his presentation, entitled, “Producing High Quality Food in an Increasingly Regulated Environment,” with acknowledging that growers’ jobs have become harder. He said that growers have needs and the industry must figure out how to develop tools and technologies to meet these needs. One potential area is that of biologics including biopesticides and biostimulants. Kasper said that today this is a fragmented and diverse market but he believes it may be the next frontier. It’s estimated to grow to a $10 billion industry by 2030.
FMC has entered this biological arena and Kasper said two years ago they created a partnership with Christian Hansen. Today they have built a European Innovation Center in Denmark, their partner’s headquarters, that will focus on biological research. Kasper anticipates they will see their first group of products born out of this collaboration within the next 3-5 years.
To learn more about pesticides and regulations, listen to my interview with John Kasper here: John Kasper, FMC
Back to the regulation frontier, Kasper said that the EPA is currently reviewing pyrethroids and he counseled that it is very important that the industry submit comments relating to how important they are to farmers. “We must show value of these products,” added Kasper. “We can not take proven products for granted.”
Kasper ended his presentation on a positive note calling for the industry to engage in change. “We have a tremendous opportunity to be open to change and see productivity increases.”
Listen to Kasper’s full presentation here: John Kasper, FMC, CAPCA Conference
Be sure to check out even more action by viewing the 42nd Annual CAPCA Photo Album.