"There is room to grow not only with crops we already have solutions for, but also with new crops in need of our technology."

Sergio Aburto

LATIN AMERICA NORTH DIRECTOR, ACADIAN PLANT HEALTH

June 17, 2022

What is Acadian Plant Health’s core business and what is the typical profile of your client base?

The core business of Acadian is the commercialization of plant biostimulation products coming from a seaweed called Ascophyllum nodosum. Our crop care products optimize plant growth from root development to post-harvest by improving plant establishment, abiotic stress resistance, and improved nutrition in plants.

We supply our products mainly to exporters of high value crops, so we focus on technologies for fruits and vegetables that are primarily cultivated for export. Fortunately for us, there has been a great response. Acadian is the leader of the seaweed market with 37% market share, an improvement from last year.

Acadian’s products are all based on brown Ascophyllum nodosum seaweed. Can you explain how the properties and treatment of this seaweed can help improve crop strength and quality?

There are different types of seaweed on the market, but Ascophyllum nodosum has the largest program for sustainability as well as great scientific support. It has been widely tested in trials at global universities that have demonstrated its ability to work with the genomics of a plant by turning on or off certain genes. For example, it can enable the plant to perform under extreme temperatures, take better advantage of a soil’s salinity and improve its ability to absorb water.

Can you explain to us the difference between Acadian’s Stimplex and Acadian product lines?

Stimplex improves a plant’s ability to handle abiotic stress, improving nutrients uptake allowing better plant performance to express maximum potential production via foliar. Acadian, on the other hand, improves the ability of a plant’s root system to uptake fertilizers, nutrients and water. Essentially, Acadian is used for the root area of the plant, everything related to drip irrigation and irrigation containing nutrients, whereas Stimplex is used in the foliage area.

Which types of crops have attracted the highest demand for Acadian’s products in 2021?

We have seen increased demand for both Stimplex and Acadian because growers are increasingly seeing the need to improve their plants’ abilities to handle stress, especially with high-margin crops like berries, avocados and grapes. Growers are also using our products to improve the intake of fertilizer as a result of the fact that fertilizers have tripled in price since 2020 due to current transportation issues. This more efficient use of fertilizer is especially important for crops like melons, cucumbers, pecans, avocados, apples and cherries.

What have been the main dynamics impacting Mexico agribusiness export markets in 2021?

The Mexican government’s new regulations have created many problems for companies and have contributed to the increase in import costs. The country’s new tax code has brought about issues for all industries, including agrochemicals.

On the other hand, we have seen a good year for exports because Mexico’s main market, the US, has increased its demand. Additionally, there was a global price increase in crops like soybeans and corn due to a lack of production from countries like China. In all, every single crop we export increased.

How is Acadian able to increase production of seaweed-based biostimulants while at the same time increasing the amount of seaweed available?

We have a team of scientists who perform evaluations to make sure the seaweed is in its optimal natural environment as well as track the best time to harvest it. Regardless of heightened demand, we only harvest one third of the seaweed bed each year so that it can grow back in a year or two. Acadian Plant Health has implemented this practice in Canada, Scotland, Ireland and Norway and has gained international recognition.

What would you Acadian Plant Health to achieve in Mexico by the end of 2022?

Acadian’s main objective for 2022 is to improve the company’s penetration in new markets. There is room to grow not only with crops we already have solutions for, but also with new crops in need of our technology. For example, only 3% of mango flowers develop into fruit. If we could increase that by just 1%, it would be tremendous for growers. We are also working on shortening the harvest cycle of agave and providing consistency in pecan production.

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