Soybean Technology

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Soybean Technology Companies-Part 1

Some companies investing in technology or developing new technology related to the soybean industry are Corteva Agriscience (DowDuPont), M.S. Technologies, Monsanto (Bayer/BASF), and Stine Seed Farm which are all leaders in seed trait technology. True Organic Products is another company that develops technology related to soybeans but is focused primarily in fertilizer.

CORTEVA AGRISCIENCE

  • Corteva Agriscience is a publicly traded, global pure-play agriculture company. Corteva is the agriculture division of the now merged Dow (Dow AgroSciences LLC) and DuPont (Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc).
  • Dow produced agricultural chemicals for pest control and plant nutrition, and offered products such as insecticides, herbicides, fumigants, and other chemicals.
  • One soybean technology, which Dow filed for patent on October 2, 2014, was a method for identifying a soybean germline transformant.
  • DuPont Pioneer was a developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics to farmers worldwide. The company distributed agricultural products such as corn, soybeans, sunflowers, canola oil, wheat, sorghum, alfalfa, and corn silage.
  • Several patents for soybean varieties are registered to Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc in the US including 5PKYK65, 5PGGB63y, 5PQLN19, etc.
  • The US launch of Enlist E3™ soybeans was announced in February 2019. Enlist E3™ soybeans, developed by Dow Agrosciences (now Corteva Agriscience) and MS Technologies, provide tolerance to new 2,4-D choline in Enlist Duo® and Enlist One® herbicides, as well as glyphosate and glufosinate herbicides.
  • Dow and MS Technology share the patent for the detection of stacked herbicide tolerance event 8264.44.06.1, related transgenic soybean lines.
  • Enlist E3™ is a seed trait technology. In the second quarter 2019, Corteva sold more than 150,000 units of Enlist E3™ soybeans in North America and began recognizing licensing income related to the proprietary trait technology for over 100 executed licenses to date. Enlist E3TM soybeans are estimated to be greater than 10% of North American planted soybean acres in 2020.
  • In 2018, DowDuPont had a global net sale of $14.3 billion.

M.S. TECHNOLOGIES, LLC

  • MS Technologies™ is an agricultural company that provides technology and soybean genetic innovations to improve the future of farming. The company products include a variety of herbicide-tolerant and insect-resistant traits.
  • Some soybean cultivars patented to MS Technologies™ are cultivars 76132184 and 70271905.
  • The company also collaborates with other agricultural companies in developing new seed traits technologies such as the Enlist E3™ with Dow Agrisciences in 2019, and LibertyLink® with BASF (before Bayer) in 2009.
  • LibertyLink® soybeans are reported to have a 33-dollar profit potential.

MONSANTO TECHNOLOGY, LLC

  • Monsanto was a global modern agriculture company that developed products and tools to help farmers around the world. Mosanto products included corn, soybean, cotton, wheat, sorghum, and vegetable seeds.
  • On June 7, 2018, Bayer became the sole owner of Monsanto Company. Bayer divested the bulk of its remaining crop science businesses to BASF following its USD 63 billion combination with Monsanto.
  • Monsanto holds the patent for some soybean technologies such as: methods of making soybean seed and oil compositions; method to identify disease resistant soybean gene; molecular markers associated with soybean tolerance to low iron growth conditions; and methods for detection of soybean transgenic event MON87705.
  • The company has patent for soybean varieties like 01064350, and developed seed traits in collaboration with other agricultural companies. Monsanto, together with M.S. Technologies, developed LibertyLink® soybeans in 2009.

STINE SEED FARM, INC

  • Stine Seed Company operates as a seed company specializing in corn and soybean breeding programs.
  • The company co-develops soybean traits with other agricultural companies like Monsanto where it shares the patent for soybean cultivar 77252418.
  • One of the soybean traits the Stine Seed offers is the Stine® GT27™ which is based on the GT27™ soybean performance system developed by MS Technologies™ and Bayer. Stine® GT27™ soybeans offer growers high-yielding, elite genetics coupled with a double herbicide-tolerant trait stack tolerant to both glyphosate and a new HPPD/Group 27 herbicide which can be used as burndown and pre-emergence applications for broad-spectrum weed control with residual activity once approved by the EPA.

TRUE ORGANIC PRODUCTS, INC.

  • True Organic Products Inc. is a family-owned agricultural company that produces organic fertilizers. The company categorizes its products into dry pelleted fertilizers, liquid fertilizers, or custom blend fertilizers.
  • On August 31, 2016, the company filed for a patent for a process for production of a pelleted organic fertilizer with feather meal and soybean meal as base.
  • True Organic Products Inc. has an estimated revenue of USD 5.46 million.

HELPFUL FINDINGS:

  • Aside from acquiring Bayer and Monsanto, the German chemical company BASF SE holds a US patent for a method for controlling pests in soybean.
  • Syngenta Participations AG of Switzerland holds a US patent for methods and compositions for identifying disease resistance alleles in soybean.
  • CJ Cheiljedang Corporation of South Korea holds a US patent for a certain process for preparing fermented soybean meal.
  • Individuals Kim Bok-Ja and Lee Ik Jae from South Korea registered a patent for whole soybean curd production system having heating device and cooling device, and method for producing whole soybean cu

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To identify companies that are investing in technology or developing new technology related to the soybean industry, we began the search in United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website. We isolated patents that are related to soybeans. From this strategy, we were able to identify major players in the soybean industry such as Dow AgroSciences DuPont Pioneer, MS Technologies, and Monsanto, to name a few.

Having identified the top companies developing new technology related to soybean, we searched each company's website for the latest technology it developed. Most of the technologies we found were soybean seed trait technologies, but there was one company that developed a fertilizer technology utilizing soybean and feather meals. We were hoping to find information about the costs of developing the technologies and the financial returns as well, but these details were not found in the companies' websites.

Finally, we searched news website and industry-related websites for relevant articles that may provide information on the development cost and success of the technologies. However, the articles we found did not provide these specific details. We also looked for annual reports of the companies hoping to find breakdown of expenditures, but this too was not fruitful. We assume these details are not made publicly available because the companies are either private or undergoing major restructuring such as the Dow-DuPont merger and Mosanto-Bayer-BASF merger.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Soybean Technology Companies-Part 2

Golden Harvest has developed 66 new types of soybeans; AgJunction has an automated steering solution for tractors; EarthSense has developed an under-canopy robot; Precision Planting has a tool that gives the farmer a foot-by-foot assessment of the field; and CropMetrics has a predictive irrigation tool.

Golden Harvest

  • Golden Harvest has developed the "LibertyLink GT27 soybean technology, which offers glyphosate and Liberty® herbicide tolerance, and will be offered in 20 of the 66 new Golden Harvest® soybean varieties."
  • These new varieties offer "Sulfonyl-Urea Tolerant Soybeans (STS®) herbicide tolerance and may increase tolerance to ALS-inhibitors, allowing higher application rates on select herbicides."
  • The relative maturity of the varieties ranges from 0.06 to 5.1.
  • The company has 50 years of successful soybean breeding, including field testing and disease screening.
  • Golden Harvest announced an incremental $400 million investment in 2018.
  • These new seeds will be planted for the first time in 2020, so success is not yet known. Golden Harvest soybeans entered the 2018 Farmers' Independent Research of Seed Technologies (FIRST) trials and won 17 first place, 41 Top 3 finishes and 131 Top 10 varieties

Agjunction

Earthsense

  • TerraSentia is EarthSense's robot and uses a variety of sensors such as visual cameras, LIDAR and other onboard sensors. The robot autonomously travels crop fields to collect data on plant health, stress response and physiology. "TerraSentia's unique data set delivers high-value under-canopy plant traits, including stand-count, stem width, plant height, LAI, etc. "
  • TerraSentia was tested in corn, soybean, wheat, sorghum, vegetable crops, orchards, and vineyards.
  • There is a cloud-based platform that will let you quickly teach TerraSentia to measure a variety of key traits automatically.
  • In 2019, the company worked with "leading private- and public-sector organizations to accurately detect and quantify high-value traits in corn, soybean, wheat, sorghum"
  • They are seeking to improve the robot for the next year by "teaching it to measure early vigor ... soybean pods, plant biomass, and to detect and identify diseases and abiotic stresses."
  • This robot will improve the cost, accuracy, quantity and speed of in-field plant trait data collection. This is important especially for under-canopy traits that cannot be obtained by other technologies.
  • Over the past two years, customers throughout the agricultural value chain have validated TerraSentia technology.
  • The company can create a customized field phenotyping program.
  • The company received $1 million in funding in Feb 2019.

Precision Planting

CropMetrics

  • CropMetrics specializes in irrigation optimization. They use an integrated solution composed of sensors, predictive science and field support to give farmers the information they need to know and how much to irrigate.
  • They combine advanced soil moisture probe technology with CropMetrics Precision Data Specialists. This generates data that provides complete in-season local support and recommendations to optimize water use efficiency and maximize profit.
  • Virtual Predictor technology can create a custom irrigation plan that looks at the weather forecast several days ahead into the future, combine with soil status and predict how much irrigation will be needed, and exactly where the water needs to go. The technology uses data science to complement and extend the use of in-field sensors.
  • The system was announced in March 2019, released on May 2019. It is developed by CropMetrics in house.
  • Success with the new solution is not yet known, but CropMetrics has received $1.5M in venture and debt financing.



Sources
Sources

From Part 01