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Helm And Alltech Target Growth In Biologicals, Form A Bridge To Traditional Crop Protection

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In a partnership announced in mid-June, Alltech Crop Science and Helm Agro formed a new way to bring biologicals to market.

Leaders say this partnership plays to both organizations’ strengths and the missions of the two family-owned companies.

“We’ve been looking for a long time to continue to add to the portfolio with quality biological products, but we needed a cultural fit with a strong scientific portfolio,” says Aaron Locker, vice president of sales at Helm Agro. “And we found Alltech, and it fell into place.”

Helm will provide marketing, distribution and technical support for Alltech Crop Science’s biological products. Alltech has had a subsidiary Crop Science group focusing on biological products for 26 years.

“We focus on fermentation,” says Dr. Steven Borst, general manager at Alltech Crop Science. “In simple terms, we don’t focus on the microbes, we focus on what the microbes produce. The challenges of storage and shelf life with live micro-organisms can be a burden. So we’ve removed that step and focused on what the organism produces.”

Both leaders say they are excited for how the new partnership forges a bridge to bring together traditional crop protection approaches with biological opportunities.

Alltech has biological products currently used in specialty and row crops. The company is also awaiting EPA approval on a new biofungicide and a new bionematicide.

These two products highlight the creative and sustainable solutions bio controls can provide to growers says Borst.  

“With the new biofungicide, we’ve tied it to our nutrigenomic science—how a product can naturally influence genetic expression,” he says. “And the bionematicide provides nematode control which was previously reliant on some notoriously harsh chemistries.”

Adding the Alltech products to its portfolio is an extension of Helm Agro’s vision for adding more value-added products to its channel partners says Locker.

“We want to be looked upon as the manufacturer and deliverer of a full spectrum of science-based and technology-driven solutions to the grower. That’s the why, how and what that is core to this relationship with Alltech,” he says.

Borst adds, “This relationship is a testament to Alltech’s vision of a ‘Planet of Plenty.’ We believe agriculture has the greatest potential to shape the potential of our entire planet, but it will take all of us, working together.”

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