Mar 12, 2024
Bioherbicide shown effective on broadleaf and grass weeds, seeds

Plant extract-based herbicides from Harpe Bioherbicide Solutions Inc., have been through more than 1,000 field and greenhouse trials globally, showing they are effective against a broad spectrum of broadleaf and grass weeds and seeds.

The innovation comes as consumers are demanding more natural approaches to food production and farmers are having more difficulty managing yield-robbing weeds.

Harpe Bioherbicide“Weeds continue to adapt and are now developing resistance to multiple herbicides at an alarming rate,” Daniel Pepitone, Harpe Bioherbicide co-founder and chief operating officer, said in a news release. “Fewer, less effective weed control options mean reduced yields, increased costs and more pressure on farmer viability.”

Weeds cause a tremendous reduction in yield and productivity of crop plants. Losses from weeds account for more than $40 billion in annual revenue for corn and soybean crops in North America alone, according to the Weed Science Society of America. Since 1984, herbicide resistant weeds have increased by more than 600% globally and require farmers to increase spending and apply more herbicides than ever before to achieve some level of control.

Not only have Harpe Bioherbicide formulations shown weed control across cropping systems, but field and greenhouse tests have demonstrated effectiveness against weeds with target site and non-target site herbicide resistance to almost all other herbicides — glyphosate, 2,4-D, Dicamba, Fluroxapyr, Atrazine, and ALS/AHS inhibitors.

“What we’re seeing in trials is a great endorsement of our farmer-first approach to create a completely new, natural active ingredient-based weed control platform,” Pepitone said in the release. “In a short time, our discovery approach has delivered a group of natural, new mode of action molecules that can be formulated for broad-spectrum, non-selective herbicide use in a range of pre-emergent, post-burndown and desiccation applications.”

The novelty of the Harpe Bioherbicide platform is affirmed by the first of what is expected to be a series of patents. U.S. Patent No. 11,771,095 covers specific combinations of plant extracts and components as herbicides, in addition to the enhanced combinations of those extracts with other synthetic or natural herbicides. Subsequent pending patents incorporate additional mixtures, use patterns and novel combinations including the disruption of non-target site resistance as well as formulation enhancements and herbicide tolerance trait discovery.

The Harpe Bioherbicide platform is drawing attention from consumer, specialty and row-crop market segments across organic, regenerative and conventional agriculture, according to the release.

Harpe Bioherbicide plans to expand U.S. field testing of its stand-alone and pre-mix formulations in 2024 with the possibility of select market introductions as early as 2026 following planned regulatory submissions. Harpe Bioherbicide Solutions has accelerated the development of its herbicide tolerant crop systems.

Pepitone will be discussing the Harpe Bioherbicide progress at the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit March 19-20 in San Francisco.

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