Farming industry breakthrough product enables reduced chemical fertilizer use; helps farmers reach top-end yield potential.
Pivot Bio’s flagship product, Pivot Bio PROVEN™, outperformed chemical nitrogen fertilizer in the company’s 2018 national trials. Growers using Pivot Bio PROVEN™, the industry’s first sustainable nitrogen-producing microbe for corn, consistently observed better ROI and outcomes, including harvesting superior yields – a 7.7 bushel per acre advantage – when compared to relying solely on chemical fertilizer. Nearly 11,000 on-farm and research trials were conducted across multiple states, demonstrating Pivot Bio’s nitrogen-producing microbes can reduce or replace chemical nitrogen, maximize yield potential and provide a strong return on investment for growers.
“Some of the country’s most progressive growers engaged with Pivot Bio to prove we could make their farms more profitable and sustainable using our product,” said Karsten Temme, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder, Pivot Bio. “The $212 billion fertilizer industry has essentially remained unchanged for 100 years, until now. For the first time, there’s a better alternative. Growers using Pivot Bio PROVEN™ harvested stronger yields, generated improved economics and had confidence the nitrogen supplied by our microbes was working for them.”
Farmers typically lose nitrogen in heavy rains and/or challenging soil types. Pivot Bio’s nitrogen-producing microbes recorded even stronger performance under these conditions with nearly a 17 bushel per acre average advantage against comparable fields using only chemical nitrogen fertilizer.
Over the last six years, Pivot Bio has worked closely with farmers, researchers and third-party collaborators to show that the company’s microbes provide corn crops daily nitrogen throughout the growing season. Across 13 states and 45+ different soil types, the 2018 trials demonstrated colonization on corn roots proving these microbes consistently thrived in variable weather conditions.
“As farmers, we rely on nitrogen, yet historically it’s one of the variables we have least control over,” said Kevin Poppel, a farmer in southwest Minnesota. “My yield monitor at harvest showed me that Pivot Bio PROVEN™ was providing the crop the nitrogen it needed all season long. With this product, I can set it and forget it.”
For the first time ever, growers were able to maximize yield efficiency with an environmentally sustainable product that, unlike chemical fertilizer, stays with the plant as it grows and is not washed away into waterways or volatilized into the air as a form of fertilizer-linked pollution. Pivot Bio’s product works within existing farming practices and equipment, making it easy for farmers to incorporate into their nitrogen management programs. Based on conservative calculations, when the use of Pivot Bio PROVEN™ expands to just 35 percent of the U.S. corn market, nearly 20,000 metric tons of nitrous oxide emissions could be reduced or prevented, which is equivalent to taking nearly 1.5 million cars off the road. Additionally, the use of Pivot Bio PROVEN™ may prevent up to 500,000 metric tons of nitrates leaching into waterways.
“We are committed to rapidly bringing innovation to the world that supports farmers’ desire to use more sustainable products while continuing to improve their bottom line,” said Temme. “We proved our first commercial product does both – it reduces the need for chemical fertilizer and delivers ROI to the growers who used it, while decreasing the complexity and risk typically associated with chemical fertilizer use. Our valued partnership with growers supports our 2019 commercial introduction of Pivot Bio PROVEN™, and underscores the company’s and our investors’ commitment to a cleaner, more sustainable alternative to chemical fertilizers.”
Looking beyond its already sold-out 2019 commercial product, Pivot Bio has a pipeline of products in development. These include a next generation of nitrogen-producing microbes for corn and products for wheat, soybeans, sorghum and rice. The company will expand beyond the U.S. into other parts of the world including Europe, Asia and Latin America. Late in 2018, Pivot Bio announced its expansion into soybeans through a collaboration with Bayer, to develop Bradyrhizobium strains with enhanced nitrogen production for U.S. soybean growers.
Pivot Bio completed its Series B funding round in early October 2018, led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Temasek. DCVC (Data Collective), who led Pivot Bio’s seed and Series A rounds, continued its strong support of the company. Previous investors Monsanto Growth Ventures, Prelude Ventures, Spruce Capital Partners, and Codon Capital extended their backing through participation in the round. Pivot Bio also added extensive strategic industry perspective to its investor base by welcoming Bunge Ventures, Continental Grain Company, Tekfen Ventures, Pavilion Capital, Alan Cohen, and Roger Underwood (the co-founder of Becker-Underwood) as investors.
Look out for Karsten Temme speaking at the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit, San Francisco, March 20 on ‘Soil Health: How Can We Fast-Track the Adoption of Solutions to Save the Planet?’ at 11.45am. Stay up to date with Pivot Bio news at www.pivotbio.com or follow them on Twitter and LinkedIn.