- Pesticides supplier Plant Health Care said it had decided not to seek a licence in South America this year for a new product, after it found its benefits protecting soybeans were not substantial.

Previously, trails of Innatus 3G by the company had demonstrated the benefit of peptides for the control of ASR, a fungal disease of soybeans in Brazil.

The company subsequently undertook expanded field trails with four large partners.

However, during the 2017-to-2018 season, conventional chemical spray regimes delivered good control in most areas.

'While Innatus 3G did show disease benefits on top of chemical fungicides, these benefits were not substantial,' Plant Health said.

'However, trials also showed increases of 6-7% in the average yield of soybeans treated with Innatus 3G, even at low application rates.'

'This effect was particularly evident in areas where there was less disease.'

'This suggests the potential for a dual positioning of Innatus 3G as an early treatment to boost yield where disease pressure is low, and also as a late treatment to extend disease control when chemical fungicides start to break down.'

Still, interim chief executive Chris Richards said it was 'clearly disappointing' that the company was unable to demonstrate a significant disease reduction.

'We continue to believe that Innatus 3G has significant potential to add value to South American soybean growers, which we intend to test in the coming crop year,' Richards said.

Plant Health also said it expected to grow its annual revenue by 30%, in line with market expectations.

It had successfully launched its Harpin product in sugarcane in Brazil, supported by a demonstration plot yield increase of 20% or more.

'Strong growth of our commercial business in 2017, together with new launches in 2018, give us confidence that the company will be cash positive in 2020, within existing cash reserves, and is not reliant on income from new technology to achieve this,' Plant Health said.

Story provided by