Biological products can also work on the plant itself (as can traditional chemistry — see story at right) to boost a kind of “immune response.”

Marrone Bio Innovations has Regalia Rx, for example, that provides induced systemic resistance in the plant, which allows it to fend off disease. And it brings a different mode of action to the disease control mix for farmers seeking ways to avoid issues with resistance. It’s another example of how biobased products could turn up the heat against pests in the future.

The traditional chemistry companies entering the bioproduct market are bringing proven product discovery technologies to the table as well. The high-throughput systems these companies use can speed the process of finding new active biological products for control of a range of issues.

The move to biological approaches — with either biobased application products or active ingredients that incite a bioresponse in the crop itself — is a growing trend. In a high-yield world where raising production remains a paramount goal, new technologies here offer promise.