Verdesian Life Sciences buys U.K. plant health firm

04/17/2013 05:34:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

Verdesian Life Sciences LLC logoVerdesian Life Sciences LLC of Cary, N.C., is on a growth mode, with its latest acquisition being Plant Syence of East Yorkshire, England.

The U.K. firm is a developer of pesticide and nutrient products for the European agriculture and horticulture markets.

The purchase comes on the heels of Verdesian's acquisition of Northwest Agricultural Products of Pasco, Wash., Feb. 27, and Biagro Western, Sept. 10, 2012.

Verdesian is backed by global private equity investment firm Paine & Partners LLC, New York.

Among its products are the Nutri-Phite line, the Take Off line, the Nitro-Grow line and Fungi-Phite.

The company focuses on non-traditional, innovative technologies and delivery systems, such as microbials, innoculants, seed treatments, bio stimulants and SAR (systemic acquired resistance)-type products, says J.J. Grow, chief executive officer.

A veteran of conventional pesticide companies, Grow says he's fully aware of the regulatory pressure growers face to reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and even potassium they apply.

"So we're looking at delivery technology that will allow them to get their N, P and even K they use and to apply more efficiently to the plant," he says.

The technology isn't time-release, either.

For example, the product Take Off, which Verdesian licenses from the Los Alamos National Lab, turns on pathways within the plant that help it better use certain nutrients, Grow says.

And Blooomtime Biological, which came with the Northwest Agricultural Products acquisition, is a biological control for fire blight in pome fruit.

It contains Pantoea agglomerans, a beneficial organism that out-competes the fire blight organism, Erwinia amylovora, for territory within the bloom.

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