MSOB: Biological Sector Garnering More Interest from Large Companies

Brian German Industry, Making Sense of Biologicals

Biological Sector

The biological sector is continuing to pique the interest of large agribusiness providers that have traditionally focused on synthetic chemistries. Professor at Arizona State University, Kathleen Merrigan said that multiple issues are creating a more serious consideration for biological products. The increasing emphasis on climate change along with the cost and availability of crop inputs such as fertilizer are making biological materials more of an attractive option for farmers and ag businesses alike.

“Some of these things are converging to open people’s minds to biological approaches and have farmers and people of all sorts say, ‘hey, we have been underinvesting in biologicals. We have been thinking of them as an add-on; a nice thing to have, and not an essential tool,’” said Merrigan. “So, I’m hoping the tide is turning.”

As farmers look more to the biological sector for new tools, it is prompting broader investment. Merrigan described it as a “new era.” The attention that biological products are getting as their adoption increases is drawing more investment interest from major agribusiness leaders.

“Big companies are looking at these smaller companies, biologicals, and saying, ‘huh, should we have a company like that in our portfolio?’ Merrigan noted. “In terms of the fertilizer world, you have large synthetic fertilizer companies like Mosaic, OCP, Nutrien, that they’re distributing, acquiring, or investing in these biological technologies.”

Listen to the full episode with Kathleen Merrigan below.

‘Making Sense of Biologicals’ is a series from AgNet West that dives into various topics with unbiased experts in the field of biologics to help the industry better understand the product category.

This episode of Making Sense of Biologicals is made possible by Marrone Bio Innovations, leading the movement to environmentally sustainable farming practices through the discovery, development and sale of innovative biological products for crop protection, crop health and crop nutrition. Marrone Bio’s portfolio of 18 products helps a wide range of growers – from row crops and fruits and vegetables to tree nuts, vines, and greenhouse production – operate more sustainably while increasing their return on investment. For educational webinars and biological IPM programs, visit