Benson Hill Biosystems, a crop improvement company unlocking the natural genetic diversity of plants, and Beck’s, the largest independent, retail seed company in the United States are partnering to bring to market the first photosynthetic efficiency trait, enabling corn farmers to increase the yield, sustainability and profitability of their farms.
Sunlight is the critical natural input for food production, capturing and storing carbon as a source for all energy, but photosynthesis is highly inefficient. Increasing carbon capture by improving photosynthesis efficiency is recognized as an important opportunity to improve crop productivity and sustainability.
“For years, trait innovation has been largely limited to only the largest multinational companies. The goal of our product development and testing programs has always been to help farmers succeed by bringing them more choice and profitability,” said Kevin Cavanaugh, Director of Research at Beck’s. “We have been working with Benson Hill now for years and are convinced that this collaboration will allow us to open new channels for innovation and greater opportunity for our customers.”
Benson Hill has developed a robust pipeline of trait product candidates that improve crop photosynthetic efficiency, one of which has demonstrated significant yield increases in hybrid corn across three years of field trials in a broad range of environments and genetic backgrounds. Through its co-development and commercialization agreement, Beck’s and Benson Hill will advance a trait product candidate through the final stages of development and anticipate filing a regulatory dossier with the USDA by 2021.
“It’s encouraging to see companies tackling some of the most critical and challenging areas of crop improvement such as photosynthesis,” said David Ertl, Technology Commercialization Manager at the Iowa Corn Promotion Board. “Novel trait development research is important, but it is equally important that these trait developers partner with others in the seed industry to commercialize these traits and get them into the hands of farmers.”
The partnership is particularly timely given the unprecedented level of consolidation underway in the agriculture industry. Through true collaboration, the companies will combine their expertise in product development, testing, and commercialization to bring greater choice to farmers in the marketplace. The companies plan to broadly license this exciting technology to many seed corn companies so that all farmers will have the opportunity to increase corn yields.
When we started Benson Hill, we envisioned that the intersection of disciplines known as cloud biology could help address major challenges like improving photosynthesis,” said Matthew Crisp, CEO and co-founder of Benson Hill. “This outcome has since been demonstrated, and dedicated partners like Beck’s are now helping us define new channels to market for the resulting product opportunities.”
Beck’s is a family-owned and operated seed company that serves farmers in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. According to a recent media survey, Beck’s ranks as the sixth largest seed company in the United States and the only one in the top six that is family-owned, making Beck’s the largest retail, family-owned seed company in the United States. To learn more about Beck’s, please visit www.beckshybrids.com. Follow Beck’s on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BecksHybrids, like Beck’s on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BecksHybrids, or visit the Beck’s Blog at www.beckshybrids.com/blog.
About Benson Hill Biosystems
Benson Hill empowers innovators with a revolutionary crop design platform to develop healthier and more sustainable crops. Our CropOS™ platform combines machine learning and big data with genome editing and plant biology to drastically accelerate and simplify the product development process. More information can be found online at www.bensonhillbio.com. Follow us on Twitter at @BensonHillBio.
Beck’s is pleased to announce improved data flow and connectivity options with its secure, web-based precision ag tool, FARMserver. By offering farmers the capability to connect their MyJohnDeere, Raven SlingShot, and/or Precision Planting Field View accounts directly with their FARMserver account, users will have the ability to seamlessly transfer data between their FARMserver account and their planting or harvesting equipment.
Beck’s is pleased to announce the installation of two new solar energy systems at their headquarters in Atlanta, Ind. The power produced from the two, one-mega-watt systems will cover approximately 25 percent of Beck’s current electric costs and provide increased power efficiency for well over 30 years.
February 8, 2018
Beck’s is pleased to announce an expansion at their El Paso, Ill. facility. In an effort to consolidate locations in central Illinois, Beck’s sold their Downs, Ill. facility to Horsch and is relocating their Practical Farm Research (PFR)® site to El Paso.
“Each day we strive to not only deliver farmers with the highest quality seed, but we look for opportunities to improve processes, facilities and programs that will ultimately help farmers succeed,” said Scott Beck, president of Beck’s. “By consolidating facilities, farmers will now have access to our agronomic PFR program, product testing, distribution and sales support all at one location in central Illinois. Helping farmers succeed is at the core of everything we do and this move is a reflection of our continued commitment to Illinois farmers.”
Beck's El Paso facility expansion will create space for increased sales and front counter support, an additional meeting room,
an updated kitchen and a new warehouse with a dock and staging area.
A former Pfister Hybrids facility, Beck’s El Paso location has provided additional seed processing capabilities, expanded warehouse space, and additional research and testing facilities since 2011. With its central location on I-39 and Route 24, the El Paso facility provides great road access that allows Beck’s to serve farmers throughout the state as well as host PFR tours, Field Shows, and events.
Currently, the El Paso facility has 80 acres of land that will be dedicated to PFR and Choice Trial research studies for the 2018 season. By moving the central Illinois PFR program to this site, Beck’s will be able to provide better training for the area sales staff and farmer-dealer network, and work more closely with farmers to offer them education and agronomic support.
“We are excited for this move as it will provide more synergies between sales, distribution, and PFR in central Illinois” said Jim Schwartz, director of PFR and agronomy. “Consolidating these two locations will provide farmers with a better feel for who we are as a company while providing a platform for us to showcase how Beck’s can truly help their operations succeed.”
All personnel and equipment will be moved by the end of March of 2018. There are also plans to expand the current buildings to incorporate additional office space for increased sales and front counter support, an additional meeting room, an updated kitchen, a new warehouse with a staging area and additional space for storage and equipment maintenance. In addition to El Paso, Beck’s has four permanent locations in Illinois including production, processing and distribution facilities in Effingham, Pontiac, Allerton and Neoga. Beck’s has had significant interest from farmers throughout Illinois which has resulted in Illinois being Beck’s fastest growing state over the past three years.
El Paso will now be home to one of Beck’s six PFR locations, which are located across five states. In 2017, Beck’s PFR conducted more than 500 different studies designed with the farmer in mind to learn how different management practices and new technologies perform in field environments. Farmers can expect to tour PFR studies during the 2018 growing season and attend the first-ever Beck’s Field Show in El Paso on August 9, 2018.
Beck’s is a family-owned and operated seed company that serves farmers in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, eastern South Dakota, and southern Minnesota. According to a recent media survey, Beck’s ranks as the sixth largest seed company in the United States and the only one in the top six that is family-owned, making Beck’s the largest retail, family-owned seed company in the United States. To learn more about Beck’s, please visit www.beckshybrids.com. Follow Beck’s Hybrids on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BecksHybrids, like Beck’s Hybrids on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BecksHybrids, or visit the Beck’s Blog at www.beckshybrids.com/blog.
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Beck's Hybrids seed company provides high yield corn, soybeans, wheat and elite alfalfa. All seed products are protected by the Escalate™ yield enhancement system delivering higher yields, insect protection, improved stand, and seedling health. We give you access to every major supplier in the world, so you get the genetic diversity and trait protection you need from one company – Beck’s. A heritage built upon the hard work, faith and innovation of our family and family of employees.
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