US (FL): Strawberry growers hopeful about bee vectoring

Five notable Florida-based strawberry growers used BVT’s proprietary crop production system starting in late December 2017 through March 2018 across 13 fields and covering a total of over 170 acres. The objectives of the company’s work during this season were three-fold; to further validate the value proposition of the technology, to create increased demand for the BVT system in the region and to build long-term partnerships with key growers with the possibility to generate pilot-scale revenue for the company.

Due to the onset of abnormally difficult weather conditions in the month of January, which included sustained periods of temperatures dipping below the freezing point on consecutive days, and conditions favouring development of disease at levels not seen in almost a decade, Florida growers experienced significant losses this season. These losses due to damaged berry crops were experienced by many growers using all forms of crop protection, including the use of chemical sprays alone. BVT treated fields faired as well as the chemical-only fields.

“I used the Bee Vectoring Technology system this year in my strawberries,” said Adam Young, co-owner of Strawberry Ranch and President of the Florida Strawberry Growers’ Association. “This season was extremely challenging for Florida growers. Our strawberries need sunshine and moderate temperatures to grow well, and unfortunately, the weather we faced at times led to higher than normal disease pressure that affected our quality and yields. Growers struggled to control disease whether they were using conventional practices, organic practices or the BVT system. The BVT system has growers talking about alternative practices to control disease and it appears to have great potential. Bee Vectoring is a great idea, and I’m planning to use it again next season!”

Given the extremely difficult conditions experienced in the season, the pressure the growers faced on their profitability, and in the interest of strengthening long term partnerships which come with the potential for significant annual recurring revenues, the company elected to not bill the growers for the season. Each of the partnered growers remain committed to the program and other growers in the region, especially those in organic production who have no chemical alternatives, have expressed renewed interest in using the BVT system in future seasons.

“This was a challenging season for Florida growers, yet all remain committed to using our technology to help them in their farming operations,” said Ashish Malik, BVT CEO. “In order to best ensure the long-term success of the BVT system within the expansive and lucrative fruit crop protection industry, our primary objective in the deployment of our technology this season was to solidify long-term partnerships with growers and this objective has been achieved. The agricultural markets are susceptible to anomalous seasons like this and we will adapt as necessary and continue to strengthen our position as a reliable partner to large-scale growers as we move towards the full commercial launch next season.”

For more information:
Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc.
T: (647) 660-5119

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