Australian biological control maker to enter North America

By mid-2014, AgBiTech will be in a position to supply agricultural markets worldwide with its lead product, a biological control for the key insect pest, Helicoverpa, according to AgBiTech CEO Anthony Hawes.

AgBiTech is an Australian company in a rapid expansion phase for developing and manufacturing targeted biological insect control solutions. The company sees good potential international demand for its baculovirus-based insect control products.

"The company is preparing for a 2014 entry in the North American markets and a possible 2015 entry into significant European markets," Hawes said.

"At the same time, we're also experiencing heavy demand for our product in Brazil, following a devastating outbreak of Helicoverpa, which cost the country $5 billion in the 2012/13 season," he said. "A Brazilian government emergency permit allowed AgBiTech to accelerate its entry into the market and performance of our product has been very good so far."

AgBiTech is looking to expand its product range to include solutions for other major field crop insect pests. The company recently opened a research laboratory in the United States to fast track development of its product pipeline.

AgBiTech's second manufacturing plant in Australia began partial operation on Nov. 1 and is expected to be fully operational by January 2014. The facility is located close to the company's headquarters in Toowoomba. The new plant will complete a multi-million dollar expansion program by AgBiTech to increase its production capacity by 30-fold.

The additional manufacturing is important for the company to have its products used in large-scale field cropping. "This [facility] means AgBiTech can keep its products highly competitive in field crops, where cost effective options for integrated pest management are needed," said Hawes.

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