Biologicals to access nitrogen

Jan. 30, 2024 | 5 Min read
A step change is coming for plant health, sustainability and yield with Corteva Agriscience introducing a new range of biologicals to the Australian market, starting with a product which allows plants to access nitrogen out of thin air.

A step change is coming for plant health, sustainability and yield with Corteva Agriscience introducing a new range of biologicals to the Australian market, starting with a product which allows plants to access nitrogen out of thin air.

Biologicals are a new category of agricultural products where the active constituent is, or is derived from, a living organism.

Releasing ladybugs to consume damaging aphids is a type of biological pest control.

Corteva Agriscience’s position as a global leader in the rapidly expanding biologicals market was cemented with the acquisitions of Symborg, an expert in microbiological technologies and Stoller, one of the largest independent companies in the biologicals industry.

These two companies, combined with established strategic partnerships with biological development organisations around the world, has allowed the discovery and development of products that can put specific natural benefits to work in farmers’ fields.

Before bringing biological products to market, Corteva ensures there’s a thorough understanding of how the product works and how it performs for farmers, with rigorous testing to make sure it delivers.

This commitment to the highest standards of research and development offers peace of mind about product quality and performance and the return on investment it will deliver.

By complementing existing practices, biologicals can help tackle the challenges of resistance, provide an enhanced return on crop investment, reduce reliance on conventional chemistry and preserve your land for the future.

Utrisha N: unlock something incredible

The first product from Corteva’s Biologicals range to be launched in 2024 in Australia Utrisha N is effective in all plants, including cereals, canola, and horticultural crops, enhancing a naturally occurring process that allows a plant to absorb nitrogen from the atmosphere and convert it to ammonium to boost nutrition and yields.

Corteva Agriscience’s manager for plant health in Australia Dan Cornally said Utrisha N is the result of years of development across the globe and reflected a commitment to science and performance that are hallmarks of Corteva’s research and development division.

Utrisha N utilises naturally occurring Methylobacteria and has been developed into a sprayable form only needing to be applied to annual crops once. It enters the leaf through the stomata and colonises the plant allowing it to absorb atmospheric nitrogen and convert it to ammonium (NH4+).

“Normally a plant extracts nitrogen from the ground. It is expending energy and using water to transport the nitrogen in the ground into its root system and then move it around to where it needs to be,” Mr Cornally said.

“Utrisha N is producing nitrogen within the leaf. The plant doesn't need to expend that energy or extract that water to still get the benefit of the nitrogen. In addition to the energy saving, you are also getting improvements in soil moisture use. We are seeing a ‘stay green’ effect where crops appear to stay greener for longer under moisture stress conditions.”

The Utrisha N demonstration program

Utrisha N has been trialled extensively and is commercially available in overseas markets with close to 100 trials conducted across Australia to verify the yield and quality gains of domestic crops from wheat and canola to rice, cotton and fruit and vegetables, under a variety of conditions.

Essentially, the idea behind these trials was to say, ‘without changing anything other than adding Utrisha N into your tank, what benefit are you going to get’?

Utrisha N is applied at a fraction of the rate of conventional synthetic fertilisers, unlocking the potential for a reduction in input costs, as well as potential environmental benefits.

“UtrishaN has one use rate across almost all crops which makes use and application simple for farmers,” Mr Cornally said.

Utrisha®N will be launched in the second quarter of 2024 with a product pipeline of biologicals including biostimulants and biocontrol products to follow.


Biostimulants help plants do what they already do naturally, performing these processes better and more efficiently. Different biostimulants work in different ways.

• nutrient efficiency biostimulants make nutrients and water more available to plants.

• plant metabolism biostimulants can be applied at different stages to help improve factors like growth, reproduction, and quality.

• stress mitigation biostimulants help deal with environmental stresses like drought extreme temperatures, salinity or ultraviolet radiation damage.

The ultimate goal is to improve plant health and vitality and deliver yield improvements.

Biocontrol Products

Biocontrol blends nature and science through the use of naturally occurring microorganisms or molecules, to bring more options for controlling pests and preventing damage to valuable crops.

Some biocontrol products work by directly attacking the pest to control it. Other biocontrol products trigger a plant’s ability to defend itself against pests and can protect against future pest attacks, much like getting a vaccine to prevent a disease.

When used with conventional pest control products, biocontrol products can help farmers reduce their environmental footprint, spray less frequently and manage resistance.

Join the revolution

Biologicals herald a bright future for agriculture, offering cutting-edge and complementary solutions to challenges like resistance management and environmental impact, and providing a powerful new tool in the quest to farm more sustainably. Biologicals will help keep your operation viable, enhance marketability, meet consumer preferences, and boost ROI and profitability on your farm.

Categories Rural Business

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