Published On: 04/21/2023Categories: Agbiosciences, Industry News

Insignum AgTech and Beck’s Announce Collaboration

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Plant genetic innovation indicates if crops have been exposed to disease, insect pests or fertility loss

Insignum AgTech® and Beck’s have signed an agreement to test Insignum’s innovative corn traits in Beck’s elite varieties. The companies will collaborate to cross the trait into proprietary Beck’s genetics for field-testing in 2023 to evaluate commercial viability of the traits.

Insignum AgTech develops plant genetic traits that enable plants to “talk” and signal to farmers when specific plant stresses begin.

“With this trait, a corn plant generates purple pigment, indicating that a fungal infection has started but is not yet apparent. Additional traits will utilize other natural pigments, such as red or blue, that give an early indication of yield-limiting factors such as insect pests or fertility loss,” said Insignum Ag Tech CEO Kyle Mohler, a Purdue University alumnus. “Farmers will gain the ability to sustainably and precisely treat when and where needed, ultimately increasing yields without arbitrarily increasing costly inputs.”

As Insignum AgTech transitions from research to a commercial development phase, Mohler is pleased to collaborate with Beck’s, the largest family-owned retail seed company and the third-largest seed brand in the U.S.

“Beck’s values technology that helps farmers succeed,” said Tom Koch, research manager at Beck’s. “Insignum’s genetic traits are well aligned with that mission. Farmers can see what their plants need and then respond to improve crop health and yields. We were encouraged by Insignum’s results we saw in field trials last year, and we’re hopeful about this collaboration.”

Initial results of the trials will be available to select stakeholders at Insignum’s Field Demonstration Days in central Indiana in the fall.

In January 2022, Insignum AgTech received a $100,000 investment from the Purdue Ag-Celerator, an agriculture innovation fund. Ag-Celerator provides critical startup support for Purdue innovators who bring Purdue-patented intellectual property or Purdue “know-how” technologies to market. It is operated by the Purdue Foundry, with assistance from the Purdue College of Agriculture, the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization and the agricultural industry.

Mohler earned his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Purdue in 2007. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the university from 2015-18 before he founded Insignum AgTech in 2019.