2017 Agenda

The 2017 AgChem Summit agenda is a full two days of presentations by industry experts such as Stockton USA, Smithers Viscient, DuPont, Lallemand Plant Care, TSG USA and more! 

Conference Day 1


Registration Opens and Coffee

  1. Registration Opens - Coffee

  2. Opening Remarks

    Susan Shepherd | President of Smithers Viscient

    Susan Shepherd is the President of Smithers Viscient, with nearly 30 years of service at the Wareham, Massachusetts site. Her extensive experience includes overseeing studies conducted in a GLP-compliant testing environment and she has held a number of leadership positions in reporting, data management, lab services, and ecotoxicology.  

Session I: Regulatory Expectations 2017

The crop protection industry could be set for a huge change following large takeover deals and new mergers. This will affect how regulations are going to be set for a global market that interacts with the environment, research, products and final consumers.

  1. Regulations for Biologicals - What is New?

    Dr. Sheryl Reilly | Senior Regulatory Consultant of TSG USA

    A relatively new category of biological agents, known as biostimulants, is playing an increasingly important role in the agricultural sector. Biostimulants are a unique type of plant growth product that work to increase crop yield, quality and tolerance to stress. Unlike other types of agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, biostimulants act only to improve the plant’s vigor rather than protect it from pests or diseases. Biostimulants work at both the macro and micro levels by affecting a plant’s ability to respond to changes in the environment and regulate its own metabolic activity. Given their recent introduction into the agricultural sector, biostimulants are regulated differently depending on where in the world they are used. The EU introduced the first guidelines to oversee the production and use of biostimulants, but in the past few years other regions of the world, including the United States and Canada, have begun evaluating if these products can legally be used as intended given the scope of the statutes governing agricultural substances. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates plant regulators under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) as pesticides. EPA is currently evaluating biostimulants to determine whether they are within the scope of the pesticide statutes as plant regulators, or if changes in FIFRA and/or the regulations are required before biostimulants can be exempted from federal oversight regulations of their own. Given the need to ensure that safe food production keeps pace with surging populations and changes in environmental stressors, biostimulant production and sales are expected to grow significantly in the coming decades

  2. Understanding Regulations for Biologicals

    Amy Plato Roberts | Regulatory Affairs Manager of Lallemand

    The interpretation of the policy in regulations for biologicals involves research, production, labeling, testing and finally launching the product in the market. All this process will determine the evaluation and final approval of new submissions. 

  3. Biopesticides Regulations Focus on Science and Policy

    Walid Al-Akhdar PhD. | Manager Regulatory and Government Affairs - Biologicals of BASF

    Climate change and GMOS are two policy topics at the intersections of politics and science that offer instructive case studies for how policy is determined.   The budget for the OPP is being challenged under the current political environment.   Biopesticides and other biological agents are affected by these policy discussions and will be highlighted in this presentation.  Biopesticides requirements for FIFRA registration will be discussed and compared to conventional products.  

    Co Author: Jeff Blackwood Senior Manager Governmental Affairs – BASF 

  4. Networking Break and Coffee

Session II: Experience and Opportunities

In the past years, bio-pesticides have proved efficient for pest management and are now being used around the world. In this session we will talk about the experience, challenges and opportunities for biologicals.

  1. Global Challenges in Regulation for Biopesticides

    Dr. Wendelyn Jones | Director Global Policy and Scientific Affairs of DuPont Crop Protection

    Bringing new products to market requires navigating regulations - both domestically and globally.  The global regulatory challenges include changing definitions, evolving data requirements, and a lack of harmonization amongst key stakeholders.  Delivering a biopesticide product to market, like any 'new technology,' requires the interaction of numerous elements, and these elements have implications far removed from their country of origin.  This talk will include a review of global regulatory trends and their impact on biopesticides.

  2. Biopesticide Registration Requirements – Reduced Efforts for Risk Assessment Inputs

    Dr. Paul Reibach | Technical Director Chemistry of Smithers Viscient

    Biopesticides are a growing market with respect to crop protection strategies. The EPA and other regulatory authorities broadly defines them as naturally occurring substances that control pests (biochemical pesticides), microorganisms that control pests (microbial pesticides), or substances produced by plants containing added genetic material (plant-incorporated protectants) or PIPs.

    Pesticide registration in the United States is covered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) This act requires that EPA evaluate any proposed pesticide to assure that its use will not pose unreasonable risks of harm to human health and the environment. In addition, the EPA “sets tolerances, or exemptions from tolerances, for allowable residues of pesticides in food and animal feed under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act (FFDCA), as amended by the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA)”. Similar oversight is in place for EU Member States and OECD signatory countries. In Australia regulation is under APVMA.

    Biopesticides are generally regarded as safer than chemically produced conventional pesticides since they are usually naturally occurring substances or derived from naturally occurring substances. As such, the regulatory requirements for registration may be less stringent than for conventional pesticides. The recent development of pesticides based on RNA interference has blurred the lines between biopesticides and GMO crops.  This presentation will focus on several of the required pesticide registration guidelines and explore the rationale behind the differences and similarities in requirements as applied to the registration of conventional and biopesticides. 

  3. The Evolving Role of Biologicals in Global Agriculture

    Paula Pinto | Head of Global Portfolio Management of Arysta LifeScience

    A perspective will be given on the evolving role of Biologicals in Global Agriculture, connecting those to key macro trends impacting our industry.

  4. Lunch Break

Session III: Data Management

This session will focus on the experience and effectiveness with biologicals, Integrated Pest Management and the changes and challenges in regulations that impact data requirements. 

  1. Biopesticides within an IPM System

    Dr. Frank Louws | Professor Plant Pathology, Director NSF - Center for Integrated Pest Management of CIPM

    Pests are “shifty enemies” and present a dynamic challenge to modern agriculture due to their resilience.  Multiple tactics need to be integrated into long-term, efficacious pest management plans that also reflect the farming system and (agri-) culture. Biopesticides represent a critical component of current and future IPM programs, but can be more complicated to deploy than agrichemicals. Examples of successes and challenges will be highlighted in light of emerging technologies, however, challenges go beyond efficacy and technical considerations. Integration of biopesticides into the agri-culture infrastructure, such as agri-business, cooperative extension systems and student training, also needs strategic consideration. Will efficacious biopesticides survive mergers – especially for specialty crop markets? How is extension being equipped to enable growers to optimize biopesticide use? Is the next generation of scientists being trained well? Long term success of biopesticides will depend on advanced technical capacity and our ability to integrate them well into industry, government, NGO and academia relations. 

  2. Experience Registration - Integrated Pest Management

    Keith Pitts | VP Regulatory Affairs of Marrone Bio Innovations

    Now more than twenty years old, the US biopesticide regulatory framework has been instrumental in promoting the development of biological products.  Keith will discuss key factors that have brought biopesticides into the mainstream of agriculture and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for increased adoption of biological products.

  3. Changes and Challenges in Regulations that Impact Data Requirements

    Dr. Michael Braverman | Rutgers University of Manager Biopesticide and Organic Support Program IR-4 Project

    The IR-4 Project has been assisting in the registration of biopesticides since 1982 and has been funding efficacy research on biopesticides since 1995. The IR-4 Project also provides regulatory assistance to both US and international registrants from the public sector and small businesses to help bring new active ingredients through the registration process at the US Environmental Protection Agency. Registration areas have included microbial, biochemical and biotechnology related products.  The presentation will include some of the common challenges and pitfalls in preparation of a biopesticide submission and newer challenges regarding honeybees and exemptions from tolerance.

  4. Networking Break and Coffee

Session IV: External Influences on Regulations for Biologicals

This session will focus on how external elements from modern life, like social media, influence the biologicals industry, and impact health and safety.

  1. How the global agenda is being set in plant protection – the role of the public

    José Carvalho, PhD | Head of Global Business Development Agro Dossiers of Knoell Group

    Products used for plant protection, including pesticides, are one of the most regulated technologies in the world. Increasing regulations and data requirements are imposing new barriers for the renewals of authorization of existing products as well as for the approval of new products/technologies trying to reach the market. How the regulatory agenda is being set by the public and the importance of public communication will be the core of this talk; addressing global issues such as the impact of the Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, the OECD vision 2024 to boost biological pesticides registrations, the different understanding of “biologicals” by different publics, and the importance of endorsing regulatory science-based decisions.

  2. 360º Perspective from Academic, Regulatory and Industry – Panel Q&A

    Moderated by: Paul Reibach, Technical Director, Chemistry, Smithers Viscient

    After an interesting and intense day of sessions, information sharing and ideas exchange, we’ll close the day with a 360º panel, where our speakers will share their views on their particular field regarding the most important external influences on regulations.


    • Dr. Sheryl Reilly,  Senior Regulatory Consultant TSG USA
    • Dr. Michael Braverman, Manager Biopesticide and Organic Support Program IR-4 Project Rutgers University
    • Dr. Wendelyn Jones, Director Global Regulatory Affairs - Dupont Crop Protection

  3. Closing

  4. Networking Reception

Conference Day 2


  1. Exhibit Hall Open and Breakfast

  2. Welcome Opening Remarks

    Dr. Paul Reibach, Technical Director, Chemistry, Smithers Viscient

Session V: Biologicals Innovations

This session will focus on the real potential in the industry: New products, biologicals with synthetic compounds and international perspectives 

  1. Biologicals with Synthetic Compounds (Hybrids)

    Sarah Reiter | Country Manager of Stockton USA

    Among new trends in the industry we see the hybrids a mix between the synthetic compounds and biologicals looking for the right balance for crop protection. In this presentation we’ll hear from the actual experience of working and introducing an hybrid product in the market.

    Mrs. Reiter has been active in the crop protection industry for over 20 years in a career that has focused on both conventional and biological products developing and registering, launching and marketing fungicides and insecticides in the world. She is going to share her experience with new products that are biologicals with synthetic compounds. 

  2. One Company Regulatory Path

    Robert Kennedy, PhD. | Chief Scientific Officer of Vestaron

    SPEAR(tm) is a revolutionary spray on biopesticide for controlling a broad range of crop destroying insects. This product derives from a peptide isolated from a spider. In this talk we will present the path that Vestaron found in working with the EPA and California DPR.

  3. Placing Biological Products in the Market

    Dr. Richard Broglie | Research Director Global R&D Strategy of Pioneer DuPont

    The biologicals industry faces challenges introducing products in the markets for the wide amount of considerations with crops, regulations, etc. In this presentation Dr Broglie will share part of his experience with international agriculture markets. He has worked in a wide range of economically important crops.  His most recent research involves the discovery and development of microbial that control soil borne pests and improve crop performance and yield.

  4. Networking Break and Coffee

Session VI: New Biopesticides and Technological Advances

This session will explore technological advances in biologicals, communication strategies and the next generation of pesticides

  1. Innovation in Biologicals: Technology Highlights

    Dr. Sara Olson | Senior Analyst of Lux Research Inc.

    As biologicals continue to gain market share and mainstream use, technologies to refine and improve them are proliferating. Investment into novel approaches is up as well, driving innovations in novel sources, modes of action, and delivery mechanisms for biologicals in agriculture. 

  2. Biologicals Global Business

    Dr. Denise Manker | Director Global Agronomic Development of Bayer CropScience

    The amount of research and investigation that is required to develop a new product that can be use in a Global market is a long process that requires vast amounts of information. In this session 

    Dr. Manker will share her experience advising farmers, distributors and technical crop advisors on best use practices involving biologic products in various countries throughout the world.  

    She is listed as an inventor on 36 issued U.S. patents and numerous foreign patents, and is the recipient of the American Chemical Society Western Regional Industrial Innovation Award in 2001 and the EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Award in 2003.

  3. Next Generation of Biopesticides in the Microbioal and Microbiome Space

    Marcus Meadows - Smith | Chief Executive Officer of Bio Consortia

    Mr. Meadows-Smith from BioConsortia will talk about the experience developing revolutionary products with an innovative view in the microbial and microbiome space.

  4. Lunch Break

Session VII: Future of Biologicals

This session will focus on big changes such as mergers and acquisitions of companies in the biopesticide, biostimulant and biorational industry are seeing great growth opportunities and are ready to invest and participate in this exciting market.

  1. Transitioning to Biocontrol Q&A

    Co-presenters: BioWorks & Battlefield Farms

    Joe Gionta, Director of Sales and Marketing, BioWorks: 
    My presentation will outline how and why the market is shifting toward increased biopesticide use. It will highlight the change in perspective of the educated consumer and increased transparency throughout the supply chain. I will also highlight the risks and opportunities growers must be aware of as they start to integrate biopesticide use. Finally, I will discuss some of benefits biopesticides bring to the environment, what you grow and the workers you employ.

    Travis Higginbotham, Research and Development Manager, Battlefield Farms:
    The greenhouse industry and related industries are currently going through a significant transition. This transition is what I like to call, “The New Generation of Growing”. This is requiring growers to change their traditional practices through adopting environmentally friendly practices and materials. We, growers, are being subject, not only to governmental regulation, but to concerns from our customers. The end consumer feels they deserve/are entitled to dictate and know every single active ingredient applied on our crops. I feel they are justified in these concerns, at least to the extent of their understanding. How do we satisfy both governmental and, even more so, our customers’ concerns while continually striving to be sustainable companies through environmental practices? One main topic of concern that needs to be discussed and understood to succeed in this pursuit is the use of BioControls as alternatives to chemical IPM/IDM strategies. This presentation will walkthrough end consumer concerns and BioControl strategies that satisfy these concerns through a large scale commercial and economical approach. Topics discussed will be rearing of microorganisms, the use of beneficial insects, the use of entomopathogenic fungi to combat root pathogens as well as strategies of using UV (ultraviolet radiation) to control postharvest fungal disease. 

  2. Future of Biostimulants - Market View

    Ron Biever | Chief Scientific Officer of Smithers Viscient

    The biostimulants industry is evolving rapidly and establishing itself as an important input sector for agriculture productivity across the globe. In the longer term, the industry is looking forward to being one of the dominant players in sustainable agriculture and the trend is looking positive. Future demand for food will drive agriculture productivity to grow significantly in a sustainable manner, and this will trigger exponential growth in the usage of biological crop health products that have the least impact on the environment. Emerging trends are clearly pointing towards a steady replacement of chemicals with biological substitutes and preventive care, which will ask for a strong biostimulants sector to chip in.

  3. Closing and Farewell

    Advisory Board