Day 2: June 13th

8:00      Registration & Exhibit Hall Open

8:30      Break into tracks (See below for available track content)


Session V: Traditionalist

Moderator: Paul Reibach, PhD, Technical Director Chemistry, Smithers Viscient

Delve into pesticide formulations and applications with active ingredients, methods for targeted delivery for crop protection and plants.

  1. USDA's Office of Pest Management Policy: Working at the Intersection of Science, Policy and Law

    Clayton Myers, Ph.D. | Ecological Risk Assessor and Entomologist of USDA

    Overview of OPMP’s history, structure, and statutory role as partner with EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Brief overview of EPA’s highly protective standards for human health risk assessment, emphasizing the ‘no effects’ endpoint as the basis for setting residue tolerances on foods.

    Discussion of OPMP’s support of EPA’s regulatory process: via public comments, pesticide usage data, stakeholder outreach, and information exchange on pesticide benefits and the impacts of regulatory proposals.

    Fighting the “Fear our Food” Movement—a new emphasis of Secretary Sonny Perdue.

    Discussion of the Science communications challenges around the safety of food and the need for an inclusive “all of the above” crop protection toolbox for global food production (both conventional and organic)

    Sources of Misinformation and Disinformation

    Understanding the public’s fear of chemicals and discussing how stakeholders can better engage with consumers about the safety of the U.S. food supply

    Segue into the importance of EPA’s safety assessments with regard to global MRL’s and agricultural trade 

  2. Crop Protection Innovation in the Agricultural Industry

    Tyler L. Harp, PhD | Technical Development Lead of Syngenta

    The use of crop protection products has long helped farmers improve farm operations by managing weeds, insect pests and diseases and thereby increasing the yield and quality of their crops.  Crop protection products are highly regulated and require extensive studies within toxicology and ecology to evaluate any risk to human health and their behavior in the environment.  Recent trends within the discovery and development of new pesticide active ingredients have led to enhanced products that allow higher efficacy while minimizing adverse effects on non-target organisms and the environment.   Advances in chemistry have allowed for the discovery and development of molecules that demonstrate increased target specificity, i.e. increased potency to the target organism(s) demonstrating benefits such increased safety to non-target species, pollinators and other beneficial organisms.   In addition, benefits such as enhanced pest spectrum or prolonged efficacy allows the development of new products that can add more value over traditional products and provide exciting new tools for growers.  The industry invests significant time and resources in the discovery, evaluation and performance of new crop protection tools that must pass rigorous hurdles within regulatory yet remain cost effective for farmers and provide sustainable longer term solutions.  Challenges and opportunities as well as recent examples of innovation within the crop protection industry will be presented.

    • The Crop Protection industry brings solutions to growers to manage crop pests and improve yields.
    • Bringing new tools to the market requires significant time and cost, and undergo rigorous testing.
    • Innovation within the industry will ensure the discovery and development of exciting new tools that will improve the ability of growers to manage pests and diseases.
  3. Networking Break


Session V: Au Natural

Moderator: Walid Al-Khadar, PhD, Manager Regulatory and Governmental Affairs- Biologicals, BASF

A diverse exploration into crop protection from pests, weeds, and diseases to support plant growth initiatives for increased productivity. 

  1. The Coming Wave of Peptides: Commercialization of SPEAR®. A portent of a bright future

    Robert Kennedy, PhD. | Chief Scientific Officer of Vestaron

    This talk will cover the three main problems that Vestaron has solved to commercialize SPEAR®. How SPEAR® provides the first exemplar of a new class of biopesticides that resets the resistance clock for the most commercially important neuromuscular target. And, how this approach holds the potential to transform insect control

  2. Evolution of Biopesticides- or Case Study

    Marrone Bio Innovations

  3. A New Class of Bio-Pesticide, as Elucidated by The Benson Protocol

    Arthur M. Nonomura, PhD | Carbon Reactions of Photosynthesis Sector of BRANDT iHammer

    BRANDT GlucoPro™ is a US EPA-registered bio-pesticide and this talk will cover how a discovery of basic science was transformed into this new class of plant growth regulator (PGR) for food use on farms.  Development of this biochemical PGR is based on the recent elucidation of a previously unknown pathway in the carbon reactions of photosynthesis, for which we used the Benson Protocol of isotopic tracers2017 to reveal the mysterious processes of metabolism with absolute certainty.  Traceable isotopes of carbon, 13C and 14C, were applied to plants to follow tagged metabolites, thus, revealing the biochemical mechanism of action utilized to direct modulation of glycoconjugation in the vacuole of plant cells.  Field confirmations on a wide variety of crops include the following: Brassica (Cole) leafy vegetables, curcubit vegetables, fruiting vegetables, blueberry, cherry, grape, and sweet potato. This PGR improves plant health and vigor; enlarges root mass; promotes tolerance to environmental stress; increases yield, including premium marketable yield and harvestable weight; improves fruit size and count; enhances quality and firmness; and increases soluble sugar content as compared to control. 2017Nonomura et al.,  Photosynthesis Research DOI 10.1007/s11120-017-0410-y,

  4. Networking Break


Session VI: Environmental Factors

Moderator: Jose Carvalho, PhD, Head of Business Development Crop Protections, Knoell Group

Examine solutions to address sediment, soil, diets and aquatic matrices for variety of test organisms. 

  1. Update on the Regulatory Environment around Endocrine Disruption Assessments for Pesticides

    Dave Barnekow | Global Environmental Science Policy Leader of Corteva Agriscience

    Two globally influential regulatory authorities have implemented significantly different regulatory frameworks for assessing the risk of endocrine disruption by a pesticide active ingredient (AI).  The European Union (EU) system involves cutoff criteria based on three criteria; 1) ED mode of action (mechanism), 2) adverse effect relevant to humans and not target organisms and 3) Mechanism causes adverse effect.  While the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) looks at the same criteria, then factors in the potency of the AI and the potential exposure to determine the risk of an adverse impact.  As other regulatory authorities develop their regulatory framework for assessing ED, they tend to look to the ED assessment policies implemented by the EU and EPA to influence the direction they will move their developing ED policies

  2. Terrestrial fate and assessment of microplastics: update on regulatory initiatives and current scientific research

    Kenneth M Unice, MS | Principal Science Advisor of Cardno ChemRisk

    Global regulatory and research initiatives have established that microplastic (MP) materials are ubiquitous, and that research gaps exist in several key areas of potential human health or environmental impact. The state of knowledge and research priorities for MPs can best be interpreted in the context of the risk assessment framework. The application of this framework is especially important given that MPs are not a single class of materials, but rather a diverse suite of materials with unique physicochemical properties, which in turn may influence their potential impacts on environment and/or human health.  Comprehensive risk characterization and management analyses for the beneficial primary use or secondary generation of MP materials will require additional research to ensure accurate and reproducible quantification and characterization of MPs. In addition, continued future innovation in polymer and biomaterials science requires careful consideration of how MPs are defined and regulated.

  3. Endocrine Disruptor

    Coming soon!

Biocontrols Agents

Session VI: Natural Enemies

Moderator: Dr. Wendelyn Jones, Global Head of Food Chain and Brand Protection, Corteva Agriscience

Discussion about recreating balance and harmony for optimal outcomes. 

  1. Early Crop Nutritional Program & Pest Management to Maximize Performance & Yield

    Marco Toapanta, PhD | Global Director - Science & Technology of AgriThority

    Crop yield is determined early in the plant lifecycle. Once peak yield potential is achieved within a month of planting, management decisions can only maintain or subtract from the maximum amount. Crops require proper nutrient management during the early and mid-season plant lifecycle to support maximum yields. For example, fertilizer applications are critical for corn when the ear is forming (V1 to V6 for row development, and V8 to V14 for ear development) at this stage, the potential for maximum kernels are set. Thus, to achieve maximum crop performance the factors to consider include nutrients applied, application timing, placement and rate of the nutrients.  In addition, a holistic soil and seedling pest management to avoid economic damage is needed to protect and release the full potential of the genetic material for maximum yields. Field data provide evidence that early nutrition in the form of starter or pop-up fertilizers combined with a proper seedling pest management consistently exhibit strong plant establishment to set the crop potential, resulting in faster maturity and increased yield. Thus, emerging technologies combining plant nutrition and pest management applied as seed treatments or to the soil will help to achieve growers demands to increase crop yields.

    • Maximum yield starts at planting with critical nutrients
    • This sets the trajectory for plant growth and meristem formation.
    • A systems approach is necessary for proper nutrient application all season.
    • Need to understand relationship between fertilization and biologicals for season-long nutrient availability.
    • A field program to understand the effects of biologicals and crop nutrients should include a deeper understanding of: crop needs, composition, packaging, application and ecosystem.
  2. New Tools for Biocontrol

    Kelly Smith, PhD | Director of Microbials Development of AgBiome

    • I will discuss the applications of our unique culture collection and bioinformatics tools to the goals of commercializing biocontrol’s in agriculture
    • My takeaway message will be that these technological advances are a big part of  why biocontrol is now positioned to deliver on its promise in agriculture
    • Biocontrol’s will advance us by giving us access to tools and functionality already present in the microbial world (e.g. gene editing systems, pesticides with novel modes of action) to provide growers with new solutions for pest and disease control
  3. Making Precision Biological Solutions™ a Reality with LiveGrow™ Technology

    A look into the current industrial production and formulation methods as well as the chemical pesticide distribution model that the biological products are sold through and realized that microbe-based products created and marketed by these methods could never be the most effective products.  There are several reasons for this, but fundamentally we see that it is all about human convenience and not about the best results in the field.  We created our LiveGrow™ system around the reality of how a microbe lives, works, and survives in the soil. Soil bacteria and fungi live in thin films of water both on and in soil particles; this is totally unlike the environment inside a large fermenter. 

    Additionally, when nutrients and water are low in the soil, the organisms have built in mechanisms for survival; our technology utilizes these natural survival mechanisms. The method is simple. Highly porous beads are used as a soil substitute. They are inoculated with liquid media and a microbe. The microorganism allowed to grow at an appropriate temperature.  Depending on the microorganism, maximal density is obtained in as few as 5 days for some bacteria and as long as 14 days for fungi.  Bacterial and fungal densities of 108 to 1010 cfus/gram are common.  This includes both G+ and G- bacteria.  When growth is finished, the bacteria stay metabolically active, not quiscent. Losses after 6 months of room temperature storage are generally in the range of 10-30%. The microorganisms are not isolated from the bead. The beads are the formulated product. 

Session VII: Disruptive Technologies

Moderator:  Dr. Robert Kennedy, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Vestaron

One of the largest and fastest growing agriculture sectors is in new technologies relating to precision agriculture applications, advances in seed & traits technology, and utilizing conservation science initiatives. 

  1. Lunch Break

  2. Policies and Advocacy of Genome Editing and Ag Biotechnology

    Clint Nesbitt, Ph.D. | Senior Director of Science & Regulatory Affairs of Biotechnology Innovation Organization

    • Current buzz & excitement
    • Specific applications for gene editing
    • Lay of the land regulatory landscape for plants & animals
    • Work BIO is doing on public engagement & how to lean in
  3. Water Amendment™: Skincare Cross-Over Idea Creates a Novel Biostimulant & New Input Category

    Christopher S. Jordan | President of JRX Biotechnology

    Our novel Biostimulant has been in development for 4 years.  We have tested it in 9 different species across 12 studies (greenhouse & field trials at UC Riverside and elsewhere).

    Water savings and drought tolerance were tested in the greenhouse across several species with compelling results: 75% water savings (in flowers & grass) and 70 days of drought tolerance (no water) with no loss of visual quality (10/10) across all 6 seedling genotypes tested.

    Visual quality was evaluated in turfgrass field testing at UC Riverside under moderate drought (75% ETos) and severe drought (50% ETos) conditions vs. the market leader with better or comparable results at half of the treat rate vs. the positive (commercial) control

     Root and shoot growth was enhanced across several turfgrass species vs. Nitrogen control (N check) in greenhouse & field testing sponsored by a global Ag leader in specialty fertilizers

  4. Safety and sustainability in the chemical supply chain & the impact of the European Poison Centres

    Craig Thomson | Director of The National Chemical Emergency

    Is simply complying with the regulations sufficient to appropriately manage an emergency incident involving your products? What Global regulations should you consider for your products emergency response. We’ll examine ‘what good looks like’, for initial response and advice provision, notification and activation of corporate response. Notifying your products that are classified as hazardous mixtures is a complex, time consuming process which is mandatory requirement in European market today. We outline a strategic battle plan for organisations to consider in addressing this issue. 

  5. Panel: How is Innovation Shaping the Future of Agriculture?

    Biotechnology Innovation Organization, JRX Biotechnology, Inc. and The National Chemical Emergency Centre

    Panelists include:

    •  Dr. Clint Nesbitt, Senior Director of Science & Regulatory Affairs, Food and Agriculture Section, Biotechnology Innovation Organization
    •  Christopher S. Jordan, President, JRX Biotechnology, Inc.
    •  Craig Thomson, Director, The National Chemical Emergency Centre
  6. Closing Remarks and Farewell