Pre-Conference Workshop: Ag Policy Beyond the Farm Bill: Hemp Pesticides and Production
EPA’s Pesticide Program Activities
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a critical partner in agricultural policy and implementation of the enacted 2018 Farm Bill.  By evaluating and regulating pesticides manufactured, used, and imported into the United States, EPA ensures that growers have tools to support production while protecting human health and the environment.  Registration Division Director Michael Goodis will provide an update on EPA's Pesticide Program activities and the evolving conversation around hemp.
Michael Goodis | Director of the Registration Division of the Office of Pesticide Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Efforts to Facilitate Crop Protection Products for Hemp
The IR-4 Project (IR-4)  is a national agriculture research program that is a partnership between USDA, the State Land-Grant Universities, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the crop protection companies. The IR-4 Project’s primary objective is to develop data that is required to support registrations of chemical pesticides and biopesticides on fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs and other specialty crops.  IR-4 is needed because the crop protection companies focus their development resources on major crops/markets like corn, cotton, soybeans, etc.; often leaving the specialty crop farmers with a limited arsenal of crop protection tools. 
Requests for Assistance in the registration of new crop protection products on hemp were submitted to IR-4 after the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill.  With this law, it became legal for IR-4 to perform research and develop data on hemp.  However, EPA could not legally review submissions from IR-4 or registrants.  With no clear path to registrations, IR-4 placed the hemp requests on hold. 
This regulatory barrier was changed with the 2018 Farm Bill.  IR-4 was able to add several research studies on hemp to test the efficacy/crop safety with multiple fungicides and herbicides.  IR-4 has been working closely with EPA to define the pesticide residue data requirements for hemp.  Because of the significant variation in production systems, crop use and extraction methodology, developing data requirements for hemp is very complex. 
IR-4 has submitted a crop extrapolation proposal for the herbicide ethalfluralin on hemp.  IR-4 has also submitted EPA Guideline 860 research protocols for the herbicide bromoxynil and the fungicide azoxystrobin to EPA.  EPA has provided guidance and IR-4 will be conducting  residue studies in 2020.  Details will be discussed.
Dr. Jerry J. Baron | Executive Director, IR-4 Project
Registration Opens & Continental Breakfast
Registration Opens & Continental Breakfast
Event Welcome
Brittany Onslow, Conference Producer, Smithers
Opening Remarks
Dr. Richard Linton, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University
Session I: Revolutionizing Agriculture with Innovations in Digital Technology
Session Description
This session will showcase the latest innovations in the agriculture industry such as advancements in AI, IoT, digital technology, precision ag and more.

Moderator: Josh Haslun, Ph.D., Analyst, Lux Research
FarmBeats: Empowering Farmers with Affordable Digital Agriculture Solutions
Data-driven techniques help boost agricultural productivity by increasing yields, reducing losses and cutting down input costs. However, these techniques have seen sparse adoption owing to high costs of manual data collection and limited connectivity solutions. Our system, called FarmBeats, includes Cloud, IoT & AI innovations for agriculture that enables seamless collection and analysis of data across various sensors, cameras, drones, and satellites. In this talk, we will describe the system, and outline some of the AI challenges we are currently addressing for agriculture.
Ranveer Chandra | Chief Scientist, Microsoft Azure Global
The Intersection of Technology with Sustainability
The sustainability journey starts on the farm and must be lead by farmers.  However, technology and data are agriculture’s best path forward to make scalable, continuous improvement in sustainability.
Matt Carstens | CEO, Landus Cooperative
Panel | AI and IoT – How Emerging Technologies are Changing the Ag Industry
Moderator: Josh Haslun, Lux Research

Panelists include:
  • Ranveer Chandra, Chief Scientist, Microsoft Azure Global
  • Miya Howell, Director, Sustainable Agriculture Precision Farming, Bayer CropScience
Networking Break and Coffee
Session II: Regulatory Challenges and Industry Updates
Session Description
For drones, IoT and data, regulations for pesticides, Farm Bill update, biopesticide/biostimulant product definitions and more.

Moderator: Melissa Johnson, Formulation Science & Technology Leader, Corteva
Compliance requirements in supply chain of pesticide products in China
  • Background introduction, like pesticide definition in China, pesticide categories, and main management principles for pesticides in China.
  • Requirement on raw materials, including active ingredient, and inert ingredients
  • Requirement on market access, including registration, label
  • Requirement on customs release
  • Requirement on post-market supervision
  • Case study

  • Vivian Tang | Head of Biocides Regulatory Affairs Department, Chemical Inspection and Regulation Service Limited(CIRS)
    Can Import Tolerances Promote Harmonizing MRLs and Global Trade?
    Networking Lunch Break
    Session III: Ag Innovations and Disruptive Technologies
    Session Description
    This session will showcase the latest innovations in the agriculture industry such as emerging technologies, onsite fertilizer producers, next-generation biofertilizers and biopesticides, online marketplaces with agronomic tool and more.

    Moderator: Dr. Paul Ulanch, Executive Director, Crop Commercialization Program, North Carolina Biotechnology Center
    Presentation To Be Confirmed
    Imaging Agrochemical Active Ingredient Crystallization Directly on Leaf Surfaces Using Second Harmonic Generation Microscopy
    Second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy has recently emerged as a rapid, non-destructive imaging method inherently selective for certain crystalline materials, including many agrochemical active ingredients. SHG microscopy was used to selectively image active ingredient crystallization directly on leaf surfaces for the first time. Following an overview of foundational experiments in this space, ongoing work using SHG as a feedback tool for agrochemical formulation development will be discussed. This new technology could help inform the next generation of pesticide products that maximize efficacy, minimize waste, and ensure optimized agricultural output for a growing world population.
    Paul Schmitt | Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Wabash College
    Networking & Coffee Break
    Session IV: Product Testing & Specialty Crops
    Session Description
    This session will address how to register your product, regulations, how to introduce your product to market, and the challenges that come with a new product certifications and licensing for specialty crops. Moderator: Bonnie MacCulloch, Knoell USA
    Supporting Crop Protection Product Registration for Specialty Crops
    The registrants of crop protection products (chemical and bio-based pesticides) often focus their product development resources on major crops (corn, cotton, soybeans, etc) where potential sales can be significant.  Specialty crop markets are minor with the cost of data development often exceeding potential sales leading to an unacceptable return on investment.  The IR-4 Project fills a void by developing the data required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to register the uses on these “minor” areas.   
    Dr. Jerry J. Baron | Executive Director, IR-4 Project
    Regulatory Challenges Facing Biopesticides
    As the market for biopesticides continues to expand, so too do the regulatory challenges facing these products. This presentation will discuss the regulatory scheme applicable to biopesticides in the United States, and provide insights on how to successfully navigate the FIFRA maze.
    Keith Matthews | Attorney, Wiley Rein LLP
    Panel | Challenges of Introducing Your New Product to Market
    This panel will discuss the challenges of introducing a new product to market, whether that be a pesticide or technology, all types of products have their struggles when entering a new market. The panelists will discuss going through regulations, registrations, educating the market and more. 
    Moderator: Bonnie MacCulloch, Knoell USA

    Panelists coming soon!
    Session V: Pitching Hour – Start Ups and Innovative Technological Advancements for the Ag Industry
    Session Description
    During the pitching hour in the main conference room, speakers will have 5 minutes to explain their company, technology/product, and requirement before taking questions from the audience. Following the Pitching Hour, the drinks reception will begin in the main exhibit hall. To qualify, each speaker must have a poster, a maximum of 5 slides and the presentation must cover the material as cited in the abstract.  

    Moderator: Bob Kennedy, Chief Strategy Officer, Vestaron
    Topics can include and are not limited to:
    • Next generation biofertilizers
    • Biopesticides
    • Onsite fertilizers
    • Incubators for ag companies
    • Start-ups
    • Disruptive technologies
    • Precision ag
    • GLP data collection
    • Product development
    • Robotics, AI and IoT
    Atmonia – Reinventing the Nitrogen Economy
    The Atmonia technology will enable growers to produce their own N-fertilizer on-farm with no demand for transportation, in a sustainable manner, with no carbon footprint. Current methods for N-fertilizer production are vast industrial production processes with high carbon footprint and great transportation demand. With the Atmonia system aqueous N-fertilizer will be produced from air, water and electricity. This fertilizer can be directly applied to field through irrigation using the systems in place thus providing a holistic approach to sustainable production and use of N-fertilizer.

    Helga Flosadottir, PhD | Chief Executive Officer, Atmonia
    AGROBODY™ bioactives: a new generation of protein-based biocontrols shaping the future of sustainable and safe food supply
    Presentation of our innovative technology platform for the rapid generation of innovative protein-based biocontrols that combine the high-performance of chemicals with the clean safety profile of biologicals.
    Dr. Hilde Revets | Chief Scientific Officer, Biotalys
    Closing Remarks
    Evening Welcome Reception
    Registration & Breakfast
    Registration & Breakfast
    Welcome & Opening Remarks
    Session VI: Improving the Agricultural Industry with Advancements in Technology
    Session Description
    Featuring talks on drones and self-spraying systems, next-generation biofertilizers and biopesticides, and more.

    Moderator: Luke Bozeman, Director, Research and Development Agricultural Solutions, North America, BASF
    Keynote: Drone Technology in Agriculture
    Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) are gaining popularity in different sectors and agriculture is currently one of the fastest-growing markets for this technology. UAVs will very soon change agriculture as it is done today and become an indispensable tool to help farmers and the agriculture industry in becoming more efficient in the field, and make more informed crop management decisions. This session will focus on where the technology is today, its adoption, and future possibilities.
    Manojit Basu, Ph.D. | Managing Director Science Policy, CropLife America
    Spray Drift from a Drone Application in a Controlled Wind Speed Environment
    Utilizing drones to spray crops and vineyards in difficult terrain is both an economical and time-saving approach. No label guidance exists for drone applications and registrants are concerned about off-label uses. A DJI Agras MG-1P drone was used for testing spray drift in an ambient breeze tunnel, set at a constant 10 mph. Filter pads were placed downwind to measure deposition. The product sprayed was imidacloprid (Admire Pro). For a foliar application to grape, four TeeJet AIXR110015 nozzles were used for application. Filter pads were analyzed by LC-MS. The resulting analysis provides registrants a means to evaluate drone applications for spray drift and provide guidance for labeling.
    Dr. Tim Lane | Principal Research Scientist, Battelle
    Challenges and Opportunities for Spray Drones in Agriculture
    Spray drone technology has readily been available in Asia for many years now but only recently introduced into the US market.  Federal regulations for safe integration of drones into the national airspace is one reason for slow adoption here in the US.  As technology advances, prices fall and federal and state regulators become more comfortable with the safety of these remotely piloted systems, more units are finding their way into the hands of a new generation of aerial applicators.  Some are traditional pilots, but many more are growers and twenty somethings that love practical technology (or technology with a purpose, your call).
    In this presentation, I will discuss some of the challenges associated with spray drone technology in the US but will also address the many opportunities this new application platform affords.

    Dan Martin | Research Agricultural Engineer, USDA-ARS Aerial Application Technology Research Unit
    Networking & Coffee Break
    Patterns in the rhizosphere microbiome that lead to improved plant growth
    Plants can lose anywhere from 30-40% of their carbon resources through exudates. The amount of resources only make evolutionary sense in light of the recruitment of a microbiome that provides a substantial benefit to plant fitness. We explored the rhizosphere microbiome of corn and soybeans in different soils to identify key organisms and functional groups that are recruited by these plant exudates. We present two case studies where we examine the plant health benefits of adding key organisms or functional groups, one in corn and one in soybeans. We saw a significant increase in chlorophyll content (8-13% over control) in microplot and greenhouse trials in corn, and a significant increase in pod count (15% over control) in greenhouse trials for soybeans. These studies show how Novozymes is using the rhizosphere microbiome to find biological solutions to improve plant health.

    Jacob Parnell | Scientist, Novozymes
    Panel: Challenges of Using Drones for Farming
    Moderator: Luke Bozeman, Director, Research and Development Agricultural Solutions, North America, BASF

    • Daniel E Martin, Aerial Application Technology Research, Research Engineer, USDA
    • Timothy Lane, Principal Research Scientist, Battelle
    • Michael Ott, CEO, Rantizo
    • Neill Newton, Senior Product Application Specialist, Syngenta
    Networking Lunch
    Session VII: Applying Innovation and Emerging Technologies to Business
    Session Description
    This session will cover breakthroughs in safety of pesticides, the challenges of applying emerging tech to an existing business model, how the emerging technologies will change the functionality of the product. Moderator: Bonnie MacCulloch, knoell USA
    Do More with Less
    Production agriculture struggles with low margins (e.g. high input costs and low product values), high resource use (e.g. land, water, labor, inputs), and today more than ever, the added pressure to reduce environmental impacts. These challenges amount to a tremendous ask of growers: “Do more with less.”  But as Lux Research’s interactions with industry leaders demonstrate, industry agrichemical majors face an even more difficult ask: “Grow your business on declining sales.”  As an independent thought leader in innovation strategy, we connect the need to “do more with less” to the technology and business model innovations that allow you to avoid the characteristic race to the bottom associated with volume businesses, while gaining advantage in a rapidly changing industry.
    Joshua Haslun | Analyst - Agro Innovation Team, Lux Research
    Key Trends, Emerging Challenges and Issues for Food & Agriculture Input Providers in 2020
    An overview of the global state of ag chemical and seed industry freedom to operate challenges including major advocacy, trade, political, litigation and commercial influences. Jay Byrne, an industry veteran with more than 25 years tracking and providing issues management support in the agriculture production vertical, will provide insights from v-Fluence global issues intelligence and stakeholder research data into the key challenges and opportunities for industry crop chemical and seed innovation providers. Categories: Current state of the industry/ How to support the chemical industry on educating the general public
    Jay Byrne | President, v-Fluence
    Closing Remarks and Farewell Advisory Board
    Brittany Onslow, Conference Producer, Smithers