As the new year approaches, I sometimes feel like I have to stop and pinch myself—2020 will mark 20 years in business for ABM. Let’s take a look back at how our technologies in the ag industries came about.
We established the company in July of 2000, and it was around this time I had an idea that would eventually become the basis for most of our company’s technologies in the coming decades. Before ABM, I had spent the majority of my career in the seed industry selling commercial seed treatments, mostly chemistries and polymers, but no inoculants.
At that time, seed inoculants were mostly applied by farmers. However, some seed retailers would apply inoculants and extenders, which prolong the viability of the inoculant on the seed, if farmers brought in their own soybeans.
I believed there could be a major market for inoculant application at the seed company level. This would offer seed companies two major benefits:
- Another marketing tool
- An additional income stream.
A seed company could expand its customer base by offering something its competitors didn’t do.
If we could find an encapsulating agent for the nitrogen-fixing bacteria species in a soybean inoculant, the organism would be able to survive a commercial seed treater and stay viable on the seed for much longer. My goal was 120 days, a target the seed inoculant industry said couldn’t be done. Thus far, even with an extender, 30 days after the application was the longest survival period of soybean inoculant on seed, and this was at the farmer level.
…want to find out how the ‘test’ period ended? Click below.