OMRI Disallows Two Fertilizers, NOP Issues Warning and New Guidelines
The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) removed two products from its OMRI Products List, meaning that they cannot continue to be used in organic agriculture. OMRI determined that both Marizyme, made by Port Organic Products, Ltd., and Agrolizer, distributed by Agromar, Inc., contain ingredients that are prohibited in fertilizers for organic applications.

In addition, the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) released a notice to its Accredited Certifying Agents stating that continued use of Marizyme and Agrolizer by organic operations would place their certification under considerable risk. Both producers of these products are currently under investigation by the USDA’s Office of the Inspector General.

Note, while the 2009 printed version of the OMRI Products List still contains the names of both Marizyme and Agrolizer, the online version of the OMRI Products List at always contains the most up-to-date information.

Divergence Raises $11.8M for Crop, Pesticide Technology
St. Louis, Mo.-based Divergence has raised $11.8 million in Series C funding to continue development of its technology to prevent or control parasitic nematode infestations. The company is mapping the genomes of the roundworm to develop chemicals that could target just those genes—killing the creature without impacting the soil, other wildlife or farmers.

The company’s work is mostly focused on developing targeted chemical pesticides and nematode-resistant crops, with a product expected to reach the market in several years.

Parasitic roundworms cause an estimated $80 billion in crop damage annually across the globe. Divergence estimates the market for nematicides is between $700 million and $1 billion each year worldwide—a fraction of the overall $8 billion worldwide insecticide market.

Chief Scientific Officer Jim McCarter began genome-sequencing nematodes in 1999, leading to the technology now being developed by the company’s 27 employees and contracted researchers.

Pioneer Hi-Bred Announces Branding Change
Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, introduced Optimum Brand Innovations, the brand name of a new family of traits, products and accompanying programs.

Individual traits and programs carry unique brand names beneath the Optimum brand umbrella to allow for differentiation and identification of traits and programs. Optimum GAT herbicide tolerance trait and Optimum AcreMax 1 insect protection are currently a part of the family of Optimum Brand Innovations. Future brands will include product advancements from the Pioneer proprietary pipeline of input traits.

Products with the Optimum GAT trait will be available for sale pending regulatory approvals and field testing.

Optimum AcreMax insect protection is not yet available for sale or use. Products, benefits and concepts described are subject to full regulatory approval.

Sorenson Elected to Venomix Board
Venomix, Inc., developer of insecticides using peptides from spiders, announced that John C. Sorenson, Ph.D., has been elected a director of the company. Sorenson is retired from Syngenta, where he was president of Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc., in Raleigh, N.C. Prior to that, he was president of Syngenta Seeds, Inc., in Minneapolis, Minn.

Sorenson has a broad background in plant biotechnology, both in academe and in the private sector. He was previously president of Rogers Seed Co. in Boise, Idaho, and worked on plant biotechnology research and development with Asgrow. Before moving to the private sector, Sorenson was a tenured associate professor at North Carolina State University. He received his doctorate in biology from the University of South Carolina.

Certis USA Expands Sales Force
Richard Kelly has joined the biopesticide company Certis USA as regional sales manager for the Pacific Northwest. Kelly has extensive background in the use of biopesticides and their application in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs for tree fruit, vegetables and row crops.

Previously Kelly served as technical salesman for BioWorks, Inc. of Victor, N.Y. As a distributor salesman for Western Farm Service (known today as Crop Protection Services), he managed IPM programs and developed custom fertility solutions. Kelly has also taught IPM and pesticide safety classes at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Ore., and has been a high school horticulture and agricultural mechanics teacher for several Oregon school districts.

Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture with emphasis in horticulture from Oregon State University. He is an active member in the Oregon Society of Weed Science and the Oregon Association of Nurseries.


Agrisel USA Adds GlyPho-Sel Pro 41
Agrisel USA, Inc., has introduced GlyPho-Sel Pro 41, a glyphosate-based herbicide designed to control more than 100 weed species. Agrisel’s new herbicide is labeled for full agriculture, turf/ornamental, Roundup Ready and noncrop use.

GlyPho-Sel Pro 41 features  41 percent active ingredient and a full 15 percent proprietary surfactant. It penetrates the leaves and moves to the roots of weeds to provide control with virtually no regrowth. It also binds tightly to soil particles so there is no persistence or carryover in the soil and has low volatility.

GlyPho-Sel Pro 41 is available in a variety of package sizes: 1-quart and 1-gallon bottles; 2.5-gallon jugs; 30-gallon drums; and 275-gallon totes.