MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 29, 2016) - Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (the "Company" or "BVT") (TSX VENTURE:BEE) is pleased to announce a key demonstration and replicated trial of its organic crop inoculation system to control the disease Sclerotinia on sunflowers. The demonstration is scheduled to take place in July and August 2016 at the Langdon Research Extension Centre of North Dakota State University ("NDSU").
Sunflower production is a significant commercial crop in the US worth an estimated US$500 million with over 1.8 million acres of crops. Sclerotinia, an invasive disease which not only affects sunflowers but also soybeans and canola, is causing devastating losses. In 2002, in response to this issue, the U.S. Department of Agriculture founded the National Sclerotinia Initiative and continues to fund it each year with the objective being to discover a control for the disease. With no current method of treatment against Sclerotinia in sunflowers, the existing crop acreage of approximately 1.5 million acres in North and South Dakota is at risk.
The outcomes of the NDSU trials are expected to be announced in September or October 2016. BVT is working with Influential growers of sunflowers in both North and South Dakota and with positive demonstration results of the BVT system to control Sclerotinia, it is hoped that strong support can be accumulated by growers and state officials in sponsorship of advanced use of the BVT system.
BVT CEO Michael Collinson commented, "This is a significant opportunity for BVT. Based on prior results and testing, our system was able to deliver dramatic results in respect to pathogen control and yield increases in sunflowers, some of the best results we've seen with any crop. With 20 million acres of sunflowers grown in Europe and Turkey alone, these crops are undoubtedly a primary area of focus for the Company."
Independent plant pathologist, Dr. Michael Wunch Ph.D., commented, "Sclerotinia or "head rot" is a primary disease affecting sunflowers. Currently there is no viable economic system to manage this serious problem. If the BVT system works it could be a possible solution for sunflower crops affected by Sclerotinia."
BVT conducted previous trials on sunflowers with results being favourable in controlling Sclerotinia, producing higher yields, and furthermore, the BVT system is organic.
In addition to the NDSU trials, BVT is seeking trials with influential growers of sunflowers in North Dakota for demonstration purposes.
Additional trials are planned for sunflowers in Canada during the bloom periods in June and July 2016, results are expected to be available after harvest in September or October.
Sunflower trials are also being finalized in Serbia to commence during Summer 2016. Serbia has approximately 300,000 acres devoted to sunflower production.
Sclerotinia, also known as "white mold or head rot", is a highly invasive disease found in a host of broad leaf crops. It is present in approximately one of every two fields and commonly results in substantial crop losses. In some cases, Sclerotinia can cause complete crop destruction and currently there is no chemical product able to provide protection against it in sunflowers.
Within sunflowers, the principle point of infection comes through the plants' bloom which lasts for approximately 11 days. Due to the nature of the BVT system, inoculant is able to be delivered directly to each plant each day, via bees, during this key period of exposure. The mode of action of the BVT compound, BVT CR7, is spatial occupation, meaning the disease is prevented from entering the plant altogether. The BVT active ingredient, Clonostachys rosea, is an ISR which results in stronger more vigorous plants producing higher yields. Additionally, the BVT system does not lead to pathogen tolerance - which can render chemical inoculants ineffective over time - meaning the system has an opportunity to become a foundational program able to maintain effectiveness and sustainability, year after year.
BVT has developed and owns patented and patent-pending bee vectoring technology (consisting of a proprietary tray dispenser containing a unique carrier agent) that is designed to harmlessly utilize commercially reared bumblebees as natural delivery mechanisms for a variety of powdered mixtures comprised of organic compounds that inhibit or eliminate common crop diseases, while at the same time stimulating and enhancing the same crops. This unique and proprietary process facilitates a targeted delivery of crop controls using the simple process of bee pollination to replace traditional crop spraying, resulting in better yield, organic product and less impact on the environment without the use of water or disruptions to labour.
Additional information can be viewed at the Company's website www.beevt.com.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors of Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc.,
President & CEO
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements" that involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. All statements in this press release, other than statements of historical fact, that address events or developments that BVT expects to occur, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the sunflower trials being conducted in North and South Dakota and proposed sunflower trials in Canada and Serbia, BVT'S future plans and technologies, including the timing of such plans and technologies. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the words "expects", "plans", "anticipates", "believes", "intends", "estimates", "projects", "potential", "indicate" and similar expressions, or that events or conditions "will", "would", "may", "could" or "should" occur. Although BVT believes that the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results may differ materially from those in forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include continued availability of capital, financing and required resources (such as human resources, equipment and/or other capital resources), and general economic, market or business conditions. Investors are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, estimates and opinions of BVT'S management on the date the statements are made. BVT undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements in the event that management's beliefs, estimates or opinions, or other factors, should change, except as required by law.