Aug 16, 2022
Corteva Agriscience celebrates expansion in Michigan

Corteva Agriscience leaders and employees, along with community members from the Great Lakes Bay Region, recently gathered to celebrate the completion of a $242 million capital investment project.

The Aug. 11 event in Midland, Michigan, introduced the community to a facility allowing Corteva Agriscience to expand global capacity of high-demand insect management technologies that are natural or naturally derived.

Construction on the project within the Midland I-Park began in March 2020 and took roughly two years to complete, said Chuck Magro, CEO of Corteva Agriscience. He said the new state-of-the-art facility in Michigan helps meet growing global demand for innovative products.

“We are committed to supporting farmers in the fight to produce crops with high yields while maintaining the delicate environmental balance in fields,” Magro said in a news release. “Qalcova active and Jemvelva active are two (Environmental Protection Agency) Green Chemistry Challenge Award-winning active ingredients that help farmers do all of the above.”

The expansion – coupled with a previous spinosyns expansion at the Harbor Beach, Michigan, site – will enable Corteva to increase its existing capacity by 50%.

The project was initiated in response to consistently high demand for Corteva’s spinosyns family of products, including Jemvelva active (spinetoram) and Qalcova active (spinosad).

The increase addresses the needs of customers in the more than 100 countries where these solutions help protect more than 250 different crops, such as leafy vegetables, melons and grapes, strawberries and other fruits as well as corn, soybeans, rice and cotton.

Made from fermenting naturally occurring soil bacterium Saccharopolyspora spinosa, Qalcova active was developed in 1988 commercial spinosyn. A decade later, scientists discovered they could improve on this class of chemistry through subtle yet sophisticated chemical modifications.

The result was Jemvelva active, which maintains the favorable environmental properties of Qalcova, but works faster, lasts longer, is more effective at lower use rates and controls more pests.

The active ingredients in both Qalcova and Jemvelva have received multiple recognitions, including EPA Green Chemistry Awards for products that reduce negative impacts on the environment.

Because of its natural origin, certain products containing Qalcova can be certified for organic production, pending local regulation. With excellent performance in the field and favorable environmental profiles, global demand for Qalcova and Jemvelva is expected to continue growing.

Both active ingredients control damaging pests, including a range of lepidopteran species and thrips, with safety for most beneficial insects. In many countries, Qalcova, the No. 1 organic insecticide in the world, provides an organic option for control of these pests.

Robert King, executive vice president of Corteva’s Crop Protection business unit, said the expansion reinforces the rich history of the Midland location.

“This celebration shows the company’s commitment to continue to bring differentiated products to the farmers around the world,” King said. “The spinosyn family of products is a key part of our ongoing effort to bring naturally derived products to market.”

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