phosphate-solubilizing bacteria (PSB), sulfur-solubilizing bacteria (SSB), potassium-solubilizing bacteria (KSB), and vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhiza (VAM) etc. are already being utilized in combination for making biofertilizers formulations for enhancing crop production but on small scale.” As described in Biofertilizers, Probelte’s biofertilizer Biopron “has a high capacity for fixing atmospheric nitrogen, making it available to the plant; unblocks the existing phosphorus in the soil in such a way that the plant can easily absorb it; and provides the power to solubilize other macro (K) and micronutrients (Fe, Ca, Mg) present in the soil, which would otherwise be blocked. In this way, both nitrogen, phosphorus and other macro and micronutrients can be used efficiently in crop nutrition.” Regulation of these biological products varies and is in a state of flux. The Plant Biostimulant Act looks to establish a regulatory framework to clear the path for research and development and use. An important feature of the Act is that it would officially define plant biostimulants and explicitly exempt them from regulation under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. If there is to be a successful transition from traditional crop treatment option, it is in the best interest of regulatory bodies to support initiatives that encourage adoption of biologicals, both with clarity and space for adequate statistically backed research. Those with a strong voice are speaking on behalf of change. Secretary of California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Karen Ross has been

a valued ally to protect and promote California agriculture. In her continued support to “strengthened partnerships across government, academia and the non- profit sector in the drive to maintain and improve environmental stewardship and to develop adaptation strategies,” Ross will be a featured speaker at the Salinas Biological Summit in June. The CDFA has outlined a few labeling guidelines for biologicals, stating, “If biotics are guaranteed, FFLDRS requires the following additional information per Section 2304 of the CCR: 1. Species name of each microorganism, name of each enzyme, or organism by-product, if claimed, as part of the statement of composition. (Provide the full name, not abbreviations) 2. Active Ingredients: a. Microorganisms: number of viable units per mL or g. (e.g. 100 CFU/mL) b. Enzymes: concentration in activity units per mL or g. (e.g. 100 u/mL) c. Organism by-product: concentration in percent by weight. (e.g. 10%).” As support for the need for an established definition of the term biostimulant , the CDFA states that, “There are no official definitions for the following terms. They are considered misleading and are not allowed on fertilizing material labels: Balanced , Biostimulant , Stimulant , and Complete .” The Salinas Biological Summit also is a response to the investment interest within the agricultural industry. Venture capitalists are drawn to the shift to the biological solution entrepreneur arena, with billions already having been invested in startups. Agtech investment leader Kirk Haney, the Co-Founder &

Managing Partner at Radicle Growth, is looking to continue his effort to accelerate the development and adoption of sustainable solutions within the industry at the 2023 Summit. His insight gained from extensive startup and investment experience—on both sides of the effort— is an invaluable resource for startups and growers alike. And innovation in agriculture can’t happen without grower expertise and guidance. One of the grower representatives speaking at the Summit is Don Cameron, Vice President and General Manager of Terranova Ranch, Inc. Cameron is driver of change and adaptation to a shifting environment. His input and guidance for what’s to come will have unprecedented value. The Salinas Biological Summit is designed to draw venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, growers, policy makers and researchers together to connect and learn. It is these participants who will work together to find the way forward for biological solutions. This event will mark the beginning of the impetus that will shape development in the years to come. The possibilities for progress and opportunity within the realm of biologicals is as plentiful as the environment itself. Thomas Edison once said, “We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Fortunately for everyone who relies on the fresh produce industry, those who work to grow food aren’t put off by overalls or work, so the

opportunities won’t be missed. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.salinas-summit.com

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