THINK PINK. Pink pigmented facultative methylotrophs, aka PPFMs, power biological products from NewLeaf Symbiotics, AMVAC, Meristem and New Fields Ag. The microbes are fermented and spray dried, yielding a pink product for dry-box application formulation. NewLeaf Symbiotics

Pink Microbes Power Various Biologicals on Market

St. Louis research company commercializes unique pink microbial strains for specific functions & modes of action

As the 2024 growing season progresses, there’s a good chance you or another no-tiller you know may be taking advantage of some new pink biological technology while doing important field work

NewLeaf Symbiotics officials describe their growing stable of microbial products for biostimulation, biocontrols and even nitrogen use efficiency as pink because, well, they are. Their real name, pink pigmented facultative methylotrophs, is a mouthful, so the company refers to the microbes as PPFMs.

Brent Smith is CEO and president of NewLeaf, a 10-year-old St. Louis-based research company specializing in developing and marketing strains of more than half of the 12,000 members of its library of PPFMs. NewLeaf products will be used on 11 million acres across the U.S. this season, according to Smith.

“PPFMs are naturally occurring, and they are on literally every plant that grows on the planet,” Smith says. “They’re on your grass, in the trees and on the salad you eat. You won’t necessarily see them, but they are uniquely pink. That’s why we’re embracing their color, which isn’t considered a normal hue in agriculture, but it is unique to our products.”

PPFM Selection

Over the past 3 years, the company has been marketing strains of PPFMs that enhance plant growth in corn, cotton, peanuts and soybeans, as well as a corn rootworm bioinsecticide recently registered by the EPA. 

“We’ve introduced these 5 products in the U.S. and are now doing regulatory work in Mexico and 8 South American nations with business partners we’ve identified,” Smith…

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Dan crummett 0618

Dan Crummett

Dan Crummett has more than 35 years in regional and national agricultural journalism including editing state farm magazines, web-based machinery reporting and has an interest in no-till and conservation tillage. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Oklahoma State Univ.

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