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Company Grows More Cotton With Microbes - And Takes Some Of Your Profit

A company is markeint a microbe that is said to improve cotton yields and in return takes a part of the extra profit you earn.


There are two questions:


1.  Do microbes help you make more money?


2.  Is taking part of your profit likely to be a new business model for agricultural suppliers?


"Indigo is wooing farmers with an unusual business model. Instead of requiring them to buy its microbe treatment upfront, it will likely collect around a third of the profit generated by farmers’ increased crop yield.

If Indigo cotton and wheat take off, it will put the company at the forefront of an industry that could grow immensely over the next decade. Indigo plans to innovate quickly. While a GMO product can take 10-15 years to gain approval, Indigo can develop and release a new plant probiotic within 2-3 years. The company is already planning to target new crops and regions."


"Across 1,000 acres of cotton plants in Arkansas, Tyler McClendon is running an experiment.

The seeds are the same, as are his company Oxbow Agriculture’s methods of growing them. But just ahead of planting the cotton seeds in April, Oxbow coated them with a special microbe not usually found in its cotton plants. Their presence is expected to increase McClendon’s cotton yield by about 10 percent.

The microbes are the first commercial product from Indigo, a Boston startup that is testing bacteria, fungi and other tiny organisms’ ability to improve crops’ hardiness. The company announced a $100 million Series C funding round today that will go toward expanding research and development, and to prepare for the launch of a similar product later this year targeting wheat."

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