This article is part of a series designed to explore the world of biologicals, from the very basics of what a biological is, or is not, to how they are regulated and from today’s marketplace to their role in the future of agriculture. Discover the world of biologicals at

The seed industry has made significant investments into the research and development of biologicals — be it through acquisitions or their own research teams. Here, we highlight some of the investments that have been made, recognize the brands and some of the people within.

1. More than 700 products used in more than 130 countries.
2. Monsanto’s agricultural biological platform features BioDirect technology.
3. A global inoculant company with more than 70 employees across North America in research, manufacturing, marketing and management and in its joint-venture operations in Australia.
4. An innovator in the use of microbes for agriculture, AgBiome considers the participation of these strategic investors in the company’s $17.5 million Series A round a rare and powerful assembly of the best minds in the ag biological space.
5. Headquartered in Davis, California, AgraQuest, a global supplier of biological pest management solutions based on natural microorganisms, was founded in 1995 by Pam Marrone.
6. AgraQuest had product brands: Serenade®, Rhapsody®, Sonata® and Ballad® fungicides and Requiem® insecticides. Through the acquisition, Bayer CropScience integrated AgraQuest’s state-of-the-art biopesticides production facility in Tlaxcala, Mexico, as well as the company’s research and development site in Davis, California.
7. Becker Underwood was founded in 1982 and was expected to generate $240 million in annual sales for the 2011/12 fiscal year.
8. In 2006, Pam Marrone founded Marrone Bio Innovations (MBI) to discover and develop effective and environmentally responsible, biologically-based products for pest management and plant health.
9. MBI and the Italian biostimulants firm, Valagro, agreed to collaborate on the discovery and development of biopesticides and other bioactives.
10. MBI and the Dutch life sciences firm, DSM Food Specialties, signed a collaborative agreement involving early-stage research of several biological active ingredients.
11. MBI and Israeli plant biotechnology firm Evogene reached a multi-year agreement aimed at the joint discovery of new modes of biological action for insect pest control.
12. Established in 2014 as the parent company to New Zealand-based subsidiary BioDiscovery Limited, which was founded in 1994 by Peter Wigley and Andrew Broadwell.
13. In 2009, BioDiscovery made a breakthrough discovery of a rapid plant-microbe selection process.
14. In 2010, Khosla Ventures invested in the company and spent five years working on the research and development platform.
15. In 2014, the company made the decision to globalize as BioConsortia, raising $15 million from Khosla Ventures and Otter Capital, and establishing their headquarters and labs in Davis, California, where Marcus Meadows-Smith serves as CEO.
16. Advanced Biological Marketing (ABM) was founded by farmers, agronomists ad agricultural consultants to be the leading developer, manufacturer and distributor of agricultural biologicals that increase yields and improve farm productivity while simultaneously interacting with the environment in a positive manner. Dan Custis serves as CEO and Don Bland serves as president.
17. In 2014, ABM entered into an agreement with INCOTEC to combine ABM’s inoculants with INCOTEC’s seed coating technologies.
18. XiteBio Technologies is engaged in microbial technology and agricultural inputs in Canada, the United States, Europe and South America. Founded in 2010 by Manas Banerjee, Xite Bio markets SoyRhizo and PeasRhizo.
19. In March 2014, Lallemand Plant Care acquired the intellectual property rights and associated assets related to the North American biological products portfolio of BrettYoung, including the BioBoost line of products.
20. The two companies are collaborating to extend the current range of biological products distributed by BrettYoung through new solutions developed by Lallemand. SW