World Agri-Tech March 2021 preview

World Agri-Tech March 2021 preview

For investors in agriculture stocks, the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit provides a rare opportunity to hear executives from several publicly traded companies provide formal updates and informal insights into their approach to emerging technologies, particularly as it relates to their own internal R&D work and external collaborations. Produced by the cleantech and renewable energy experts at Rethink Events, this year’s summit empowers attendees to schedule video 1-1 meetings with potential partners and clients throughout the summit and for an extended period before and after the sessions. In addition, all content will be available to watch On Demand for a month. Register here.

Details on presentations and panels from publicly traded domestic (U.S.) companies are listed below, along with background reading for investors seeking a deeper dive. Full agenda here.

All times Pacific.

Tuesday, March 9

9:55 a.m. – Nutrien ($NTR) CEO Chuck Magro:  “How can Corporates Play a Bigger Role In Sustainable Agriculture?” Background reading:  In February, Magro laid out Nutrien’s approach to empowering – and incentivizing – growers to increase carbon sequestration and reduce GHG emissions.

11:45 a.m. – Mosaic ($MOS) VP Ag Technology & Innovation Kim Nicholson:  “Ecosystem Health: How Do We Solve a Giant Nitrogen & Phosphorus Crisis in Agriculture?” Background reading: In part 3 of its 4-part investor presentation series, Mosaic outlined its target to achieve 30% of “performance product” sales as a share of total production of phosphorus and potash crop nutrient tonnes by 2025 (slide 9.) The company also underscored its commitment to 4R nutrient stewardship (slide 12.) UPDATE: On Tuesday, March 9, Mosaic announced a partnership with Sound Agriculture on technology that will minimize fertilizer loss to the environment. U.S. corn and soybean growers will get first access to the product, as early as 2023.

12:40 p.m. – Virtual roundtable discussion:  What exits, IPOs & SPACs are we going to see in 2021? Discussion hosted by Arama Kukutai, Co-Founder & Partner, Finistere Ventures. Background reading: By the time World Agri-Tech convenes on Tuesday, SPACs will have raised $73.3 billion already this year – and an average of $321 million across the 228 IPOs, according to SPACInsider. Kukutai’s resume includes extensive work in the public and private sector, and few in the investment ecosystem can rival his expertise regarding the ag IPO landscape.

12:40 p.m. – Corteva ($CTVA) Director, Open Innovation Mathias Muller:  Virtual roundtable discussion:  New business models to match innovation to consumer and farmer needs. Background reading:  Corteva’s recently-retired Chief Technology Officer Neal Gutterson explained the company’s approach to new business models in an interview with McKinsey last month.

12:40 p.m. – Nutrien ($NTR) Darin Lickfeldt, Sr. Innovation Portfolio Manager, “Can we achieve soil health with conventional agricultural practices?” Background reading:  In its 2020 ESG report, Nutrien touted its offerings that directly improve soil health, namely C2 Technology products (page 26.) The company is also investing heavily in education, with more than 1,000 growers and students in Latin America alone trained in 2019 on best practices and input management (page 27.)

12:40 p.m. – Mosaic ($MOS) VP of Ag Technology & Innovation Kim Nicholson:  “Measuring carbon sequestration: Accounting for inputs, genetics & crop protection.” Background reading:  In its December 2020 investor presentation mentioned above, Mosaic laid out the soil health landscape and the company’s own ambition: “Growth in the soil health sector and the application of advances in biological science creates a unique opportunity for Mosaic to build upon a leadership position in balanced crop nutrition.” Meanwhile, major ag players ranging from multinational ag corporations to environmental advocacy groups are seeking consensus on how to most precisely quantify carbon sequestration – and how to get buy-in from supply chain leaders and consumer brands.

1:50 p.m. – Bioceres (BIOX) Board Member Ari Freisinger takes part in panel:  “Biology with Purpose: Opportunities at the Intersection of Biology, Agriculture & Food.” Background reading: As noted in Ag Stock Investor’s preview of the March 3-4 BofA Securities Global Agriculture & Materials Conference, Bioceres’ Q2 2021 earnings call in February provided investors an update on the progress of its HB4 (drought-tolerant) wheat and soybeans. The company signaled that announcements regarding commercial distribution partners for HB4 soybeans could be coming “in the next quarters.” Zacks Small Cap Research published a piece by Steven Ralston on March 1 setting a price target for $BIOX at $16.25/share, more than double the share price of Friday’s (3/5/21) close.

3:15 p.m. – Corteva ($CTVA) SVP and CTO Sam Eathington’s closing remarks. Background reading: Eathington spoke alongside Corteva CEO Jim Collins last Wednesday, March 3 at BoA Securities’ Global Agriculture & Materials Conference. The transcript from the execs’ talk gives deep insight into both Corteva’s own R&D portfolio – including its industry-leading pipelines for crop protection, biotech seed traits and CRISPR intellectual property – as well as its collaborations with companies like Evogene ($EVGN.)

Wednesday, March 10

9:15 a.m. – AppHarvest ($APPH) President David Lee, Corteva ($CTVA) subsidiary Granular CEO and President of Corteva’s Digital Agribusiness Platform Tamar Rosati, and Jim Chambers, GM of the Agriculture Division, Worldwide, Trimble ($TRMB):  Ask the Experts panel:  “Who Will Lead the Transformation in Food & Ag?” Attendees can submit a question online, and those who submit the most popular questions (as measured by upvotes) will be invited to ask their question live on screen. Background reading:  Lee, who served most recently as CFO of Impossible Foods, will be six weeks on the job as AppHarvest president when he takes the virtual stage. Lee was on board for one week before the company went public on Feb. 1. Trimble, meanwhile, was named to Investor’s Business Daily’s Top 50 Best ESG Stocks in Oct. 2020.

12:15 p.m. – Nutrien ($NTR) startup challenge

12:45 p.m. – Nutrien ($NTR) EVP & Chief Corporate Development & Strategy Officer Mark Thompson takes part in a panel “How Can We Evolve the Exit Story in AgTech?”

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