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Source: Agrow news release

Monsanto's glyphosate tolerance Roundup Ready technology was judged to be the best crop protection product over the past 25 years at the Agrow Awards ceremony in London last night. The new category was included in this year's Awards to mark Agrow's silver jubilee. Monsanto triumphed over short-listed entries from AgraQuest, Bayer CropScience, DuPont and Dow AgroSciences.

Dow and DuPont were once again the most prolific participants in the Agrow Awards, with 15 short-listed entries between them. But the prizes were more evenly distributed this year, with 13 different companies or organisations picking up awards.

Dow and DuPont were the only companies to compete for the award for Best New Crop Protection Product. Dow's spinetoram was favoured in a close-run contest between two insecticides, with both companies stressing low use rates and safety to non-target organisms.

The two companies also went head-to-head in the contest for Most Innovative Chemistry. But the award went to Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha for its trifluoromethyl-pyridine class of chemistry. It resulted in a series of intermediates and novel agrochemicals including: the herbicides fluazifop-butyl and flazasulfuron; the insecticides, chlorfluazuron and flonicamid; and the fungicide, fluazinam.

Syngenta's Agrisure Viptera trait won the award for Best Novel Bgricultural Biotechnology. The vegetative insecticidal protein, Vip3A, has a mode of action distinct from Bt Cry proteins, providing control of a range of lepidopteran pests, while guarding against resistance.

Marrone Bio Innovations' biofungicide, Regalia, was judged to be the Best New Biopesticide, which was a new category for this year's Awards programme. Regalia has induced systemic resistance as its primary mode of action. It shows synergistic effects with conventional fungicides and is seen as an ideal tool for resistance management.

The Best Inovation in Non-crop award went to Sumitomo Chemical for its insecticide-impregnated Olyset bed net. It was the world's first UN WHO-recommended mosquito bed net and has been estimated as saving 550,000 lives a year.

The award for Best Formulation Innovation went to DuPont for its suspo-emulsion formulation of the insecticide, Cyazypyr (chlorantraniliprole). It combines the best attributes of suspension concentrates and oil dispersible formulation types. UK company IOTA NanoSolutions received a commendation for its ContraSol technology.

The Best Supplier to the crop protection industry was judged to be the Belgian chemical company, Taminco. It is the only globally active specialist producer of alkylamines and alkylamine derivatives used in key crop protection products.

The Indian company, Indofil Chemicals, received the award for Best Company from an Emerging Region. With product launches in its domestic market and aggressive expansion in Europe, Indofil's revenues grew by 21% and profits went up by 45% under adverse market conditions.

The award for Best Supporting Role went to the regulatory consultancy, Compliance Services International. It stewarded the first new ai onto Annex I of the EU Biocidal Products Directive and two existing plant oil-based ais onto Annex I of the Plant Protection Products Directive during the past year. Huntingdon Life Sciences received a special commendation for its activities as a contract research organisation.

CropLife International won the Best Public Outreach Award for its "Now serving 9 billion" programme. It brought together a panel of luminaries from across agriculture to discuss the future of feeding the planet in an online format. The Medea Group's African "Backpack Farm" programme received a special commendation from the judges.

The award for Best Stewardship Programme went to the UK potato industry's campaign responding to regulatory concerns about residues of the potato sprout suppressant, chlorpropham, in stored potato crops. The Brazilian container management programme, the inpEV, which won the award last year, was highly commended by the judges.

AgraQuest's chief executive officer, Marcus Meadows-Smith, was judged to be the Best manager with Strategic Vision. In 2008, he took charge of a company that was burning cash, on low sales, chasing too many in-licensing opportunities and not developing in-house R&D. A repositioned AgraQuest is seeking leadership in microbial R&D, targeting $200 million in sales by 2014 from $12 million two years ago.

This year's Lifetime Achievement Award went to George Levitt, who retired from DuPont as senior principal investigator in 1986. His pioneering work on sulfonylurea herbicides in the 1970s led to the discovery of 13 DuPont ais and a total of 35 such ais across the industry. When introduced, sulfonylureas had application rates hundreds or thousands of times lower than existing products and remain among the most active herbicides ever discovered.

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