Dr Andy Jones joined the RootWave board as Chairman in April, bringing with him over 35 years’ experience in agriculture, and the AgriChem industry. In this article he reflects on his first year, and the size of the opportunity for RootWave in an industry he knows so well.
I have a very high-level of confidence that RootWave will become one of the leading brands in weed control. One of the reasons for that is because the technology works brilliantly. I joined RootWave as chair of the board in spring 2022 – at that point I was really impressed with the level of technical validation already achieved.
Since then we have had the field trials in maize, sugar beet and orchards and I think everyone at RootWave and growers have been very excited by the results. I am certainly excited by what we can achieve.
I have been in crop protection virtually my whole career, and I know there is a need for the solution that RootWave is delivering. Food supply and demand in the world is finely balanced – just look at how the war in Ukraine has sent shockwaves in food prices. The job of chemicals in crop protection has been to help growers produce food for a growing and hungry population, and they have done it very well.
But, as science and technology has advanced, we understand the impact some of the chemical products can have on the environment and on human health. We need crop protection technologies with lower environmental impact and risks. RootWave is exactly that – a safe and cost effective way to control weeds.
I have been impressed with the team RootWave has in place to take advantage of this opportunity. There is a lot of energy and a lot of drive within the team, and also a lot of knowledge and expertise. The team here understand the technology and how it can be applied to various markets, whether that is fruit, row crops or other areas of agriculture.
I think farmers will look at what RootWave has to offer and say – “this is fantastic”! That might look different in different sectors, for example for those in the organic market, where they are currently relying on mechanical hoeing, which disturbs and damages the soil – I think growers will be very excited. But it doesn’t end there, we know more and more growers are operating in an environment where the use of chemicals is restricted. That could be for regulatory reasons, or due to preferences within their supply chain – what our trials have shown us is that eWeeding can work better, and with the right utilisation level can cost way less.
With the right partners and the drive and energy we have in the team we can demonstrate to the market that eWeeding works, and actually it can also cost farmers less in the long run.
I think it is an exciting time ahead, and one that can be very rewarding for our team, partners and investors.