Ohio gives first-ever bioscience loan


SALEM, Ohio – Advanced Biological Marketing in Van Wert, Ohio, has received the first bioscience loan ever distributed by Ohio.
The $959,290 Innovation Ohio Fund Loan will be used to develop and manufacture Excalibre, a soybean inoculant with a two-year shelf life and an extended post-application planting window.
New facility. The loan, which has an interest rate of 6.5 percent for an eight-year term, will help build a 70-by-90 foot building where Excalibre will be produced and encapsulated. The building, which is set to be finished this summer, will also have a warehouse area.
“The ultimate end result is to have a state-of-the-art facility for the encapsulating process,” said Dan Custis, president of Advanced Biological Marketing.
The total cost of the project is estimated at more than $1.2 million. It will retain four positions and create eight technical jobs in Ohio within the first three years of operation, Custis said. Several positions will be created outside Ohio as well.
Custis said he expects even more expansion as time goes on.
Increased yields. According to Custis, Excalibre contains three strains of bacteria that work in variable soil and planting conditions. He also said the inoculant can increase crop yields by up to 4.4 bushels an acre.
The shelf life of Excalibre, an encapsulated form of America’s Best Inoculant, will give farmers extra time to plant. After additional testing is completed, scientists believe it will offer up to a 180-day planting window.
The loan is part of Ohio’s Third Frontier project, which is a program aimed at increasing the state’s high-tech research abilities and encouraging the creation of companies with high-paying jobs. Custis said the loan was created several years ago and one of the applicable categories was bioscience.
First. “We are honored to be the first to receive a bioscience loan in the state of Ohio,” he said, adding that regional seed companies have expressed an interest in Excalibre.
“The goal is to produce a product that offers the farmer a true added value,” Custis said.
Advanced Biological Marketing is one of four economic development projects approved by the Development Financing Advisory Council. The loans and bonds total more than $9.1 million and are expected to create 389 jobs and retain or maintain 170 positions in Ohio.
(Reporter Janelle Skrinjar welcomes feedback by phone at 800-837-3419, ext. 22, or by e-mail at jskrinjar@farmanddairy.com.)

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