Production agriculture, environmental necessities and raw economics are coming together like never before. Companies on the cutting edge of these efforts, like Bion, can change the entire way that farming and natural resource management have been done throughout our history.
Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
Multiple Drivers for Success
Bion Environmental Technologies’ (OTC QB: BNET) proven technology provides advanced waste treatment and resource recovery for large-scale livestock production facilities. The patented modular platform delivers:
- New opportunities and improved economics for the $180 billion livestock industry – dairy, meat and egg production
- Low-cost high-impact solutions in the $100 billion clean water sector (and other pressing environmental and public health issues)
Bion’s technology provides a ‘cleantech makeover’ for large-scale livestock production, so that environmental impacts are dramatically reduced, while resource and operational efficiencies are significantly improved.
While removing pollutants from the waste stream, Bion’s technology platform creates value by recovering resources that have traditionally been wasted or underutilized. Production of pipeline-quality natural gas and high-value organic fertilizer products represents new revenue sources. Pollution reductions are monitored and verified, generating additional new revenues from renewable energy and carbon credits, as well as nutrient credits described below. Water can be cleaned sufficiently for re-use by the herd, irrigation or aquifer recharge. Current manure handling expenses can be eliminated. Because land is no longer required to spread waste on, expansion on existing acreage or divesting acreage can be considered.
The livestock industry has struggled for the last decade to deal with rising fuel costs and drought conditions that have exposed critical logistical weaknesses in its supply chain. An unintended consequence of siting large-scale facilities in ‘out of the way’ locations has been a significant increase in the environmental impacts and costs of transportation. For the most part, the industry has been unable to relocate or consolidate to mitigate these effects because of the environmental impacts of production. Margins across the supply chain have suffered. Bion’s technology platform enables clean state-of-the-art livestock facilities to be developed in new strategic locations that improve logistical impacts and efficiencies.
Perhaps the greatest ‘driver’ for Bion is America’s and the world’s buying habits, that are undergoing a fundamental shift. Food safety, corporate social responsibility and improved sustainability in production are increasingly demanded by the consumer. Ceres and other large activist institutional investors are taking an increasing interest in socially responsible investing, and have already expressed concerns about carbon footprint, water quality, antibiotic usage and animal welfare to many in the food production industry.
Whole Foods, Walmart, Costco, McDonalds, and most other large meat and dairy product retailers have recently announced sustainability initiatives. We believe that as these initiatives move forward, ‘sustainability’ on the production side will look a lot like what Bion can provide today. Bion’s technology platform can provide measurable and verifiable sustainability metrics – carbon and nutrient footprint; impacts to water, soil and air; pathogen destruction – that are unmatched in the industry today.
U.S. clean water costs – $114 billion in 2010 – are escalating while overall water quality continues to decline.
Excess nutrients – nitrogen and phosphorus – cause toxic algal blooms and dead zones that the EPA now calls one of the greatest water quality problems in the U.S. today. Livestock production is recognized as one of the largest sources of excess nutrients in most major watersheds; Bion’s direct treatment of livestock waste can provide large-scale verifiable nutrient reductions at significantly lower cost than current agricultural and downstream treatment strategies. Bion’s platform also provides dramatic reductions of greenhouse gas, ammonia and hydrogen sulfide emissions, as well as pathogens in the waste stream that have been linked to food-borne illness and antibiotic resistance.
The re-allocation of significantly more funding to non-point source pollution sources, particularly agriculture, is inevitable if we are to maintain the integrity of the environment and our water resources. Policies are now changing to support market-based strategies that engage the private sector to provide lower cost solutions. National livestock interests, including National Milk Producers Federation, Land O’Lakes, JBS (the largest beef/pork producer in the world) and others have recently joined Bion in support of such a strategy.
Bion is strongly confident that these policy reforms will be achieved in Pennsylvania in the near future, as they face significant sanctions related to the Chesapeake Bay in 2017, as well as their own water quality issues. Bion is equally confident that the policies being developed in the Chesapeake Bay will serve as a model for similar livestock-related runoff issues in other watersheds, such as the Mississippi River Basin and Great Lakes. The Trump Administration has recently announced cutbacks in federal environmental spending, but no corresponding rollback of regulations. Pennsylvania has recently acknowledged it needs to improve the cost-effectiveness of its spending.
Bion’s proven solution, coupled with an experienced and dedicated management team that has a deep understanding of the issues, positions the company to succeed as this opportunity continues to unfold. To learn more about this evolving opportunity, which is poised to receive billions in federal, state, local and private funding, please visit Excess Nutrients – the Challenge, Bion’s Technology, Benefits, and Policy Change.
Changes have come slowly to our country’s clean water strategy that fails to adequately address the largest sources of pollution in most watersheds. But our approach is now evolving to address cost-effective alternatives to an outdated strategy. While today, Pennsylvania is in the spotlight, many other agricultural states will face similar problems and decisions over the coming years.
Legislation to establish a competitive bidding program in Pennsylvania, that will allow the state to purchase low-cost nutrient reductions from Bion and other private-sector providers, was introduced in the PA Senate in October 2016; it was sponsored by Republican leadership. Legislation to apply the federal energy tax credit to nutrient recovery was recently introduced in the U.S. House and Senate and enjoys bipartisan support. Bion believes that a Republican mandate that is focused on reducing the scale and cost of government will embrace market-driven solutions such as Bion provides. Many in the livestock industry are at the table, ready and willing to be engaged.
Further, recent improvements to Bion’s technology platform enable the recovery of much higher-value byproducts and renewable energy. Pilot studies indicate that under certain conditions more fully described in the current Company Overview and SEC filings, projects can be developed that can be supported by byproduct and renewable energy production alone. While the policy changes we support are still a major focus of our business, we are no longer entirely dependent on them. This is a true game-changer for Bion.
The U.S. livestock industry must reduce its footprint and simultaneously improve its efficiencies if it is to remain environmentally and economically sustainable in the modern world. Further, the industry has now recognized that it will need to verify and communicate this improved sustainability to the consumer. Bion’s technology addresses both of these inescapable challenges that will require significant investment over the coming years. And Bion’s expertise, coupled with its technology solutions that have been proven over many years, place it far ahead of future competitors in this evolving space.
Many of us here in Pennsylvania have taken our role as protectors of our land, our environment and the Chesapeake Bay very seriously and that’s why our partnership with Bion made sense from day one.
CEO and president, Kreider Farms
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