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4 min read

A letter from the CEO of Pivot Bio

On behalf of Pivot Bio, I would like to share some operational updates we are making to better serve our growers and valued partners.

Nearly five years ago, I began my relationship with Pivot Bio as an investor and a board member, and I have the privilege of now serving as its CEO. During this time, I’ve had the chance to meet with many of our customers and partners, who have provided feedback on our current and future products. Thank you for the valuable input, and please keep it coming.

Today, Pivot Bio has one of the largest ag distribution networks in the U.S. as we continue our focus on creating the world’s largest biological nitrogen footprint on the planet. Partnering with Pivot Bio, growers are seeing better profitability, predictability, safety and sustainability.

In 2023, our products were used by farmers on over 5 million acres, up from just over 3 million the prior year – an unprecedented rate of adoption for new crop nutrition technology. As we look to the future, we are investing heavily in this network, along with best-in-class research, distribution, products and partnerships that will create the most value for our growers and shareholders.

Targeted investments

Many of you have been clear about what provides the most value to your operations. As a result, we will be reallocating and focusing our resources on the products that deliver the most value to our growers and investing in core centers of excellence throughout the Midwest, closer to the epicenter of agriculture in the United States. These changes include an update to our teams and how we resource against our key initiatives and investments. To make these investments requires adapting some areas of our business and our employee footprint. We don’t take these decisions lightly, but we believe these changes will help us deliver the innovation growers expect from us. We expect these moves to help us more than double our manufacturing capacity to meet our forecasted demand. Among those investments:

Ames, Iowa - Commercial Headquarters – 37,000-square-foot facility
This 37,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility in the Iowa State University Research Park will house our commercial headquarters, customer success center, grower learning center and the Pivot Bio Institute. It will be located in the heart of the Corn Belt to ensure our commercial team and customers have access to a full network of personalized support. This will be a world-class facility, and we are eager for our customers and partners to visit us in 2024.

Omaha, Nebraska – Commercial Distribution – 110,000-square-foot facility
A new 110,000-square-foot distribution center in Omaha, Nebraska, will enable the company to deliver one of the safest and cleanest forms of nitrogen available to growers across the Corn Belt and Western U.S. faster and at scale. This facility will expand our Midwest footprint and ensure our distribution can meet our rapid growth in the Western half of the United States.

Chicago, Illinois – Commercial Distribution and Automated Packaging/Stewardship
Chicago is home to our automated packaging and distribution center. We have made significant investments in this facility to ensure a world-class customer experience with our product packaging and handling. This site is also critical for our Eastern United States distribution and will play a critical role in our expansion into Canada.

St. Louis, Missouri – Seed Treatment Research Facility and Compatibility Partnership with Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
This investment includes a $20 million expansion, including a 48,000-square-foot facility for the development, production and manufacturing of Pivot Bio’s latest product and agriculture’s first-ever on-seed nitrogen technology, PROVEN® 40 OS and RETURN® OS. Our investment ensures we protect seed quality, ensures product performance and enhances the grower experience while utilizing this first-in-class technology. Our relationship with the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center allows us to use state-of-the-art compatibility testing to ensure our products are delivered confidently on every acre.

These investments are focused squarely on supporting our customers with enhanced commercial operations, education, product testing, seed treatment technology and expansion of our distribution footprint. We are also leaning into our investments in product manufacturing and automation to deliver a best-in-class customer experience. While these efforts are happening in the United States, we are continuing our investments in Canada and Brazil, and look forward to near-term expansion in these two important markets.

Focused on our priorities

These sizable investments share a common theme: helping us achieve a clear set of near-term priorities, which are:

  1. Delivering higher levels of nitrogen fixation.
  2. Improving yield and crop performance with better sources of nitrogen, complementary technologies and third-party products.
  3. Expanding the usability, shelf life and consistency of our products.
  4. Delivering more local data, best practices and education on the future of crop nutrition and fertility.
  5. Becoming the partner of choice in advancing crop nutrition innovation for larger established companies and emerging agtech companies.

These investments are in addition to our relentless focus on the science and technology behind our products. This year alone, our collaborations included 22 universities, reinforcing our commitment to independent research and structured scientific trials. This research demonstrates how Pivot Bio’s breakthrough technology maintains or improves yield while delivering on our core product promise to help growers achieve better profitability, predictability and sustainability. We know the science behind our products is essential to our customers, and in 2024, we will be sharing even more about this exciting research and work, offering our customers a behind-the-scenes look at our complete process.

In just the first month of fiscal 2024, we received orders that amount to almost 130% of our total revenue in 2023 – and that number is increasing every day. We promise to continue to remain customer focused as we continue to grow in the U.S. and expand into Canada and Brazil.

We are embarking on this next phase of our journey; one that unapologetically puts our customers at the center of all we do, with significant investments in the heartland. As our partners, we appreciate you and your business, and we understand the trust you are putting in us and the responsibility that comes with it. We don’t take it lightly.

In the meantime, I look forward to seeing many of you soon.

Chris Abbott, CEO