New Plant-based Smart Fertilizer Increases Crop Yields and Nutrient Density Without Pollution
Soil depletion due to climate change and unsustainable agriculture has reached crisis proportions in many regions of the world, where depleted soil results in falling crop yields, increasing food insecurity, and raises urgent questions about how current agricultural practices will feed 10 billion people by 2050. Micronutrient deficiency, a hallmark of degraded soil, is especially problematic in alkaline soils prevalent in the United States, India, China and Africa and is worsening due to climate change. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization projects that each 1-degree Celsius rise in global temperatures will cut 3 per cent to 10 per cent from average global cereal yields.
Conventional chemical micronutrient fertilizers such as EDTA chelates were developed to improve uptake of micronutrients in crops, but they are expensive, often ineffective, and leach out of the soil to pollute groundwater. Moreover, chemical fertilizers are generally considered ineffective in alkaline soil which includes a significant portion of farmland globally.
To address global micronutrient deficiency of soil, Lucent Biosciences of Vancouver, Canada recently began field trials with Soileos, a sustainable alternative to granular chemical fertilizers, especially in parts of the world with hard-to-farm alkaline soil. Soileos is a patented plant-based micronutrient delivery technology that makes soil more productive, enabling farmers to increase their yield and grow more nutritious crops without polluting run-off.
Because Soileous is organic, there is no risk of polluting runoff, no risk of toxicity, and the productive soil it creates helps capture carbon, mitigating climate change. In recent field and green house trials, Soileos displayed a significant increase in nutrient density in plant tissue compared to crops grown with synthetic fertilizers, offering a path for organic biofortification of crops to address the micronutrient malnutrition that currently impacts more than 2 billion people.
Soileos will be available to farmers in North America in 2020 and Lucent is contemplating a product for home gardeners.
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Lucent Biosciences, Inc., is on a mission to address climate impact on global food security and nutrition by developing solutions that regenerate the land and the oceans while capturing carbon to reverse climate change. Soileos, their first sustainable smart fertilizer for agriculture was developed as a response to the global environmental crisis of soil degradation. Lucent also has a revolutionary sustainable livestock food supplement in the development pipeline, as well as Oceaneos, a patent-pending approach to regenerating marine ecosystems to capture carbon and make global fisheries more productive and sustainable.