- Grace Breeding’s biofertilizer reduces synthetic nitrogen use in corn production by 50%, according to the latest results from the Israel-based company’s ongoing field trials.
- The ongoing field trials are taking place in Brazil, in collaboration with Universidade Estadual de Londrina.
- Grace Breeding has also received the first approval for registration of its NFT Proprietary Bio-Fertilizer in Brazil, which marks the product’s first geographical expansion.
Why it matters:
Nitrogen is critical for all plants to grow, some more than others and especially corn as so much of the nitrogen in corn is affiliated with the most important enzymes in the photosynthesis process. But the application of synthetically-produced nitrogen has become increasingly problematic. Its over-application over the years has led to significant runoff and leaching causing local damage such as algal blooms in lakes and waterways killing aquatic life; The United Nations Environment Programme estimates that nitrogen discharge accounts for a third of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s also linked with depleted soil fertility and recent research has even shown it’s not as effective as previously thought.
Grace Breeding’s NFT biofertilizer combines natural bacteria and biological activators that reduce the need for synthetic nitrogen, the company says. This in turn is meant to reduce the carbon footprint of a crop.
In addition to nitrogen reduction, Grace Breeding’s recent field trials also “demonstrated greater efficiency in the use of water as well as greater mobilization of carbon,” according to the company.
Additional benefits reported include less water loss, higher internal carbon accumulation in the soil, and NFT’s ability to potentially enhance the production of photoassimilates, a key indicator of the plant’s growth and development.
Brazil, where Grace Breeding just received the first approval for its NFT Proprietary Bio-Fertilizer registration, is a key market when it comes to corn. The country is poised to become the world’s largest exporter of corn in 2023.
At the same time, a recent McKinsey study found that adoption rates amongst Brazilian farmers for biological fertilizers are the highest in the world. These factors provide Grace Breeding with a potentially huge market opportunity for its product.
What they’re saying
“The results we are seeing from the corn field study are extremely promising and support the validation of Grace Breeding’s NFT Bio-Fertilizer as a technology that promotes greater productive performance at a lower cost, and with greater environmental preservation,” Professor Juliano Tadeu Vilela de Resende, Ph.D. of the Agronomy Department at Universidade Estadual de Londrina, said in a statement.
“I’m further encouraged by the physiological and nutritional analyses from the most recent studies. When I evaluated the corn at lower doses of nitrogen, the plants cultivated with NFT maintained all the key metrics including size, stem diameter, and number of leaves.”