Thursday, July 25, 2024

Top 5 This Week

Educating You on the Way to Cultivate an Effective Fertilizer Use Strategy

BioConsortia, Inc., a leading agricultural technology company that discovers, designs and licenses advanced microbial products to reduce the ecological impacts of agriculture while ensuring crop productivity, has officially announced an expansion of its nitrogen-fixing products in row corps. The development, notably enough, comes after hundreds of field trials conducted in 2023, trials that focused on gauging whether these solutions could displace meaningful levels of nitrogen fertilizer and deliver yield gains. Going by the available details, the levels of nitrogen-replacement from BioConsortia’s seed treatment products was able to meet, or even exceed, performance expectations when evaluated in row crops like corn, wheat, rice and cotton. This went a long to solidify the commercial prospects of the stated products, as well as their utility in addressing the environmental impacts attached to fertilizer runoff and overuse in crops.

“This technology, based on proprietary microbes that effectively colonize the roots of a wide variety of crops, enables growers to optimize their fertilizer use strategy. Since the microbes remain in the root zone throughout the growing season, they ensure there is always nitrogen available to influence crop yield. Even when synthetic nitrogen fertilizer has dissipated, these microbes are still working to convert nitrogen from the air to a form easily taken up by plants,” said Marcus Meadows-Smith, CEO of BioConsortia.

Another major detail revealed during these trails also was how, upon getting applied to the surface of fertilizer granules, BioConsortia’s proprietary microbes achieved a shelf life of more than 40 months. This, if it remains sustainable, can unlock access to new application opportunities, including in-season side-dress or in-furrow uses.

“We can offer the extended shelf- and seed-life products because our platform is focused on Gram-positive microbes,” said Dr. Hong Zhu, SVP of R&D at BioConsortia. “We made our job as microbial product designers much more complex because Gram-positive microbes are not generally known for their nitrogen-fixing functionality. We used our proprietary R&D platform to discover and improve the nitrogen-fixing capabilities of Gram-positive microbes. We have demonstrated they are inherently stable and reliable root colonizers, making them ideal for seed treatment products.”

Founded in 2014, BioConsortia has risen up the ranks by developing superior microbial products that protect plants, enhance fertility, and increase yields, while simultaneously improving the sustainability of wider agriculture operation. This, in practice, translates to the company’s directed selection mechanism within microbial communities, Advanced Microbial Selection (AMS) process, cutting-edge GenePro genomics, and a gene-engineering platform, all that coming together to help it fully optimize the potential of microbes. Using those solutions as a foundation, BioConsortia has developed various specific products, such as nitrogen fixation microbes to replace synthetic nitrogen fertilizers; nutrient use efficiency and biostimulants to increase crop yields; bionematicides & biofungicides to protect crops from pests and diseases; and products for post-harvest pathogen control to safeguard food waste in the distribution chain, retail store and home. As for numbers, at the moment, BioConsortia has the world’s largest collections of pre-screened and characterized microorganisms, comprising over 60,000 microbes. The stated collection also has 9,000 endophytes, the microbes that reside in plant tissues and most directly affect survival and growth.