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 percent to 10 percent from average global cereal yields.
No Groundwater Pollution
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.
Field Trials Started With Yields Up 20% and Costs Down 25%
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 by up to 20% while decreasing costs by 25%.
Caption: Soileos is unique because micronutrients are only released when plants need them, and otherwise remain in the soil, preventing the significant negative environmental impacts of runoff. Photo by sasint
Recent field test results from Simon Fraser University and Kwantlen Polytechnic University have confirmed that Soileos increases yield and nutrient density in crops without polluting run-offs.
The company is currently finalizing an investment round to build the first manufacturing plant in Canada. Soileos will be available to farmers in North America in 2020 and Lucent is contemplating a product for home gardeners.
Accredited investors that are interested in Lucent Biosciences can email to: email@example.com
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.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.
31 thoughts on “Plant-based Custom Fertilizer Increases Crop Yields, Lowers Farmers’ Costs, and Makes Food Ten Times Healthier”
Soil depletion from “Climate Change”?? The added plant growth will multiply the organic content of soils immensely over the decades to come. Warmer moister air will (and has been) enhancing crop yields. Deeper roots “pull up” minerals. ….50 more paragraphs of this….
It’s very likely that we are in for some cooling the next few decades (forecasting from known cycles plus the oceans catching up to the quiescent sun)…but the CO2 fertilization will last for centuries.
lol. It might also help to wrap it all up with an appropriate mission statement. This link makes it very easy. http://www.jonhaworth.com/toys/mission-statement-generator
You forgot to add
5) Somehow, no matter how inappropriate, squeeze in the words blockchain, nano, internet of things and/or crowdsource.
I’ve read some of these papers and you’re exactly right. Many don’t take into account swapping in new crops; some do.
Well, as Bruce pointed out, higher temperatures don’t automatically infer less rain. Furthermore, higher temperatures by themselves do not decrease crop yield so I don’t really find the authors line of reasoning convincing.
Because I inferred (possibly incorrectly) that the authors implicated CO2 as the main driver of temperature increase I argued that the zero effect variable (temperature) covaried with the positive effect variable ( CO2) in their own model, i.e. higher temperature should have a positive correlation with crop yield..
Let the animals into fallow paddocks to help regen the soil – natural sequence style. This is a better and natural way of maintaining/rebuilding soil. It might not be possible on all landscapes, thinking mountain sides here. This would also help albedo impacts as the soil doesn’t blow away leaving hot, bare ground, nor heavy erosion as the rain washes everything away (see Middle East, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Australia – also some now think the Sahara too).
Covered ground holds water which can flow more slowly, letting streams run more often. Heavy foliage and trees over large areas attract rainfall. Vertical farms are a good idea if sunlight can be “pulled in” passively using mirrors and fibre optics. If sealed the water and humidity can be recycled although some lost in the produce itself. They would help lower the need for traditional farms, allowing some to be reforested.
Personally I attribute cleared land, desertification, albedo, and heat island more to climate change than just pollution. However dark particulate matter over our glaciers certainly doesn’t help.
We are all gonna die…oh wait, what’s that Suzy. It’s just a bunch of B.S. Carry on people, nothing to see here except a bunch of propaganda. Why would Brian allow such tripe on here? No real advertisers?
My guess is that the crop collapse is a 1st order analysis.
As is well known, there are different crops grown in different parts of the world. Hot, wet areas grow crops suited for hot wet climates (sugarcane, rice) hot dry areas grow other crops (dates) as well as grazing animals. Medium area’s grow medium sorts of crops (maize, wheat). Cold areas grow cold crops like oats and barley.
Now, if climate changes, the local areas will change. Some hot wet areas become drier. Some hot dry areas become wetter. Some medium areas become warmer. Some cold areas become medium.
Now if all the idiot farmers continue to grow the same crops as their father did…
OR, if idiot government regulation means they are locked into not changing their farm type because they have a rice licence/subsidy/permit, not a corn licence/subsidy/permit.
Then yes, the crop yields go down.
My heart rate goes from 56 resting to 5.6!!!
I would have thought that you would think they were producing it so there would be more than enough. We could considering using PS.
Global warming doomsters have cornered the market on BS leaving little or none for agricultural uses.
only meant in the least possible intrusion: CO2 improves plant growth and helps plants live productive lives with less water.
The lower rain forecast may be unlikely. The biggest part of global warming is increased water vapor in the atmosphere. Co2 by itself is almost nothing compared to water vapor. More water vapor should mean more available water for rain. More clouds, more thunderstorms and thus some localized cooling. The climate is very hard to model and it will be a huge accomplishment when they have working models.
Lastly water vapor accounts for the lion’s share of observed nighttime and Polar high temps.
A warmer world in the short term is a net positive, long term mankind can engineer fixes if it becomes necessary, the important goal is a pollution “free” economy. If you feel CO2 is pollution then you must accept nuclear power. Personally the primary issue for me is pollution in general, all the way through the economy, right down to a proper garbage site.
I apologize for seeming argumentative, it’s hard to try to make a point and be brief, especially when a person’s beliefs are involved.
⊕1 … because, well … because
Mmmm… last I checked, there is a lot more rain in Florida than there is in Saskatoon. All things considered. I suppose you’ll come back that there is a lot LESS rain in Las Vegas than London. So yah… divining climate and weather is fraught with complexities beyond the obvious.
Oldest trick in the Advertising-from-Behind industry. If you can’t Boggle them with Bbb-bb-b-bûllsnot, you can at least Flummox them with Factoids. In this case, reaching into the cheese drawer, and pulling out quantitative numbers to render flabby comparative words more … concrete. 10 times better is so much … better … than (naked) better. Throwing (at least) in front means its even better than just more better, but way more better. Super better. But emphatically NOT ‘best’, because well, you know, there’s still the upcoming years’ models that need to be developed and marketed.
⊕1, of course
… “The UN Food and Agriculture Organization projects that each 1-degree Celsius rise in global temperatures will cut 3 percent to 10 percent from average global cereal yields.” …
Except of course that in the last +1° C rise … from 1975 thru 2015 (40 years, say), cereal yield has dramatically, if not spectacularly gone UPWARD. Ahh… er… ahem… wait, what?
The NARRATIVE remains the same: global warming can be blamed for anything and everything withOUT critical theoretic-and-findings attribution as to the mechanism of the blame. Longer growing seasons definitely encourage more plant growth, which in turn lead to more plant matter being in the biosphere, not the geosphere. More plant matter means more entrained nutrients. Less measurable in the organics-free soil.
You could say the same about a big old redwood or mixed conifer forest: the old, old growth trees imperial mass alone means that all that thousand-plus your old cellulose entrains bucketloads of nutrients patiently awaiting return by way of toppling over, and being degraded thru termites, fungi, bacteria, bears … into the ground litter and soil that comprises the nominal forest floor.
Wrong attribution, methinks. AGW if anything, is yielding satellite-detected and ground-science-confirmed almost-astounding increases in forest and savanna plant growth. This is not a bad thing. On any level.
Increased CO2 is not the only variable affecting crop yields, higher temperatures itself will also affect them, also the lower rain of a warmer climate, etc. … …
Wait, “10 times healthier”? How do you quantify that? Obviously you can’t eat a 10th as much food, you’d starve. Do you end up as health as 10 normal people? Live to 770 instead of 77?
What ever happen to BS? Just gather, sterilize, and make it into granules.
Free fertilizer could be made from human urine. You don’t need to invent anything.
This guy gets it.
Yes CO2 is plant food and a warmer climate can increase the duration of the growing season. On the other hand increased temperatures caused by that CO2 can reduce the efficiency of photosynthesis and more extreme weather can destroy yields. Why don’t you inform yourself with the science? On balance its not looking great even now. With temps and extreme weather getting worse its a negative.
yes, it is product placement. Small company, 100k in seed money (pun intended), and a patent. The invention has to do with a chemical trigger plants use to take up trace minerals and this patent apparently makes that process more efficient. Not a bad idea, but you can just as well use “brute force” and feed your soil with lots of relatively inexpensive enhancers.
How to get your business funded 101:
1) blame something on climate change
2) blame it again on AGW just to be sure
3) Add another blame, and back it up with “The UN says….”
4) Take the money
Now that I’ve turned off my sarcasm keyboard, yes, soil nutrient deficiency is, and always has been a problem and has NOTHING to do with AGW. There are only a few places in the world that are naturally pre-disposed to good soil. The tropics and jungles are terrible places to grow food (sounds counter-intuitive, but has to do with low phosphorous as all the rain leeches it and instead you get high levels of iron oxide, which is why most tropical soils are red). But all this has been known for a very long time. You can find maps of all sorts of soil deficiencies (e.g., iodine in western India). So also soil erosion and trace element depletion from single-crop industrial farming.
Re-introducing micro-nutrients is a good thing, so these guys are not in the wilderness here. But farmers have had access to soil enhancers for a while so I am not sure what this brings to the table. The really new tech is micro-biomes which are the bacteria, algae, viruses and all the stuff that “good soil” is about. Great soil is basically “controlled rotting” of organic matter that needs to be “fed” all the time. Fertilizers and minerals are just one part of this very complex and poorly understood process – what is dirt.
They lost me when they claimed that increased temperature would result in crop loss. You may argue that increased temperature is bad in general, but when you say that increased CO2 results in smaller crop yields, that is when I call BS.
Ten times healthier. Yet only two times more gullable.
I agree with David and Bruce. This says nothing about what this product actually is and how it actually works.
Not Brian’s fault here, because the company website has exactly zero more information. Click on the links for “technology” or “solution” or “problem” and they all link to exactly the same home page which has great colour high res pictures of healthy looking crops, but no information at all about the product.
The one link that bothers to link to any other page, the one page that has any information at all… is how to invest money in the company. THAT has all sorts of actionable information.
Sounded too much like a brochure. Any more detail available?
What specific micronutrients are provided?
Where do you get the micronutrients from?
Where do you grow the plants to make stuff?
Can we use yeast or algae instead of plants?
What is the mechanism that prevents runoff? How does it bind to the soil?
10 times healthier is sort of a thing is it.
I’m interested to learn how the micro plant based fertilizer stays in the soil and is not leached out and yet is available to the crop.
Not seeing a reason to use AGW as a reason to use this fertilizer unless its expensive.
If anything global warming will be the reason we do have food security. It means longer growing seasons to go along with the harmless increase in CO2. Plants are growing something like twice as fast than 150 years ago. According to NASA the earth has actually become greener over the last 35 years despite deforestation.
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