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.
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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.