Grace Breeding, a forward-thinking AgClimateTech company developing biological-based products, unveiled the results of a field study conducted, in collaboration with University of Londrina (UEL), on corn in Brazil using its Proprietary Bio-Fertiliser (NFT) technology
The study, carried out with in-lab and greenhouse tests, showed corn plants using the NFT solution were superior or equal in every metric when compared to commonly used nitrogen fertilisers, such as urea, while reducing harmful carbon emissions.
60% of the 1.17 billion tons of corn expected to be produced in 2023 will come from the US, China, and Brazil. During production, the corn plant removes large amounts of nitrogen (N), requiring the use of urea as a nitrogen fertiliser, which causes great environmental damage. The outbreak of war in Ukraine has made access to urea a major challenge for Brazil, which consumed around 7.13 million tons of the fertiliser in 2020. The need for large quantities of nitrogen to obtain high yields of corn has triggered public and private institutions to find alternatives.
Grace Breeding’s NFT alternative helps fill a major void in the food supply chain by offering an organic and biological substitute capable of drastically reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. During the Brazil study, NFT was applied to corn plants and compared with other corn plants using standard urea fertilisers. The major takeaways from the study include:
• NFT showed greater speed during the germination process.
• NFT showed greater efficiency in the use of nitrogen as shown through the greater intensity of green in the leaves, leading to a potential reduction of more than 50% of nitrogen in corn cultivation.
• Corn plants that were fed NFT released less carbon into the atmosphere, presenting it as a sustainable production system.
• Corn plants that were fed NFT demonstrated better water-use efficiency and therefore less water transpiration, or loss of water.
A previous study of NFT’s impact on wheat found that the formula is carried out at a dose of about 2.2 gallons per acre (20L/Ha.) and is applied only once on the day of sowing in the field. When compared to urea, which requires a spread of about three to four times during the cultivation period, Grace Breeding’s NFT solution proved to save both time and money.
“These promising results from our Brazil field study position our NFT product as the much-needed alternative to nitrogen fertilisers, and they allow farmers to reduce their ecological footprint both in air pollution and in water and soil contamination,” said Assaf Dotan, CEO of Grace Breeding. “I’m really excited to see what other crops that rely on nitrogen-based fertilisers stand to benefit from our NFT technology.”
“The NFT presents properties that stimulate the metabolic process of the plant—physiological, respiratory, and secondary-metabolic pathways—promoting greater growth and better development of corn,” added Professor Juliano Tadeu Vilela de Resende, Ph.D. of the Agronomy Department at Universidade Estadual de Londrina. “I understand that this technology, based on preliminary results, may be responsible for a great advance in sustainable agriculture, with low carbon emissions, and also promoting economy in the use of water and nitrogen.