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New fertilizer offers promising results

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World Fertilizer,

After successful field trials, Protein Industries Canada and Lucent BioSciences are announcing that Lucent BioScience’s Soileos fertilizer helps to increase yield in crops, while also contributing to both soil and human health.

Announced in March 2020 and developed as part of a project funded through a co-investment by Lucent BioSciences, AGT Food and Ingredients, and Protein Industries Canada, Lucent’s technology supports whole-seed utilisation by converting the hulls of lentil and pea seeds of AGT Food and Ingredients into fertilizer. Overall, it reduces waste in the value-added processing stream while widening the market for plant-protein crop co-products.

This year, field trials using Soileos were performed on fruit, vegetable and broad-acre crops across Canada with the inclusion of AGT’s co-product. Soileos showed promising results in each crop type tested. Tests on broad-acre crops showed an increase in yields of up to 20% and stand count improvement of up to 35%/m2. Tests on vegetables, meanwhile, showed yield improvements of up to 45% and micronutrient density improvements of up to 50%, including in iron, zinc and manganese.

“The results of these field trials are a positive step forward in finding new uses for plant-protein co-products that traditionally went to waste,” Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel said. “Soileos has the potential to positively affect the lives of Canadians along the value chain, from farmers to processors, and I look forward to seeing how that potential develops.”

Soileos uses patented technology to prevent micronutrients from tying up in the soil and keeping nutrients bioavailable to plants during the full life cycle. This allows crops to take in Soileos’ nutrients at an optimal rate while leaving soil-benefiting carbon behind and reducing a farmer’s potential environmental footprint. The overall process benefits both the crop and the soil, making the fertilizer carbon-neutral.

“With the support from Protein Industries Canada and AGT Foods we have been able to scale up a unique technology from lab to production,” said Lucent BioSciences CEO Michael Riedijk. “The results of the field trials are outstanding. It shows there are exciting opportunities for innovation in agriculture that combine sustainability with improved crop quality and yield.”

Lucent BioSciences expects to start commercialising Soileos within the next year.

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