Soil Probiotics That Minimize Greenhouse Gases Drive Selection of Agtech Startup as Innovation Challenge Award Winner
SOLON, Ohio (December 8, 2021) After extensive review, Locus Agricultural Solutions® (Locus AG)was named winner of the Syngenta Innovation Challenge. A judging panel chose the agtech startup and certified B Corp™ for its suite of innovative microbial soil amendments, known as soil probiotics, designed to accelerate the impact of regenerative agriculture practices. A primary deciding factor was its ability to lower soil nitrous oxide emissions by as much as 77% depending on crop type.
Nitrous oxide emissions are a growing climate problem, with researchers suggesting an impact 300 times greater than the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide. Agricultural soil management accounts for 75% of nitrous oxide emissions in the U.S. Locus AG’s soil probiotic technologies help growers enhance nitrogen use efficiency and reduce N2O emissions.
“We want to recognize promising technologies that benefit plant and soil health, or overall improve the productivity of farmlands for people and the planet,” said Jacqui Campbell, Syngenta Innovation Challenge judge and Global Head Technology & Operations. “It was difficult to decide on the winner given the quality of the pitches we heard and the great submissions. Locus AG stood out for addressing both land productivity and also climate challenges posed by greenhouse gases. Locus AG’s probiotics to restore soil health and promote carbon sequestration were the most complete solution overall to address these challenges, as they are also thinking about how they connect growers to carbon neutrality and monetize these new practices. The award was well-deserved.”
In addition to their impact on N2O emissions, Locus AG’s unique soil probiotic technologies provide better phosphorus solubilization and improve NPK input uptake in both row and permanent crop types, while boosting yield and supercharging carbon sequestration. In corn, the largest U.S. crop, yield increases can reach 8-10 bu/acre with 2-3 tons of carbon sequestered per acre. This results in a return on investment (ROI) for growers as high as 4-5X per acre.
Chad Pawlak, Locus Agricultural Solutions CEO said, “Locus AG’s soil amendments demonstrate efficacy across a wide range of growing geographies and agroclimatic conditions. While currently field tested and applied to a variety of crops in the United States, the products’ efficacy and flexibility offer the potential to revolutionize agricultural practices and soil fertility in the global market.”
Syngenta judges announced the winner at the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit, noting Locus AG’s comprehensive environmental, agronomic and economic benefits. As part of the Innovation Challenge Award win, Locus AG has been receiving guidance from Syngenta team members to drive adoption of the soil technologies for the benefit of growers. For more information, visit LocusAG.com.
About Locus Agricultural Solutions®
Locus Agricultural Solutions® (Locus AG) is an agtech, certified B Corp™ and innovator member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development that is helping to solve the interrelated challenges of climate change and food security. Its innovative, award-winning microbial soil “probiotic” technologies and CarbonNOW® program give farmers a new way to boost yields, profit and accelerate carbon sequestration while reducing operating costs and environmental impact. The company’s success has received global recognition, including being named a Top 100 North America Winner by Red Herring, one of the Top New 50 Startups to Watch by Cleantech Group and winner of NREL’s Industry Growth Forum Outstanding Venture Award. Locus AG gets its core scientific capabilities from its parent company, Locus Fermentation Solutions (Locus FS), an Ohio-based, globally recognized green technology company. For more information, visit LocusAG.com.