Nitrogen reduction pilot removes a key barrier to adopting practices that can support a healthier planet and higher return on investment for farmers
Sound Agriculture has launched a nitrogen reduction pilot program to replace up to 700,000 units of nitrogen, or 3.4 million units of CO2, across 25,000 acres of fields throughout the U.S. The program was developed to eliminate the financial risk associated with using less synthetic fertilizer by underwriting the risk of lost yield. It is another step towards achieving the company’s goal of reducing 30% of global nitrogen fertilizer—the equivalent of removing 200 million cars from the road.
Nitrogen is essential for crop development, but is often overapplied with 30-50% going unused by the crop. The excess has significant environmental consequences, resulting in runoff and volatilization that negatively impacts the quality of water, air and soil. Sound Agriculture’s flagship product, SOURCE®, uses patented technology to activate microbes in the soil that unlock existing nutrients through nitrogen fixation and phosphate solubilization. Growers can target a yield increase of 5-10 bushels per acre or a nitrogen reduction of 25-50 lbs per acre in corn, depending on how they want to use it.
“Growers are interested in implementing more sustainable practices, but financial risk is a barrier,” said Adam Litle, CEO, Sound Agriculture. “Even with record highs in fertilizer prices, growers are still reluctant to reduce nitrogen at $6 per bushel for corn. Because we’re confident SOURCE can maintain or grow yields even with reduced nitrogen, we’re introducing this program to remove all of the risk. To our knowledge it’s the first time a private company has offered an unlimited yield risk guarantee. We think the results are going to be excellent for growers’ operations, their soil and water quality, and climate change at large.”
Growers who participate in the pilot will work closely with a Sound Agriculture agronomist to develop a nitrogen reduction plan specific to their farm. Using the company’s Performance Optimizer, key soil characteristics and other data points will be used to identify fields where SOURCE in combination with nitrogen reduction will perform best. Growers will save money on fertilizer prices, which have risen by 100-300% over the past year, increase soil microbial activity, reduce nitrogen loss, and in many cases may see an increase in yield.
“The combination of rising fertilizer prices and the desire to impart more on-farm stewardship practices piqued my interest in this program,” said Kasey Bamberger, Partner, Bryant Agricultural Enterprise. “As part of a family-run farm in Ohio, finding ways to reduce nitrogen to improve the health of our soil and the environment, without reducing our bottom line, is always a top priority. I had great results with SOURCE last year and am eager to participate in the pilot. I don’t know of other companies removing the financial risk for this type of change, and it makes the decision to move forward much easier.”
SOURCE is currently being sold for use in corn and soybeans, with trials underway in wheat, rice, cotton and other crops. Unlike products that add microbes to the soil, SOURCE is the only solution that stimulates the microbes already in the soil. To learn more about participating in the pilot program, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Sound Agriculture
Sound Agriculture unlocks the natural power of plants to meet the demands for more diverse and nutritious food. Innovative, on-demand crop solutions allow agriculture to adapt faster to climate change and evolving consumer preferences, creating healthier food that is better for the planet. Products are designed to improve on-farm efficiency and create healthier, tastier, more sustainable food. SOURCE activates the microbiome to give crops access to more of the nitrogen and phosphorus that exists in the field, improving yield and reducing synthetic fertilizer by up to 50 lbs per acre. Learn more at www.sound.ag and follow @sound_ag on Twitter.