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Pivot Bio working to replace synthetic nitrogen fertilizer

Nitrogen fertilizer developer Pivot Bio has raised another $430 millio to replace synthetic fertilizers in farming, bringing the total to more than $600 million. 

Pivot Bio’s vice president of product development said funding is being put towards an emerging product that is helping farmers more efficiently fertilize crops while having a smaller environmental impact. 

Ernie Sanders tells Brownfield 40 to 60 percent of synthetic fertilizer doesn’t reach intended plants because of runoff or greenhouse gas emission.   

“None of us like to buy two gallons of milk and go into the refrigerator and only find one, right,” he said. “It adds a tremendous amount of value and that dependability to a grower. He knows that his nitrogen is right there where he puts it, he knows we’re giving some out on a daily basis.”

He said Pivot Bio Proven 40 allows corn growers to replace up to 40 pounds of synthetic nitrogen per acre which saves money and limits negative environmental impacts like decreasing the hypoxia zone in the Gulf of Mexico. 

“If you reduce 40 pounds of synthetic applied times 90 million corn acres, think of all those tons of nitrogen fertilizer that are actually not going into the ground,” Sanders said. “The amount of runoff is going to be less.”

Sanders said Pivot Bio’s product also reduces runoff by pulling nitrogen out of the air, making ammonia while living on corn roots and is feeding it directly to the plant.  

He said the company looks to grow its reach in other crops in the future. Pivot Bio said it replaced synthetic nitrogen use on more than one million crop acres in 2021. 

Ernie Sanders Interview

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