Improved Agricultural Sustainability through Microbially Enhanced Nitrogen Fertilizer Use Efficiency and Yield

Period of Performance: 01/01/2009 - 12/31/2009


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

7734 Boroff Rd. Array
Van Wert, OH 45891
Principal Investigator


The proposed phase II project focuses on an economically and environmentally important project, which is to develop and document efficacy of wheat seed treatments that will increase yields and enable a reduction in nitrogen fertilizer use in this crop. Nitrogen fertilizer not taken up by crops is readily leached into waterways as nitrates and nitrates that enhance algal blooms that, when they decompose, result in hypoxic zones where plant and animal life cannot survive, thus giving rise to `dead zones' in lakes, bays and estuaries. It may also be converted to nitrous oxides that enter the atmosphere and contribute to global warming. The amounts of nitrogen fertilizer applied to wheat average about 75 lb/acre and there are about 60 million acres of wheat in the USA, so there are about 1.5 billion pounds of N fertilizer applied to wheat each year at a cost to farmers of about $375 to 750 million dollars. We anticipate that we can decrease the amount of N required to 50 lb/acre, for a cost savings of $120 to 240 million dollars. In addition, we expect to increase wheat yields by about 6 bushels (average with T. harzianum T22, which already is deployed on about 1 million acres of wheat; the new ones are expected to be better).