Holganix, a 2021 F3 Tech Accelerator portfolio company, is among the winners of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Next Gen Fertilizer Innovations Challenge. The challenge is part of a USDA-EPA partnership to advance agricultural sustainability in the U.S. and recognize technologies that improve the efficiency of fertilizers to increase crop yields while reducing the impacts of fertilizers on the environment.
Holganix was awarded for its Bio 800+ product, a microbial inoculant that harnesses the power of over 800 species of soil microbes and other soil amending ingredients to promote greater crop production and plant health. The company is one of five F3 Tech accelerator companies from the fields of crop and soil health, as well as clean energy storage.
“We are thrilled to receive this national recognition,” said Barrett Ersek, CEO and founder of Aston, PA-based Holganix. “Our plant probiotics are created to nurture plants from the soil up and are teeming with microorganisms to build healthier plants with less fertilizer and pesticide inputs needed. Our goal is to nurture the healthiest plant possible while being good stewards to the land.”
According to a joint press release from the USDA and EPA, the winning concepts include a range of solutions that can improve environmental outcomes, including reduced nitrous oxide emissions—the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture— while maintaining or increasing crop yields.
“Farmers, ranchers, and foresters are well-positioned to be leaders in tackling climate change through technological innovation,” said Acting USDA Chief Scientist Hubert Hamer. “Through programs like the Next Gen Fertilizer Innovations Challenge, USDA is partnering with the private sector to find new climate-smart solutions that are good for farmers and good for the environment.”
“The goal of the challenge is to develop and use innovative and affordable technologies to reduce environmental impacts of modern agriculture on our air, land, and water, while maintaining agricultural productivity and profitability,” said Wayne Cascio, acting principal deputy assistant administrator for science for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “We are excited about the possibilities and continued new work in this area.”
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