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Big Agrichemical farming uses lots of chemical nitrogen fertilizer but hardly uses crop rotations. Their practices deplete the fertility and nitrogen content of soils. Those nitrogen fertilizers contribute greatly to pollution of our water and the ocean and become potent greenhouse gasses. We have created a corn that may help to reduce the need for nitrogen fertilizers.
Such N efficient corn may be a game-changer, globally.
Large agribusiness is striving to create N efficient corn through genetic engineering and patenting. We are striving to be first with a natural option.
To the left you will see normal corn grown on tropical soils. To the right is corn that is nitrogen efficient. The latter may better withstand poor levels of nitrogen in the soil and therefore produce higher yields.
Much of the hunger in Africa could be prevented with better soils. Unfortunately when this is not possible, nitrogen efficient or "fixing" corn might contribute to a practical and economical solution.
Some major players are in this to be the first to create a corn like we have.
The picture above left shows root exudates excreted by roots to foster colonies of nitrogen fixing bacteria.
These actively exuding, bacterial-rich sites will auto-decay (see picture below left). This may be a way for the plant to harvest nitrogen. For more information read the attached paper on nitrogen fixing corn.