A previous study published by the Journal of Agricultural Science1 documented how Novozymes’ JumpStart microbial inoculant improves corn yields.
A new study2 in the International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment now documents the environmental benefits of JumpStart used in US corn production.
The study examined JumpStart technology based on ISO-standardized life cycle assessment (LCA). It found that the microbial solution provides multiple environmental benefits.
JumpStart contains a naturally occurring soil fungus which improves crops’ uptake of phosphorus and also make them more resilient to stress factors such as dry spells. It can be used on multiple crops, including corn, soy, wheat and canola. The improved uptake of phosphorus results in early vigor, greater stress tolerance, and ultimately higher yield.
The improved yield is accompanied by reduced nitrogen losses to the aquatic environment and reduced emissions of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas, to the atmosphere. The improved plant growth also results in a larger root system in which more carbon is stored in the soil. Higher crop yields also help to lessen the pressure on natural habitats, as increased demand from a growing world population can be satisfied with fewer resources.
If used on all US corn, JumpStart could potentially reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 3.9 million tons of CO2, corresponding to annual tail pipe emissions from 820,000 US passenger cars.
“The findings of the LCA study highlight the positive role that Novozymes’ microbial inoculants can play in Climate-Smart Agriculture3,” says Jesper Hedal Kløverpris, Senior Sustainability Specialist, Global Sustainability and EMEA Public Affairs.
“In a world of increasing crop demand, finite land resources, and a changing climate with more frequent weather anomalies, it is vital to optimize crop yields and nutrient utilization. To maximize yield potential and enhance stress tolerance, crops need an optimal start and a continuous uptake of essential nutrients in their growth cycle. Microbial inoculants can play a vital role in this regard,” says Thomas Stenfeldt Batchelor, Vice President, BioAg.
1. Leggett et al. (2015): Maize yield response to a phosphorus-solubilizing microbial inoculant in field trials. J. Agric. Sci. 153:1464–1478
2. Kløverpris et al. (2020): Assessing life cycle impacts from changes in agricultural practices of crop production - Methodological description and case study of microbial phosphate inoculant. Int J Life Cycle Assess. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11367-020-01767-z
3. CSA is a framework developed by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to ensure sustainable agricultural strategies.