Engineered Biocarbon Product Impresses in Trials

Results accelerate commercialization of engineered biocarbon platform

Published online: Mar 09, 2017 Fertilizer, New Products
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Cool Planet is making its Cool Terra engineered biocarbon products more commercially available to growers in 2017, following impressive results in independent field trials conducted in 2016.

Cool Terra products place long-lasting carbon in the soil. This carbon contributes to improved soil health and agricultural sustainability. The field trials demonstrated that Cool Terra products can contribute to increased crop yields and more efficient use of inputs for growers.

Drew Jackson, segment leader for production agriculture at Cool Planet, says Cool Terra products help to improve the soil by creating an effective habitat for the growth of beneficial microbes and enhancing root development in plants. The stable, porous properties of the materials can also improve water retention and hold nutrients in the root zone for longer periods of time, while sequestering fixed carbon in the soil.

“Independent researchers conducted more than 50 field trials in 2016 with consistent, positive results,” says Jackson. “In the large majority of trials, we’re seeing yield increases that could create a significant return on investment for the grower in a single season.”

Field trials conducted in 2016 by third-party researchers and universities included a variety of fruit, vegetable and commodity crops grown under different soil and input conditions. Confidence in the trial results led Cool Planet and its agricultural distribution partners to launch commercial sales in 2017 to growers of five crops: lettuce, strawberries, tomatoes, alfalfa and potatoes. Distribution partners Simplot Grower Solutions, Helena Chemical, Triangle Chemical, AG RX and others will work with individual growers interested in using Cool Terra.

Jackson says Cool Planet was so confident in the positive results of the trials that the company decided to offer a grower assurance program. If farmers enrolled in the program don’t see financial benefits from using Cool Terra, they will be eligible for reimbursement up to the total cost of the product purchased.

“Growers may be hesitant to try out a new technology that could help them because they haven’t seen the results for themselves,” says Jackson. “We put the grower assurance program in place because we’ve seen the results of the field trials with our own eyes. We want to take any perceived risk off the table. There’s no downside for the grower here. We believe in the technology and its effectiveness that much.”

Cool Terra is produced through a proprietary process that upgrades raw biochar into a consistent engineered biocarbon ready to incorporate into the soil. Cool Terra products are the only engineered biocarbon products on the market today. Application methods vary depending on the crop, but Jackson says Cool Terra can be applied with standard agricultural equipment.

“The current commercial formulation is a dry granular product that can flow through pretty much every piece of equipment that puts down a dry material,” says Jackson. “Cool Terra needs to be placed in the root development zone, but there are multiple ways to accomplish this, depending on the cropping system and the equipment available.”

Cool Planet’s team of materials scientists, plant pathologists and agronomists has been developing Cool Terra engineered biocarbon for more than four years. Now backed by the results of independent trials (and with more under way) Jackson says it’s time to use Cool Terra to deliver profitability and sustainability to growers.

“Cool Terra products are going to help improve your soil health, and they can improve your bottom line. That’s sustainability with profitability,” says Jackson.

Interested growers can talk with their crop advisor at Simplot Grower Solutions, Triangle Chemical Company, AG RX or Helena Chemical to try Cool Terra in 2017.

Click here to learn more about Cool Terra Products.