Researchers have cracked the code on reducing nitrogen fertilizer to grow cereal crops

Researchers discovered a way to reduce nitrogen fertilizer needs for cereal crops.

The team at the University of California-Davis used bacteria that take nitrogen from the sky and turn it into the compound plants can absorb. It is similar to when plants take in the carbon dioxide we exhale to produce oxygen. Eduardo Blumwald says this discovery can save American farmers billions of dollars annually while satisfying environmental requirements.

“The idea here is two-fold. On one hand, to reduce the expenses in buying fertilizer - nitrogen fertilizers are very, very expensive, but also trying to reduce the negative impact of nitrides on the environment. The idea is to harness that ammonium fixed by the bacteria in the air - nitrogen - and use it.”

Blumwald’s study was recently published in the Plant Bio-Technology Journal.

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