New technology reduces need for nitrogen fixing fertilizers

Nitrogen Cycle

A new nitrogen fixing technology could relieve our needs to import even bigger supplies of really bad nitrogen fertilizers. Nitrogen fixation, the process by which nitrogen is converted to ammonia, is vital for plants to survive and grow. However, only a very small number of plants, most notably legumes (such as peas, beans and lentils) have the ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere with the help of nitrogen fixing bacteria. Most have to obtain nitrogen from the soil, and for a huge proportion of crops currently being grown across the world, this means a reliance on synthetic nitrogen fertilizers.

Professor Edward Cocking, Director of The University of Nottingham’s Centre for Crop Nitrogen Fixation, has developed a unique method to put nitrogen-fixing bacteria into the cells of plant roots.

N-Fix tech could drastically reduce agricultural fertilizer use.

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