Soil-Based Diagnostics to Find Corn Friends & Foes Receives Development Funding

Corn in July. Photo credit: Bernard Tobin, 2014

A&L Biologicals Inc. will receive funding of nearly $1.2 million to help develop a diagnostic test aimed at providing corn producers information to “increase their productivity through improved plant and soil health,” says an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada press release.

A&L Biologicals will use molecular technologies to detect and diagnose microorganisms that impact corn output. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers at the Southern Crop Protection and Food Research Centre in London, Ont., will collaborate with industry on a number of activities, including research into new green microbe-enhanced manure fertilizers.

Field trials will initially commence in Ontario, but will later be extended to other corn-growing regions in Quebec and Manitoba.

“(This funding will go) towards making significant headway in identifying what role microorganism communities play in corn productivity. This project will allow us to improve crop and soil health, reduce the environmental foot print of agriculture, and the cost of production to farmers,” says Dr. George Lazarovits, research director of A&L Biological.

Funding is made available through the federal AgriInnovation program to fund this collaborative effort by A&L Biologicals, Western University and AAFC.

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