Enhancing naturally-occurring nutrition in soil

October 13, 2016

Can we identify soil that contains beneficial naturally-occurring microorganisms and enhance the benefits in amended soils? Ontario Genomics is providing seed funding for an academic-industry partnership to do just that.

Boreal Agrominerals Inc. (Boreal) specializes in the mining and commercialization of Spanish River Carbonatite (SRC), an agro-mineral fertilizer which promotes soil balance and healthy plant growth. To identify the beneficial microorganisms that facilitate nutrient uptake by native plants and cash crops and to expand the economic potential of its product, Boreal is collaborating with researchers from Wilfrid Laurier University and Algoma University to characterize the distribution of microorganisms naturally found at various mining sites from the SRC deposit, located near Sudbury, Ontario.

The team will further investigate the effects of mining and site characteristics on soil microbial communities based primarily on nutrient solubilisation and plant nutrient availability. Once beneficial microorganisms are identified, Boreal aims to determine the specific functional mechanisms associated with nutrient solubilisation, acquisition, and transfer to plants.