A new $19 million project by Protein Industries Canada and a consortium of companies will help Canadian farmers further improve their substantiality and reduce carbon emissions through the commercialization of a new micronutrient fertilizer.
Soileos is a sustainable, non-polluting, climate-positive micronutrient fertilizer created from the upcycling of pea, lentil, and oat hulls – co-products from food processing. The use of Soileos increases crop yields and improves the health of soil, while also increasing revenues to both farmers and food processors.
AGT Food and Ingredients Inc., Lucent BioSciences, NuWave Research, IN10T and Aberhart Ag Solutions are collaborating to scale and distribute this new product. The project includes the installation of a new manufacturing process for the production of Soileos in Rosetown, Saskatchewan, Canada, that, when completed, will produce up to approximately 6,500 tons per year of micronutrient fertilizer and create 25 jobs.
This new 50-50 joint venture between AGT Foods and Lucent, which operates as AGT Soileos, will also lead to improved efficiency of the fertilizer, particularly a shortening of the reaction time required in manufacturing to bind the plant-based fibres to the micronutrients from hours to minutes, reducing energy and water usage, and an expansion of its availability across Western Canada.
Initial field trials of Soileos on broad-acre crops such as durum, lentils and peas demonstrated how Soileos transports zinc, manganese and iron to plants – leading to improved protein content, yields and soil health, while increasing returns for farmers, minimizing environmental impacts and bringing value to low-value byproducts.
NuWave Research’s technology will help reduce the reaction time in making Soileos. The traditional process required a five-hour hold for the reaction; the application of the new technology will reduce the reaction time to minutes. This will allow faster production of more Soileos at much lower energy usage.
The inclusion of IN10T and Aberhart Ag Solutions will support the distribution and acceptance of Soileos amongst western Canadian farmers, providing distribution and sales support.
Over the past three years, Protein Industries Canada and industry partners have invested more than CDN$480 million into growing Canada’s plant-based food, feed and ingredient sector. Protein Industries Canada’s goal is to grow Canada’s plant-based food sector to $25 billion a year by 2035, supported by 17,000 jobs.