New research project with McGill to study the benefits of PurYield
This three-year research project with McGill University is made possible by the collaboration of Avantis Coopérative and a $180,000 grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
Sollio Agriculture, the Agri-business Division of the Sollio Cooperative Group, is proud to announce that McGill University will test and validate the agronomic and environmental benefits of PurYield, a novel coated fertilizer known to enhance nutrient uptake by plants. Thanks to a $180,000 grant over a three-year period awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, McGill researchers will be able to compare PurYield fertilizer to commonly used uncoated urea fertilizer for its ability to increase growth, yield and quality of corn grain, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Sollio has committed to providing an additional $30,000 per year in cash and in-kind contributions for three years.
In 2021, McGill and the Sollio Agriculture research farm observed that the use of PurYield reduced GHG emissions by 30%. The second growing season, in 2022, confirmed the main results of the previous year. Consequently, in collaboration with Avantis Coopérative and one of its member farmers, the study aims to enable McGill researchers to obtain scientific validation of reduced environmental impacts over a five-year reference period.
Sollio Agriculture’s commitment to more sustainable agriculture
“According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s 2022-2023 Outlook for Principal Field Crops, corn acreage in Canada in 2022-2023 should reach an all-time high.[i] The continuation of these trials is therefore extremely timely, as it illustrates our commitment to helping reduce the impact of agriculture on the environment,” said Casper Kaastra, Chief Executive Officer of Sollio Agriculture. “Furthermore, while farmers need fertilizers to obtain a quality product, they are also sensitive to the impact of their activities on the environment. This study, for which we thank Avantis for its collaboration, will confirm that it is possible to considerably improve yield and product quality while reducing ecological impact through sustainable practices that evolve over time.”
“Innovative fertilizer technologies allow agriculture to be part of the solution, to achieve Canada’s goal of net-zero emissions,” explains Joann Whalen, the James McGill Professor in Soil Science at McGill University. “Corn is a staple food crop that removes about 30 tonnes of CO2 equivalents per hectare from the atmosphere, every year. Using improved efficiency fertilizers, farmers can further reduce the GHG emissions from their farms, resulting in a lower carbon footprint. In our field trials, we are collecting robust information about the performance of PurYield and other fertilizers on commercial farms. This allows us to advise farmers and agronomists about fertilizers that are cost-effective, produce high-yielding, nutritious crops and improve soil and ecological health in sustainable agro-ecosystems.”
The research project comes after Sollio Agriculture entered a joint venture with several of its retail partners and Pursell Agri-Tech, a leading innovator in coating technology based in Sylacauga, Alabama. This has led to the construction of a controlled-release fertilizer plant, CRF AgriTech, at our St. Thomas site (Ontario), scheduled to open shortly in 2023. The facility will make advanced controlled-release fertilizers, including PurYield, for corn growers in Québec and Ontario, which produce 92% of the corn grain in Canada.
“In innovation, there are no small amounts. This grant is in addition to the one awarded earlier in 2023 by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) to help accelerate production and industry adoption of advanced controlled-release fertilizers, based on their proven positive environmental impact,” said Mr. Kaastra. “We are proud not only to produce innovative products locally in the region where farmers will use them but also to be recognized once again for our commitment and contribution to sustainable agriculture.”
This research aligns with Sollio’s mission to help feed the population and ensure prosperity for farming families to create a sustainable future for everyone. It is made possible by the collaboration between Avantis and XLKey, a company owned by one of its farmer customers.
About Sollio Agriculture
Sollio Agriculture, the Agri-business Division of Sollio Cooperative Group, is a Canadian leader in the agriculture industry. It specializes in merchandising farm inputs and providing value-added services to benefit farmers, cooperatives and partners. Its business model combines the strength of a local approach with the power of a national presence to offer innovative solutions, work on adopting sustainable farming practices and help local farming families prosper. Present across the country, it has more than 1,200 employees and made $2.929 billion in sales in 2022. For more information, visit sollio.ag.
About Avantis Coopérative
Avantis Coopérative, reporting sales of $723 million, relies on the strength of over 15,650 farmer, entrepreneur and consumer members, as well as the expertise of 1,400 employees. Avantis is very diversified and is present in the Chaudière-Appalaches, Capitale-Nationale, Mauricie, Laurentians, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Côte-Nord and New Brunswick regions. Operating more than 110 business locations under the Sollio Agriculture, BMR, New Holland, Wacker Neuson, Sonic, Shell and SuperSoir banners, Avantis Coopérative is the largest cooperative in the network of Sollio Cooperative Group. For more information, visit www.avantis.coop.
[i] “Canada: Outlook for Principal Field Crops”, Analysis Group, Market and Industry Services Branch, May 20, 2022, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
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