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  • Unconventional Ag

Microbial Technology Unites Argentina and China for Soybean Research

This past December a delegation from the Academy of Sciences from China’s Heilongjiang Province visited the Argentinian microbiology firm, Rizobacter, to explore a deeper partnership in regards to the uses of microbiology in boosting soy output and improving the condition of China’s soil.

"We are very interested in getting to know the technology being developed by this company and all of the efforts on the production of soybean, mainly related to soybeans and rhizobia," says Wang Gang, vice president of the academy.

Rizobacter produces microbial inoculants that are applied to soybean seeds that enable the plant to better absorb nitrogen from the air upon germination. This method has proven to be highly sustainable by not polluting the air, soil, or water, and unlike urea fertilizer, does not require high pressure or temperatures to function. In addition, this technology costs US$5 to US$10 per hectare, compared to US$150 per hectare for urea. Data has shown that the inoculants bind enough nitrogen for good crop results at a cost-effective price, leading 90% of Argentina’s soybean producers to adopt the technology.

A partnership between China and Rizobacter for the advancement of microbial research can be a part of a larger connection, and increase in bilateral cooperation between the two major emerging economies of Argentina and China.

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