24 April 2023, Berkeley, Cal: Pivot Bio, agriculture’s leading nitrogen innovator, announces the results of its 2022 pilot and the 2023 expansion of N-OVATOR™, the company’s new program for validating on-farm synthetic fertilizer replacement. The Pivot Bio N-OVATOR™ program is designed to unite growers, who are reducing their on-farm emissions by using Pivot Bio’s microbial nitrogen, with the corporations striving to decrease their Scope 3 emissions to reach net-zero.
In a 2022 N-OVATOR™ pilot, a subset of Pivot Bio’s customers documented the unprecedented replacement of synthetic fertilizer with a new nitrogen source, Pivot Bio PROVEN® 40. On average, growers replaced 36 pounds of synthetic fertilizer per acre and maintained yield. Pilot participants signed affidavits verifying synthetic nitrogen was replaced on 725,000 acres, resulting in the avoidance of more than 80,000 MT of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). This is roughly equivalent to the annual electricity use for 15,500 homes. In total, N-OVATOR™ participants replaced nearly 12,000 tons of synthetic fertilizer, the largest reduction of its kind ever recorded.
Pivot Bio’s microbes were used on more than 3 million acres of U.S. cropland in 2022 – 300% year-over-year growth for the second year in a row. If all 2022 Pivot Bio customers were part of the N-OVATOR program and confirmed similar replacements, we would see an
annual avoidance of over 400,000 MT of CO2e or the equivalent of a 25-mile-long train full of coal.
“Our N-OVATOR™ program is the tip of the iceberg in terms of the magnitude of impact Pivot Bio is having on agriculture and the planet. As we innovate and drive scale in the years ahead, we’ll rapidly accelerate these reductions,” said Karsten Temme, CEO of Pivot Bio. “Pivot continues to see intense farmer demand for our more effective and sustainable nitrogen, and tremendous impact will flow with that. We look forward to bringing hundreds more growers and millions of acres under the 2023 N-OVATOR™ program.”
The 2023 N-OVATOR™ program has expanded beyond the limited pilot and is now open to all Pivot Bio customers for the first time. Pivot Bio will support growers’ efforts to capture and calculate the sustainability impact of their practice change on millions of acres and then introduce the sustainable grain they grow into the value chains of many of the largest companies in the U.S. The results will be audited, and growers will receive the majority of the revenue generated from the program.
“PROVEN 40 is the best form of nitrogen on the market right now. It’s more reliable and generates higher profits for my operation,” said James Backman who farms using Pivot Bio’s products. “By helping me turn my use of PROVEN 40 into revenue through the N-OVATOR™ program, Pivot has substantially strengthened the value it offers to me and my operation. I’m looking forward to participating in the program again this year.”
An increasing global population has meant a consistent upward demand for synthetic fertilizer. Synthetic fertilizer is responsible for 40–60% of the world’s food production and has helped feed the world for the past 100 years, yet it comes with unintended consequences, like degrading soil and water quality, and produces greenhouse gas emissions. The production and use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer accounts for 2.4% of global GHG emissions. In the United States, ~5% of the country’s CO2e emissions come from nitrous oxide released when synthetic nitrogen interacts with precipitation, moisture, and temperature changes on farms.
Pivot Bio brought the first new form of nitrogen to market in over 100 years when the company introduced its inaugural product in 2018. PROVEN 40, the company’s current microbial nitrogen for corn, can replace up to 20% of a grower’s average nitrogen needs with ~98% fewer emissions, while increasing farmers’ revenue and maintaining their yields. The N-OVATOR™ program enables growers to get credit for the sustainability benefits generated when synthetic fertilizer is replaced with the product.
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