Hi Fidelity Genetics Announces Study Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Hi Fidelity Genetics Announces Study Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Peer-Reviewed Journal Details How to Dramatically Reduce Row Crop Emissions and Make Farm Management Practices More Sustainable

DURHAM, N.C., June 21, 2021 – Hi Fidelity Genetics (HFG), a computational crop breeding company, announced today the publication of a peer-reviewed article titled, “Novel Technologies for Emission Reduction Complement Conservation Agriculture To Achieve Negative Emissions From Row Crop Production,” in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the official journal of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and an authoritative source of high-impact scientific research. Access the full journal article here.

In the article, Hi Fidelity Genetics Co-Founder Dr. Philip Benfey, Dr. Daniel Northrup, and colleagues, detail a three-phase green transition implementing a suite of emissions-reducing technologies to help row crop agriculture sharply cut emissions. Using U.S. maize feedstock emissions as a benchmark to estimate the impact of technology adoption on the emission footprint of grain production, they identify three specific stages to encourage the broad adoption of emissions-reducing farm management practices and reduce the negative environmental impacts of traditional farming methods.

“Our goal was to show that with the right investments and policies, agriculture could realize its potential to be a leader in attacking the root causes of climate change,” stated Philip Benfey.

Study Highlights

Providing a thorough analysis of the best ways to reduce row crop emissions, the study explores three key phases in the transition to more sustainable farming practices including:

  • Phase One – Optimize the efficiency of current technologies to reduce the use of nitrogen fertilizer, which is the largest contributor to row crop emissions, in particular nitrous oxide (N2O) – a greenhouse gas nearly 300 times more potent than CO2. For example, using digital agriculture for precision fertilizer application could reduce nitrogen application by 36 percent to achieve a 23 percent reduction in N2O emissions.
  • Phase Two – Replace current technology with near-mature, low-emission alternatives, such as crop genetics to improve the efficiency of nitrogen use, electrical ammonia synthesis, microbial synthesis of nitrogen, and electric farm equipment. Together, these greener, second-generation technologies could reduce emissions by 41 percent over the next five years.
  • Phase Three – Conduct a full-system redesign of agricultural practices and inputs to use fewer chemicals and locally produced, low-concentration fertilizers. Embrace proven crop genetics advances and soil microbial communities, and deploy small, automated, sensor-guided systems. The final phase could reduce emissions by 71 percent within 15 years.

An excellent way to allow crops to fight climate change is to identify those with root systems that optimize nitrogen use and thus reduce nitrous oxide emissions. Hi Fidelity Genetics has developed a revolutionary technology, the RootTracker™ that monitors root growth of crop plants in the field. This platform can identify crop root systems as they respond to different levels of nitrogen in the soil.

“At Finistere, we back deep tech founders that can make an impact in the food supply chain. Philip Benfey is one such founder, and this article highlights the huge opportunity that exists to use agriculture, and in particular soil – biomass interactions, to mitigate climate change. Dr Benfey’s company, Hi Fidelity Genetics, has pioneered the RootTracker, the first scalable way of monitoring how roots grow in the field, and we think this will unlock a new era in sustainable farming,” added Spencer Maughan, co-founder and partner, Finistere Ventures.

About Hi Fidelity Genetics

At HFG we realized that the largest negative yield influences have been weather related, often tied to water availability. Roots are how plants capture water but they have long been an example of “out of sight, out of mind” for breeders. At HFG we have created the RootTracker™, the first scalable sensor for mapping roots in-field, and we’ve amassed the world’s largest remote sensing root data set. The use of the RootTracker™ for breeding is just one of many potential utilizations. Others include determining the efficacy of biostimulants, fertilizers or other additives and monitoring early root growth in greenhouse environments.

Additional Finistere Insights

Hi Fidelity Genetics Announces Study Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Hi Fidelity Genetics Announces Study Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Peer-Reviewed Journal Details How to Dramatically Reduce Row Crop Emissions and Make Farm Management Practices More Sustainable DURHAM, N.C., June 21, 2021 – Hi Fidelity Genetics (HFG), a computational crop breeding company, announced today the publication of a peer-reviewed article titled, “Novel… Read More ▸

ZeaKal Unveils Breakthrough High-Oil Hemp Results

ZEAKAL’S NOVEL PHOTOSEED TRAIT BOOSTS HEMP BIOMASS OIL OUTPUT BY UP TO 50% TORONTO and SAN DIEGO – June 1, 2021 – RIV Capital Inc. (“RIV Capital” or the “Company”) (TSX: RIV, OTC: CNPOF) and Finistere Ventures portfolio company ZeaKal, Inc. (“ZeaKal”) announced that its PhotoSeed™ technology is believed to be the first plant trait… Read More ▸

Finistere Ventures 2020 Agrifood Tech Investment Review

Agrifood tech, defiant in face of pandemic, records breakout fundraising year. As COVID-19 reshaped the world, the agrifood tech investment community reacted quickly to the extreme uncertainty. The result was a record-shattering investment sum of $22.3 billion committed to the space in aggregate in 2020—momentum that has carried into this year. The resilience of investment… Read More ▸