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Agriculture

Fertilizer start-ups attract backers

by Melody M. Bomgardner
April 15, 2018 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 96, ISSUE 16

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Credit: Shutterstock
Manure from industrial hog operations can be converted into less-smelly fertilizer.

Two start-ups with opposite approaches to making fertilizers have won backing. Anuvia Plant Nutrients will partner with Smithfield Foods to make sustainable fertilizer from hog manure. This “renewable resource” is already routinely spread on fields in the southern U.S., but the odor brings complaints and lawsuits from neighbors. Anuvia says it converts the waste to neighbor-friendly, slow-release fertilizer. Separately, BayoTech raised $12.5 million from investors to commercialize a modular chemical reactor for making ammonia and urea fertilizer from natural gas. The firm says the machines are smaller and cheaper and use less gas than traditional reactors.

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