Gene-edited microbes will help corn fix its own nitrogen
Pivot Bio is working to develop gene-edited microbes that will allow corn to “fix” its own nitrogen from the air. This revolutionary technology could significantly reduce the need for synthetic nitrogen-based fertilizer if it is cost-competitive with other products on the market.
The video below explains how it works.
This development is significant because corn is a nitrogen-hungry plant. If these microbes can reduce costs and boost yields, it will be a win-win for the environment because farmers will have fewer overhead costs, and they may be able to reduce the number of acres they plant to grow the same amount of food.
This is the type of Norman Borlaug environmentalism we celebrate at Center of the American Experiment. Greater use of technology allows human living standards to increase while the environment becomes cleaner through greater productivity and efficiency.
Many left-leaning advocates disagree with this idea, instead favoring non-solutions like a widespread return to organic farming. This idea sounds good on paper, but organic farms are less productive than non-organic farms, necessitating more acres to grow the same amount of food.
We need to improve the environment by making our food system more efficient, not less efficient. Only then can environmental improvements be economically sustainable.