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FootPrint Coalition joins a clutch of top investors backing Sound Ag's tech to cut farm emissions

An irrigation system rolls across a wide field of green alfalfa
Image Credit: Wix

While cows get most of the blame for greenhouse gas emissions on the farm, there're plenty of other culprits around Old MacDonald's property that contribute to global warming.

One of the worst offenders is also the additive that's allowed humanity to (mostly) feed itself even as the world's population reaches 8 billion -- it's the fertilizers that help ensure high crop yields by boosting plants' ability to grow.

Now, Sound Agriculture has raised $75 million in new funding from investors including BMO Impact Investment Fund, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Leaps by Bayer, Syngenta Group Ventures, S2G Ventures (and us) to dramatically scale up its technology to supplement nitrogen use and slash greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution from fertilizer run off.

And that's not Sound's only business. The company is also developing new crop strains using a process called epigenetics that can change plant biology to create fruits and grains that won't spoil as easily, and can be tastier and more nutritious.

"Our food system needs to change and it needs to happen quickly," said Adam Litle, CEO, Sound Agriculture. "We're committed to fighting a trifecta of issues that include food insecurity, environmental damage and poor health—all of which are addressable with the right technology and practices."

In all, Sound has raised $155 million in funding to develop its nature-based solutions for sustainable food production.

"We will use this investment to advance our research platforms, grow sales and marketing in the U.S. and abroad, and sign new partnerships to support better methods of farming and food system resiliency."

The secret is in Sound's special blend of treatments that stimulate the microbiome existing in soil naturally to release more nitrogen -- that cuts down on fertilizer use and improves crop health.

In 2022 Sound's treatments were used on more than one million U.S. acres to either replace nitrogen fertilizer without impacting yield, or increase yields on farms with efficient nitrogen fertilizer practices.

Next year, the company aims to treat wheat, cotton, alfalfa, hay and canola in addition to its existing applications among corn and soybean farmers.

Using the technology could remove 100 megatons of CO2 equivalent and 4 billion pounds of nitrates from waterways by 2030.

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