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Tofu for your Turf
Iowa State University develops effective soy fertilizer


A team at Iowa State University is developing a soy-based fertilizer that is both effective and environmentally safe.

Researchers at Iowa State University have developed a new soy-based fertilizer that promises to be as effective as traditional synthetic fertilizers, but is more environmentally friendly by reducing the amount of nitrogen that runs off into the water system.

The soy fertilizer is "slow released", allowing the nitrogen found naturally in soy to enrich the soil over a longer period of time as the soy breaks down. It is created by mixing soy flour or protein with a polymer made from cornstarch. David Grewell, Director of the Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites at Iowa State University joined with associate horticulture scientist James Schrader to lead a team that developed 14 different formulas and tested them on turfgrass plots, comparing the results to those of other plots fertilized with synthetic and bio-based fertilizers that are already on the market.

They found that 8 of their formulas performed just as well as the synthetic fertilizers, and even better than the bio-based fertilizers. The group is currently looking to bring their soy pellets, which can be applied by broadcast applicators or by hand for either residential or commercial use, to the market.

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August 21, 2019, 4:31 pm PDT

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