CERCA: Circular Economy that Reimagines Corn Agriculture
Improving Corn Sustainability and Productivity through
Better Nitrogen Cycling
Reduce Environmental Impact
Goal: Reduce N fertilizer inputs, greenhouse gas emissions, and water pollution by more than 50% using a combination of genetics, physiology, and agronomy
Corn uses half of the nations fertilizer, responsible for about 5% of US greenhouse gas emissions, and over half of nitrogen water pollution in much of the US. This is tapping into the diversity of maize wild relatives including perennial species to solve these problems.
Goal: Reuse Nitrogen Each season
•Reduce N demand
•Return N to the soil at the end of each season
•Reduce fertilizer input by 50%
We are collaborating with 27 labs from across the country to do modeling, genetics, agronomy, physiology, and breeding.
Goal: Sync planting with natural systems
Enhanced cold tolerance
Flexible earlier planting
Tap into natural N in spring
Better spring growth and increased yield