A startup company between Bayer and Ginkgo Bioworks plan to focus on developing crops to not require a nitrogen fertilizer in their soil

Bayer, a multinational chemical company based in Germany, and biotech startup Ginkgo Bioworks want to create a new company that focuses on plants producing their own nitrogen fertilizer.

Farmers put nitrogen fertilizers into their soils to continually use the land for crops, over and over again. However, the chemicals in these fertilizers cause environmental harm and damage the waterways. By creating a variety of crops that produce their own nitrogen supply naturally, this would eliminate the need for farmers to add a chemical to the soil. Some plants, such as peanuts and soybeans, already do this. These crops would lend the future company a lot of help on what they need to do to pass this trait to other plants successfully.

The new company was granted a $100 million investment backing from Bayer, Ginkgo Bioworks, and New York venture firm Viking Global Investors.

Bayer | Ginkgo Bioworks

Bayer, a multinational chemical company based in Germany, and biotech startup Ginkgo Bioworks want to create a new company that focuses on plants producing their own nitrogen fertilizer.

Farmers put nitrogen fertilizers into their soils to continually use the land for crops, over and over again. However, the chemicals in these fertilizers cause environmental harm and damage the waterways. By creating a variety of crops that produce their own nitrogen supply naturally, this would eliminate the need for farmers to add a chemical to the soil. Some plants, such as peanuts and soybeans, already do this. These crops would lend the future company a lot of help on what they need to do to pass this trait to other plants successfully.