Growers replaced synthetic nitrogen on 725,000 acres and avoided more than 80,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent, according to the results of Pivot Bio‘s 2022 N-OVATOR pilot program and its 2023 expansion. N-OVATOR is for growers using Pivot Bio’s microbe-based nitrogen-fixing product to replace synthetic nitrogen and reduce on-farm emissions. In 2023, the program has expanded beyond a pilot and is open to all Pivot Bio customers for the first time.

‘It was meant to be a small pilot’

Pivot Bio launched the N-OVATOR pilot in 2022, hoping to capture results from a small subset of its customers using Proven 40, the company’s nitrogen-fixing microbe product for corn.

The program results, not to mention enthusiasm from growers, were far beyond initial expectations, says Pivot:

  • Currently, Proven 40 replaces about 20% of a customer’s synthetic nitrogen.
  • Growers replaced 36 pounds of synthetic fertilizer per acre on average without impacting yield.
  • Across the program, participants replaced synthetic nitrogen on a total of 725,000 acres, avoiding more than 80,000 metric tons of CO2e — roughly the same amount of CO2e generated by annual electricity use in 15,000 homes.
  • N-OVATOR participants replaced nearly 12,000 tons of synthetic fertilizer. Pivot says this is the largest reduction of its kind ever recorded.
  • Pivot’s microbes were used on more than 3 million acres of U.S. cropland in 2022, a 300% year-over-year growth for the second year in a row.

The program very quickly transitioned from a small task force to something the company is commercializing at a large scale in 2023.  READ MORE