COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The performance of a liquid combined with the convenience of a capsule is the focus of a $5 million three-year Third Frontier Grant exploring advanced granule technologies that address the economic, health and environmental concerns of the turfgrass, horticulture and agricultural industries.
The Andersons, Inc. will be leading an Ohio Bioproducts Innovation Center project to develop granular material that more effectively contains, transports, and delivers fertilizer and pesticides, or other biologically active ingredients, to specific areas. The result is a more effective and environmentally safer product, activating only when exposed to water.
Ohio State University's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and Ohio State University Extension will provide scientists to develop and help commercialize the materials.
"Our granular technology is well received within the professional turf markets and generates a revenue stream for our Turf & Specialty Group," said The Andersons CEO Mike Anderson. "This grant will enable us to accelerate our research in extending this proprietary technology to agriculture applications that we believe will provide benefits on a global scale. We are proud to be a leader in this project."
Other collaborators of the project include: Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc.; Ohio-based PSB Company, a division of White Castle System; Ohio-based National Lime and Stone Company; and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service.
"We are extremely pleased that this award will enhance an already strong working relationship with The Andersons, Syngenta and other partners. The focus of delivering a granule to crops with the performance of a liquid and retaining the convenience and safety of granule products is exciting," said OARDC director Steve Slack. "We look forward to participating as a research and development partner on this project."
The broad range of targeted applications of the granule technology includes turf, nursery, floriculture, fruits, vegetables and field crops.
"This is a significant award for all Ohioans, as this investment will create new jobs and needed economic growth," said Bobby Moser, dean of Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. "We are honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with The Andersons and assist in the development and adaptation of the advanced granular technology in much larger agricultural markets in both the U.S. and around the world."
Ohio State University researchers involved in the project include: agricultural engineer Erdal Ozkan, turfgrass specialist Dave Gardner, nursery and landscape specialist Hannah Mathers, plant pathologist Mike Boehm, horticulturist Claudio Pasian, vegetable specialist Mark Bennett, soil and environmental chemist Nick Basta, weed scientist Mark Loux and entomologist Dave Shetlar.