a fertilizer that releases nutrients only when crops need them, preventing unused chemicals from polluting lakes and rivers.
If a crop isn’t ready to take up fertilizer when it’s applied, it runs off the field and ends up in waterways. This not only wastes money, it creates destructive algae blooms. Carleton University’s Maria DeRosa is using nanotechnology to make a smart fertilizer that delivers its nutrients only when the crop needs it. Working with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, DeRosa is working to program the coating of biodegradable fertilizer capsules to release nutrients when it receives a signal from the crops.
The technology could help feed the world’s growing population, projected to surpass nine billion by 2050.