SEED MONEY by ProQuest


According to Eric Rey, the president and CEO of Davis-based Arcadia Biosciences, the supersize seedlings have the potential to transform agriculture- and the environment. The secret is that they've been implanted with a gene that allows them to use nitrogen more efficiently. When they're grown with the same amount of nitrogen fertilizer as their traditionally bred counterparts, they do noticeably better. Even with less fertilizer than normal, they still thrive. With these nitrogen-efficient plants, there's a more rapid increase in yield as nitrogen gets added, explains Rey, a hale, bearded 51-year-old. Rey has three larger-than-life goals -- to give the agribusiness sector a boost, halt global warming, and make oodles of money -- and he thinks his biotech creation will allow him to accomplish them all at one go. Early studies indicate rice farmers in China could save at least $80 a hectare on fertilizer by switching to Arcadia seed.

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