Groundwork BioAg: A Decade of Impact and the Foundation for a Carbon Revolution

Since our founding, we have known that mycorrhizal fungi offer a compelling agricultural solution to mitigate climate change. Today, Rootella Carbon is delivering on that vision by paving the way to a gigaton of CO2 sequestration over the next decade while offering growers value by enhancing crop yields and regenerating their soils.

A decade ago, our journey began with a focus on tangible results and affordability for all growers. As of today, Rootella mycorrhizal inoculants have been widely adopted across 5 million acres in 17 countries. As the biological industry burgeoned, Rootella Mycorrhizal Inoculants remained at the forefront, culminating in the launch of Rootella Carbon, a groundbreaking solution unveiled on the world stage at the 2024 World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit in San Francisco and embraced by U.S. farmers at Commodity Classic.

Farmers over the past decade have been experiencing myriad economic, regulatory, and environmental challenges. The enduring pressure to produce more sustainable food demonstrates a clear and present need for cost-effective natural solutions that work.

The Clear Difference Under the Microscope

At first, biological inputs on farmer fields were mostly unheard of, especially myco – ‘how do you say that again?’ – rrhiza. But we knew her as the Queen of Biologicals™ due to mycorrhizae’s unique symbiotic relationship with plants that improves soil health while increasing plants’ ability to access water and nutrients, especially phosphorus.

In the past, it was impossible to reintroduce mycorrhizae to commercial operations due to the fragility of the fungi and the high cost of ensuring product efficacy at scale. Groundwork BioAg cracked the code on mass production of mycorrhizal inoculants to help farmers improve both yield and soil health and defend against stressors.

Our highly concentrated and cost-effective products allowed us to enter the marketplace with an affordable per-acre price point, and offer farmers an attractive ROI from the start. Farmers applying Rootella enhance their crop yields, save on fertilizer, and boost their farms’ resistance to stress. Rootella also supercharges mycorrhizal carbon sequestration, allowing farmers to earn premium carbon credit revenue for implementing this nature-based carbon removal solution.

Ten years in, we’ve only just started to unlock the value of mycorrhizae. Sound science and the growing marketplace for carbon sequestration solutions led us to build upon Rootella’s success with a solid carbon credit solution that makes logistical and financial sense for commercial-scale farmers.

The Foundation for a Premium Carbon Credit Asset Class

In a recent survey of top producers in the United States, 63% of respondents said they would enroll in a carbon program if a product like Rootella unlocks additional revenue and fits easily within existing farming practices.

Following a year of field trials with a select group of corn, soybean,  and cotton farmers across eight states, we’ve seen incredible response to the Rootella Carbon program in just a few months. Rootella Carbon enables farmers to benefit from premium-grade carbon credits with a four-year commitment and a low entry cost of $10 per acre for the inoculant, without altering cultivation practices.

As carbon’s main pathway into the soil, up to 60% of all plant-derived soil organic carbon can be attributed to mycorrhizae, including a portion sequestered permanently, even under tillage practices. Given that cropland topsoil is estimated to lack 50 to 70% of its carbon potential, leveraging mycorrhizal inoculants presents a significant revenue opportunity for farmers. Rootella Carbon farmers can expect to achieve annual sequestration rates of 1-4 tCO2eq per acre.  Furthermore, the application of mycorrhiza products, such as Rootella, for carbon dioxide removal, seed treatment, or soil amendment allows farmers who are otherwise ineligible for carbon credits, due to having already implemented practices like no-till or cover cropping, to benefit from this new revenue stream.

Today, Groundwork BioAg is trusted by farmers across the world’s breadbaskets, including key agricultural hubs like the U.S., China, Brazil, and India. The reception to Rootella Carbon has been incredible, proving once again the mantra to which Groundwork BioAg has adhered from the beginning: farmers are eager and willing to embrace change, as long as the ROI is right, the benefits are proven, and the change is easy.

By putting nature’s most potent carbon removal solution back in every farmer’s hands, we are turning cropland back into a net carbon retainer and making climate change mitigation profitable. Together, Groundwork BioAg, farmers, and our partners are scaling net-negative agriculture.

Here’s to the next decade of innovation, sustainability, and empowering farmers worldwide.