BioLumic and Gro Alliance Bring UV Light Technology to Row Crops

Cindy Zimmerman

BioLumic™ and Gro Alliance today announced a partnership to utilize ultraviolet (UV) light seed treatment technology for corn and soybean seed production.

Based on 20 years of science and seven years of large-scale field validation, BioLumic’s proprietary light treatment technology regulates genetic expression in plants to improve yield, crop quality, root growth and plant resilience across specific cultivars.

Since 2021, BioLumic has tested light-treated corn and soybeans seeds on more than 3,000 United States field plots, averaging yield increases of 15% in corn and 12% in soybeans.

“UV light signaling is the next frontier in plant science, changing the paradigm of crop production gains without solely relying on genetic modification, chemical inputs or time-intensive breeding programs,” said Steve Sibulkin, CEO of BioLumic. “Based on their longstanding record of rapid adoption of scalable innovation, partnering with Gro Alliance and their network of corn and soybean farmers and seed companies means we can rapidly deploy light-activated seeds that increase farmer profitability and contribute to a more sustainable global food production system.”

BioLumic founder and Chief Science Officer Jason Wargent, Ph.D. in front of a BioLumic light-treatment unit

The partnership will deploy BioLumic’s light treatments platform in the seed production facilities of Gro Alliance, North America’s largest independently-owned contract corn and soybean seed producer, supplying seed production and breeding services for more than 100 different organizations around the world.

“We are excited to partner with BioLumic to bring this game-changing technology, which delivers a step-change in crop yields and quality, to market,” said Jim Schweigert, president of Gro Alliance. “This innovation enables farmers to improve their financial and environmental performance, helps seed companies deliver on their ESG goals and creates more climate-resilient crops.”

The technology was first developed for seedlings in large-scale specialty crops, such as lettuce, broccoli, strawberries and tomatoes. “Discovering that the same technology activated seeds as well as seedlings was a ‘eureka’ moment,” said Jason Wargent, Ph.D., founder and Chief Science Officer at BioLumic. “It opened the door to broad-acre, commodity production of crops like soybean and corn benefiting from the same remarkable results of UV light treatment that we had developed for seedlings.”

The partnership will start at Gro Alliance’s Mt. Pulaski, Illinois production facility and expand across the Midwest starting in 2025. Later this year, select seed companies will be given access to BioLumic Light Treatments for their cultivars and the in-seed treatment will be commercially available to the broader market in 2024.

Learn more about BioLumic in this interview with CEO Steve Sibulkin.
Interview with BioLumic CEO Steve Sibulkin 11:40

AgWired Precision, ASTA, Audio, Corn, Crop Protection, Precision Agriculture, Seed, Soybean