Growers Edge Partners With Delta Institute on Financial Products to Rebuild Soil Health
Growers Edge Financial, Inc. (Growers Edge) has formed a partnership with Delta Institute to create financial products that help provide new capital opportunities for farmers wanting to rebuild soil capacity.
The firms said in a press release that maintaining soil health has been an insufficient priority with most of the world’s soil resources in fair, poor, or very poor condition, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization. Soil erodes 10 times faster than it is able to be naturally replenished in the United States – an estimated rate of nearly 1.7 billion tons of lost farmland annually, according to a Cornell University study.
Meanwhile, USDA estimates the total annual cost of erosion from agriculture in the United States at $44 billion – approximately $247 per acre of cropland and pasture. Globally, the annual loss of 75 billion tons of soil could cost the world up to $400 billion per year.
“Fields that are dying or dead cannot answer our escalating food production needs. The degradation of soils across U.S. farmlands puts our farms, our food, and our future at risk,” said David LeZaks, regenerative food systems lead at Delta Institute, in a press release. “We are eager to help farmers overcome the soil health hurdle with the new financial solutions from Growers Edge, beginning with farms in the Midwest.”
Improving soil health is absolutely critical for sustainable agriculture production because poor soil health has repercussions on land and food quality, as well as the climate, said officials for the firms in a press release. However, providing capital for farmers adopting soil health improvement agricultural practices is extremely challenging. Farmers must shoulder high upfront costs to transition to new farming practices, and then wait years before recouping costs and increasing profitability.
Using Growers Edge fintech analytics platform, the team will provide updated risk metrics and offer financial products and services to farms that invest in improving or rebuilding their soil, according to company officials.
“Traditional financial instruments fail to meet the needs of farmers who are attempting to break out of unprofitable management systems and embrace new ways to improve the resilience and profitability of their operation,” noted Joe Young, president and chief operating officer of Growers Edge, in a press release. “In partnership with Delta Institute, we will leverage our machine learning models and artificial intelligence platform to remove financial barriers and accelerate the proliferation of soil improvement initiatives.”