Seed World

BioLumic and Gro Alliance Collaborate to Scale Up UV Light Technology for Corn and Soybeans

On June 6, BioLumic and Gro Alliance announced a partnership to deploy and scale up BioLumic’s ultraviolet (UV) light seed treatment technology for corn and soybean seed production, according to a release. The goal is to propel a commercial-scale entry of UV light technology into the global row crop seed industry and bring farmers to a new category of seed treatment.

BioLumic has been focusing on light-treated corn and soybean seeds since 2021 and has tested on 3,000 U.S. field plots with an average yield increase of 15% in corn and 12% in soybeans.

With BioLumic’s UV Light Signal Recipe platform, the company combines plant genetic insights, plant response data and a software and hardware platform that deploys short-duration ‘light recipes.’ These are a targeted and programmed sequence of light spectrum exposure which “activate positive growth responses in seeds and young plants,” according to the release.

“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, in the release. “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.”

The partnership will start at Gro Alliance’s Mt. Pulaski, Ill., production facility, with the intent to expand across the Midwest starting in 2025.

“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.”