The Soil Health Hub Podcast

#4 - Adrian Ferrero: The Role of Microbial Communities in Soil

June 21, 2021 Soil Health Hub Season 1 Episode 4
The Soil Health Hub Podcast
#4 - Adrian Ferrero: The Role of Microbial Communities in Soil
Chapters
The Soil Health Hub Podcast
#4 - Adrian Ferrero: The Role of Microbial Communities in Soil
Jun 21, 2021 Season 1 Episode 4
Soil Health Hub

In this episode, we're discussing the role of microbe communities in soil. How microbes can be profiled to better understand what is happening underground, how to nurture and retain microbes and how they impact plant growth. We're also gonna talk about carbon storage in the soil and the main factors to encourage healthy soil. 

Our guest is Adrián Ferrero, CEO at Biome Makers.

Biome Makers was founded in Silicon Valley in 2015 and it's a global agtech company providing microbiome insights to empower smart agriculture. The company has developed a patented technology, integrating DNA Sequencing and ecological computing technologies using one of the more complex biomarkers: the soil microbiome. 

Today, Biome Makers have two headquarters - one in the US and one in Spain, 700 farmers, 60 ag-input manufacturers and 100 research institutions and labs in more than 35 countries benefitting from Biome Makers’ analytical tools - BeCrop® and Gheom®.

Tune in to hear the soil health discussion between Rob and Adrian.

You can follow Adrian on LinkedIn.
Learn more about Biome Makers.

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, we're discussing the role of microbe communities in soil. How microbes can be profiled to better understand what is happening underground, how to nurture and retain microbes and how they impact plant growth. We're also gonna talk about carbon storage in the soil and the main factors to encourage healthy soil. 

Our guest is Adrián Ferrero, CEO at Biome Makers.

Biome Makers was founded in Silicon Valley in 2015 and it's a global agtech company providing microbiome insights to empower smart agriculture. The company has developed a patented technology, integrating DNA Sequencing and ecological computing technologies using one of the more complex biomarkers: the soil microbiome. 

Today, Biome Makers have two headquarters - one in the US and one in Spain, 700 farmers, 60 ag-input manufacturers and 100 research institutions and labs in more than 35 countries benefitting from Biome Makers’ analytical tools - BeCrop® and Gheom®.

Tune in to hear the soil health discussion between Rob and Adrian.

You can follow Adrian on LinkedIn.
Learn more about Biome Makers.

Iliyana Dimitrova:

Hello and welcome to the Soil Health Hub podcast. In each episode, we invite key industry experts and farmers to explore and debate challenges, opportunities and innovations around soil health and its implications on farming. In this episode, we're discussing the role of microbe communities in soil. How microbes can be profiled to better understand what is happening underground, how to nurture and retain microbes and how they impact plant growth. We're also gonna talk about carbon storage in the soil and the main factors to encourage healthy soil. Our gueat is Adrin Ferrero, CEO at Biome Makers. Biome Makers was founded in Silicon Valley in 2015 and it's a global agtech company providing microbiome insights to empower smart agriculture. The company has developed a patented technology, integrating DNA Sequencing and ecological computing technologies using one of the more complex biomarkers: the soil microbiome.Today, Biome Makers have two headquarters - one in the US and one in Spain, 700 farmers, 60 ag-input manufacturers and 100 research institutions and labs in more than 35 countries benefitting fromBiomeMakers analytical tools. Tune in to hear the soil health discussion between Rob and Adrian.

Rob Ward:

Adrian, welcome to the Soil Health Hub, it is an absolute pleasure to have you here. This is a really exciting moment because you're looking at microbial DNA. Now that is pretty scary to an ex-farmer like myself, because I haven't got a clue what you're talking about. I do know that microbes are good thing for our soil. So now everybody's talking about this in soil health. But can you just help us for a moment understand a little bit better about what you guys do?

Adrian Ferrero:

Hi, Rob pleasure to be here today. Yeah, absolutely. At Biome Makers, in essence, what we do, we identify the microbes, the whole community of microbes, and we use their DNA to recognise them to profile the whole spectrum of bacteria, and fungal species. And we need to profile them in order to better understand what is happening underground, what is happening in the soil, because we have been looking at the soil always as the place where we throw or we plant a seed. And then there is some natural magic happening that makes the plant grow. But the reality is that there are so many biological processes happening in the soil. And we haven't been able to measure, well firstly, identify, and secondly, to measure them properly. And that's what we have been doing for the last six years, developing that technology to really profile the soil functionalities.

Rob Ward:

So you've been working on this for six years. Tell me, you were one of the founders I understand, Adrian, who are the team?

Adrian Ferrero:

Yeah, that's right. Alberto Silva, my co founder and myself, travelled from Spain to California in 2015, we joined the Illumina accelerator programme, we were the first non American companies selling by these corporate accelerator. And that was the moment we started to develop the technology. And what it has been amazing journey is to really talk to farmers, all across the world are in different crops, trying to understand how this technology could provide value to them.

Rob Ward:

Well, that's a great place to go next, then, isn't it? Because how do you provide value to farmers?

Adrian Ferrero:

Let me just give you an example. Imagine your body. So when you go to the doctor, there is some tests, some checks that you do. Physical or chemical test by making a blood test, for instance. But there is some metabolic tests. Like for instance, what is your heart rate, if you are lactose tolerant, or you're diabetic or any other metabolic process, so what we do is we measure all the metabolic processes in the cell that are going to impact plant growth. And that's how we deliver value to the farmers.

Rob Ward:

So I've got some questions about that. So I did a little bit of homework to try and sort of get to grips with this because there is a lot of people talking about soil health and in some ways that it's attracting some less convincing technologies. Let's put it that way of how they can actually help farmers become more productive and usually use less carbon. One of the questions I have is when you're taking a soil sample to get your results, how do you know when it's a significant enough sample? Bear in mind the vast complexity of microbes in the soil? How do you know when you've got that representative sample?

Adrian Ferrero:

The earth is full of microbes, there are microbes everywhere. So because there are microbes everywhere, it's very easy to get a representative sample that is going to give us enough information. The first steps we did when we start with developing this technology was to really understand how to sample and there are many scientific publications already making experiments on this. The reality is that if we do sampling process that is able to collect representative population of the soil microbiome, which is a community of microbes. And we have a sample that is representative for a specific area, a block, a parcel. So we don't want to take soil from the surface, because that's very volatile. And we don't want to go too deep, because that's very stable, we want to sample to look at the community of microbes that is really providing meaningful information on everything happening in the soil. So that's the community that is somehow between three and five inches, so five to 15 centimetres, okay, that's the reservoir of microbes that are going to play a crucial role in the soil health. And you're right, soil health is kind of a trending topic. Not everybody's trying to define what is soil health, at the end of the day, for us, there are two main factors or elements that have to be there to have a healthy soil. First is biodiversity. So we have to have a proper biodiversity in the soil. And the second is functionality, you have to have a community an ecosystem, in this case of microbes that really play and work in harmony all together. So they are able to deliver different personalities, different bioactivities in the soil. And by measuring these relationships and decoding the ecological relationships of this community. That's how we get to understand and to measure soil health. That's the basics on our assumption on soil health.

Rob Ward:

Thank you. So I understand you're selling your testing system to over 38 countries around the world, you must be now starting to get some really big data around different soil types, different pH, different moisture, different compaction, all these different things that farmers will understand pH compaction, moisture, different soil types. These are things that they understand, that is part of their everyday life is to live around that they know what that is pretty quickly, in your experience with all the 1000s now of datasets you're taking, what are the key things so the best way to mess up our biologicals in the soil? And what are the key things to make it the best it can be?

Adrian Ferrero:

As we move forward and accumulate more and more data on different soil profiles. We'll have a better understanding what are the dynamics in the soil. Well, while our main market is US, and we also have a lot of activities in Europe and then other countries, but mainly those are the main areas where we'll receive samples, there is a unique signature crop by crop, what is impacting soil bioactivity is first which crop you have. Second, what are the chemical conditions, pH first and then temperature. Those are the three main drivers that are going to impact soil microbiome. It's very interesting, the current farming practices, we're looking at amazing new solutions bioactive solutions, biologicals, that have very good promises on what is going to be the impact of these products in the soil. But the reality is that we know a little on the say, holistic impact of these solutions, how these solutions are impacting the different perspectives, because they might be very good on preventing some disease, but they might be not as good on favouring certain communities of microbes that are going to stimulate the plant. So understanding how these solutions are impacting the soil from multi dimensional point of view, this is going to give a lot of value to the farmers and also at the end of the season for the crops.

Rob Ward:

And give me an example of an insight that you've provided. Bear in mind those those those key parameters you just said, what did you learn about the biological analysis that then made people think differently about what to do?

Adrian Ferrero:

Yeah, for instance, it was very interesting. And this is just one of many examples that we have seen working with different farmers in different crops and different also I think with manufacturers testing their products and looking at what is their the impact of their solution. For instance, we were looking at one farmer, that was doing irrigation in their farm and they were very proud of these practices because they were saving water and they were being very accurate on how to spray the nutrients to the plants because they were very specific, but when we did the biological analysis on the soil, what we realised is that there was block on the phosphorus and potassium mobilisation while the nitrate mobilisation was very high now because of these specific practices. As a result, the farm has a lot of green so the plants were very green, but the fruit quality was not very good because the plan was lagging on these essential nutrients for to really provide the quality on the fruit. What the farmer did was to change their practices and start adding biological, in this case humic acid to unblock phosphorus and potassium pathway. So to make that community of microbes really work. Next season, problem was solved. So this is the kind of solutions were providing.

Rob Ward:

And what did that do to the biologicals? What was the impact on that?

Adrian Ferrero:

Well, then the next season was that the phosphorus and potassium pathways were unblocked. So plant received microbes which started to mobilise those macronutrients towards the plant, and the fruit quality suddenly started to increase.

Rob Ward:

So what you're saying is that treatment then turned on biologicals, that could then deliver in the rhizosphere to then feed the plant, the better balanced nutrition it needed for the fruit crop? Is that right?

Adrian Ferrero:

That's right, so when we are involved to see these new analytics, so all the biological parameters related to biological activity in the soil, then we realise what is happening beyond what we already know. Because now's the time to really start looking at farming from a different perspective, connecting to natural processes, because those are going to favour in a world where progressively we have more and more limitations on the use of certain solutions, for instance, agrochemicals, we have to be creative and look for new ways to get the same yields or keep increasing the yield while using or lowering the expenses. Looking at this biological processes is one of them, and we can provide the analytics

Rob Ward:

And of course, that switch, in a previous podcast, we've talked about the free biological army that is on your side to help you as a farmer, which of course is like any army, they need feeding, but at the same time, if you keep looking after them, they'll hang around. So unlike some conventional treatments, fungicides, conventional fertilisers, these biologicals will keep growing and keep improving. So there is a higher cost potentially early on, but that should tail off as the biologicals keep growing. And are you seeing that then, are you seeing this increasing growth in the biodiversity meeting less and less cultural inputs to achieve the same or if not better productivity?

Adrian Ferrero:

That's, that's absolutely right. And there is a one comment that we should start skipping talking about good or bad microbes, they're not good or bad microbes, they're microbes, a community of microbes and network of microbes. And these networks tend to be in balance. So they balance each other unless we start interacting with them and create inbalances, then is when we start having some increase on the, for instance, discoveries or other things. And this is the reason because we mainly tell our clients that looking at the soil biology from the taxonomic point of view, so which specific species you have in the soil is not the right approach. Honestly talking, farmers shouldn't care much about which specific microbes they have in soil, they will be caring about how those microbes are working as a community as a network as a connective network. And this is what is very interesting because when you start a hiring this approach, then thinking about the solutions of how to get to better yields or how to solve certain problems that you're having, it's much easier, that's what we're seeing with the many farmers we start working with at the beginning is like, okay, this is a new dimension. Again, we need to learn, we need to educate. The good thing is that we already have so many examples in the background. So when people are happy to share their experience, because all together, we can really do better.

Rob Ward:

Other real farming thinking here. When there's a drought or there's there's a prolonged period of no rain on an arable crop, conventional crop heading towards where the crops starting to feel the pain. What are the microbes doing at that point?

Adrian Ferrero:

Well, they are adapting to the new situation. And that may impact the crops for sure. The most interesting thing is that we are looking at certain countries as a Northern Africa or certain countries in Latin America, where they are used to grow plants and their desertive situations or conditions. And they're doing quite well. So understanding how those communities or the soil is adapting to those drought conditions is going to help other areas as California or the southern Europe to adapt their agriculture to these new drought conditions and be less water demanding. Well microbes always adapt themselves, their adaptability is not necessarily linked to higher productivity. So we we should drive that in the direction that we wish by maintaining the links the notes in this community or reinforces the notes because that's going to increase the resilience of the soil. And any change is going to impact lower quality than other situation.

Rob Ward:

I mean, in glib way, soil health equals better drought resilience. I always thought that was more to do with the higher organic matter, I presume, therefore, it's the biologicals and the high organic matter that combined to make less vulnerable to water shortages or droughts. Is that true?

Adrian Ferrero:

Yeah, organic matter is always a key part on soil health, because well, and then now that many people are talking about carbon sequestration, the content of organic matter in the soil is going to be crucial also on the amount of carbon that the soil is able to sequester. If you have less organic matter, ie boiactivity, then there's going to carry on sinking then in soils with a very high organic matter, because then they balance their release, and the capture of carbon is going to be neutral.

Rob Ward:

That's the elephant in the room, carbon sequestration, but let me come back to that, because I have another question that same thread as drought. But then I would like to talk about carbon sequestration. And that's a word I find difficult to say for some reason but anyway. So what about the other way around? When there's a flood, we used to call it when I was farming field capacity, the water there was that the actual soil, it couldn't take any more water, the only other way for the water to go is to flood somewhere else. So it's that field capacity that essentially is an anaerobic situation, what happens then to the microbes?

Adrian Ferrero:

Again, they change a lot because you have an anaerobic situation, there are certain groups of microbes that are going to grow and flourish easier than others, and are going to start dominating the environment. If you're asking me what is happening from the crop point of view, well, there could be different impacts but in a sense, when most of the anaerobic microbes are going to grow, there's going to be an impact on the nutrient mobilisation, mainly. And then the stress on the plants is going to be impacted as well. So everything related to hormone production, and so on.

Rob Ward:

So a soil that's low in microbial activity versus one that's higher in a field capacity of water i.e. about the flood, what would the plant be experiencing what was happening chemically with the plant in the root zone?

Adrian Ferrero:

Well, from the chemical point of view, I don't know. Honestly talking. What will happen what we have seen, comparing the soil from areas that rain is quite frequents, and areas where the rain is not that frequent, so the soil is saturated in water is that we see some differences on the biological patterns.

Rob Ward:

The reality is climate change without too many other political conversation around that. The bottom line is we are seeing more extreme weather. Some people call it weather. So we will call it climate change. And so I my nudging question is does a higher level of biological activity in the soil, given either extreme weather of drought or extreme weather of excess water, is that going to give my crop a better chance of surviving? Yes or no?

Adrian Ferrero:

Microsoft going to survive, they have more chances to survive than humans in extreme conditions as the first thing they will record the balance if you let the nature get going. Now, that's what we have seen, mainly in certain areas, because of the last year the human pressure on environment has decreased now have been at home. And then

Rob Ward:

And so are you seeing any differences in that with the we've seen the nature taking over many places. So this is what is happening also in the soil. Under extreme conditions or thinking about climate change and these extreme changes that we're going to experience especially on the field. What we're going to need is resistance, right? You mentioned previously resilience. So if if we have a soil community that is very let me say specialised because we have been driving this community in a certain direction. According to the practices, that community is going to suffer more than another community that have closer links, and can mitigate any change that is happening in the field. So what might happen is that certain farmers are going to lose everything because of those changes. And other farmers that have been already working on their soil health are going to experience lower losses, and there will be some some farmers that probably are not going to experience as many losses or even an increase on the productivity. Yeah, probably a the initial yield that they were getting it was already smaller so that's the thing. Now when we get a proper level of weed balance let's say yield and Soil Health, they will have the perfect scenario because we have resistant soil that is going to mitigate any change any situation that any stress happening in the soil and is going to be productive. But of course we have to see how we play with this healthiness with this biology, the soil biology to really get the deal that we need to be sure that we have enough for for the planet. different soil types, so a clay heavier soil versus a lighter soil?

Adrian Ferrero:

There are differences. And what we're learning is to identify those differences by looking at the community of the microbes. Today, we are, let's say, guiding our system to learn under the different conditions. So today, we're asking our clients, which kind of soil you have, which kind of conditions vary when sharing physical chemical data on the soil. And we'll keep profiling some microbiome, but the system is starting to re identify the patterns and model the different interactions, hopefully not during the time, we'll be able to, by looking at the soil, really know what is happening around. So what are the starting conditions? This is where the we've seen that we can impair this, but we're not there yet. We need to keep working and contributing and helping farmers in the way we do.

Rob Ward:

So let's get back to carbon, my rudimentary understanding of it all is that essentially the microbes are crucial parts of carbon sequestration. I said it finally got that. So the plant is in the rhizosphere, looking to exchange nutrients for carbon, or it's a sugar, essentially, but it's then stored as carbon. When have you seen that work really? Well? I the carbon storage is really optimised and when have you seen it go the other way I actually be consumed that he did mention that earlier a little bit, but more detail on that place.

Adrian Ferrero:

This is very interesting topic and many people is asking us about it, personally, I have to say is that there is a many questions that still remain unsolved, especially from the scientific point of view. So when we say as early sinking x tonnes of carbon, we're making this estimation based on different models. And those are the models that currently agriculture is using to measure or to quantify the carbon credits when it comes to their soil biology. And this is what we are specialised on a wicker measure the what is the activity, the biological activity related to carbon, we say, well, the soil is very active on the carbon pathway. So there is a lot of movement. And it may happen because there are already a lot of organic matter in the soil. Or it might be because the soil is released sequestering a lot of carbon, we have an initiative, a nonprofit initiative to support projects around soil health. And we have like four or five different projects that are specifically focused in understanding what are the connections between soil biology and carbon sequestration, the goal is not to really want to find the initial goal is to really understand if our soil is carbon neutral, so it's really sinking soil or is releasing soil because there are these double activity in the soil on one hand, let's forget a little bit about the plant we know what is happening in the plant, this just focusing what is happening in the soil okay. So when you have the soil, the soil is also capturing carbon, but at the same time because of the biological processes coming in, so is releasing carbon, right. So those soils where you have a lack of organic matter are going to be essentially a carbon cycles, because the soil biology is going to demand these nutrients for their internal processes. While when you have a soil that is very rich in organic matter, what is going to happen is that there is going to be a release of carbon, but at the same time, it's going to be a sequesteration of carbon. So while understanding the balances on the carbon pathway is like the first step really at determining how much carbon were sinking in the soil overall, I will say usually way is sequestering carbon in the soil but not always, we're going to have negative when they say negative means like you're taking carbon out of the atmosphere not always is a negative. Sometimes it's positive when you release carbon, depending on the practices depending on the crop, depending on what is happening under conditions. What we are trying to do is to understand how our work knowledge can help to solve the unsolved questions here. Meanwhile, the models that are available are very useful to really determinate the amount of carbon that is in secret.

Rob Ward:

So do you get to get involved with measuring carbon? Or is that something else? Are you part of that process of measuring carbon,

Adrian Ferrero:

we're not measuring carbon, we are measuring biological activity related to the car. That's what we're doing today. We are working in understanding how our technology can help to really provide more accurate data on the carbon sequestration. But this is work in progress, say anybody taping that they can quantify this from a scientific point of view today.

Rob Ward:

The problem and we've highlighted this in previous podcasts about the carbon storage tail that wags the commercial dog of markets around carbon storage and how trying to oversimplify the way to measure say organic matter even from above from bare ground. What do you think about that as a way to look at measuring carbon storage

Adrian Ferrero:

add on say was Tracy on his mission about me? for farmers or agriculture, it's a way to really receive returns on their activities leejohn the crops, because the reality is that agriculture is very important to keep the balance on the current circulation. This is an excellent mechanism. But we still need to really be conservative on how we use these mechanisms. Until we have the best tools or the right tools to really do it. Today, we have some tools available that give an estimation so this is the first step. We hope that companies is by makers and other you're working on technology development time or accuracy on the data and gain credibility and traceability on this mechanism. When it comes to for instance, the commercialization of the carbon credits

Rob Ward:

you mentioned earlier on three inches down to I think, was five inches or five centimetres down to 15 centimetres Forgive me for getting my Imperial and metric mixed up there. But there abouts, that's the sort of perfect microbrew activities zone, they almost have impact on government storage, because if, if we've got rich to go down metres, as they do with a lot of crops and microbes down there the down there too, I mean, aren't they interesting? Or? Or is this just too complicated to measure?

Adrian Ferrero:

Not all of them are interesting, if you ask me a waste to have data from all kinds of soils, all kinds of PDFs and so on. But at the end of the day, we have to differentiate between what is interesting, what is useful or what is enough. Okay, after all our experiments, and probably researchers, will the papers that we have revealed, were realised that if we want to help farmers to really use biological processes happening in the soil into their decision making process, we have to simplify and terminate, which is the area that is going to provide as much information as possible. Okay, if you have another specific question, or one specific question, then you might need to sample a different area. But if you want answers to most of most frequent questions, then that's the area you have to be looking at. Because this area is going to give us information about the general biodiversity status, which means what is the biological quality of the soil? And this is a very interesting indication during the interest in index, then we have information about healthiness in terms of diseases. So what is the disease risk, and we're going to see diseases that are like ground diseases, but also iria diseases because when the plant has a very high disease risk, we're going to see it in the soil as well. Okay. And then a all hormone I stress the plant growth promoters, right by your control activity, which is also essential to understand what is the Plant Protection, right, and then regional pathways. So what is the nutrient mobilisation for macro and micronutrients? All of these dimensions can be analysed by looking at this community of microbes. If you want to know specifically what is happening in the rhizosphere. And again, depending on the crop, you're looking at arable crops, usually that area is rhizosphere. area. And if you're looking at Polly's, for instance, olive trees, you want to go a little deeper, but it's still in that area, you're going to find enough information on what is happening on the nutritional pathways, for instance, or disease risk. So it should be enough and affordable for any farmer. That was the basic on our development and determination that this community is the right one.

Rob Ward:

Okay, so what we're saying is that we've got great information, but we want more, but we're ready to take it one step at a time. And let's have a brief touch if we could about bio fertilisers and biostimulants, because there's hundreds of them out there. Now, you must be seeing some really interesting success stories and possibly failures on that. And what would you say is the outright winner for improving biologicals within the soil? What's the really obvious thing farmers should be doing to from a biostimulant perspective, or biofertilizer? Because it seems that seems to be one of the biofertilizer is more microbes put into the environment, seeding microbes, and biostimulants seems to be feeding microbes, as I understand it, and correct me if I'm wrong.

Adrian Ferrero:

Yeah. So first thing I will say, without going to any specific case, most of the solutions is we still don't know what is the specific impact so be careful on how you use it and combined it. So don't think that there is one solution for everything because usually the solutions are complex, finding the right combination of solutions or to complement our solutions. He's going to help a lot and the second thing is don't make a radical trans transition from let's say, conventional farming to strain by the namic or explosive use of biologicals give the soil also time to accept adapt in this case will regenerate no like a stabalize balance the biological process is happening otherwise, you do a radical change which is also possible. You have to spend some time that ASL is going is not going to react as you expect, or wish, then it's going to happen. If you do it progressively, not quick. But progressively, then it's going to be easier for all the microbes in the soil to really speed up and catch up on balance or health of the soil. A number of years ago,

Rob Ward:

I talked about soil health and gut health going into changed. And it's what you just described, though, is actually the same for all of us as human beings, and how we eat what's in our gut, and then how it protects and nurtures us, or gives us even resilience and immunity, how the fact is exactly the same for soil. And you the same thing with our gut diet, if you did a big change, you're going to make yourself ill. And I guess that's what you just said that if that analogy or parallel works, but I've always felt that soil health is connected to get help from a crop an entity perspective, but that's a whole other podcast, I think,

Adrian Ferrero:

I really like this farm bill. And we use it a lot, because everybody understand that we need to eat because of the nutrients. But we also need to feed ourselves with microbes. And food is a way we inoculate ourselves with microbes. And we're not aware of that. But this essential that we daily get our doses of microbes. So yeah,

Rob Ward:

you're right. To extend this, we've been doing a lot of vitamin pill eating in farming by way of not food, but freedom and pills. And that's been 70 years of that

Adrian Ferrero:

I just have final remark here is not bad to have a pill if you need it, right. You don't need you're not going to take pills, I will always say if you have cancer, you are going to go immunotherapy treatment. But if you have a flu, you're not going to pay me a therapy. So adapt what you do according to what you need. That's the final message. If you need a supplement, use it. Because I always say you are not going to be healthy, your salary is pretty much the same. It's a living thing. So care for it provide what the soul needs. But for that you need inside you need that data

Rob Ward:

better. And that's the most balanced thing I've had said about soil health for a very long time. So credit to you for not following the herd of this launch from old ways to new ways. In a great big leap. I think that's extremely wise. You are trading as I said, already 38 countries, which is incredible. You've been going for six years, you told me. So what's next for your business? Your fundraising, I understand.

Adrian Ferrero:

Yeah, so well, it's been an incredible journey for us. We started the band Alberta, myself in San Francisco. Today, we're 45 people in the team, we have two wet labs, one in West Sacramento, which is a headquarters well. And we have another lab in in Spain, where we process all the European samples, we have now opened the door to licence agreement. So we're opening our nali to third party laboratories who wants to really acquire the technology in house because for us, we're understand that we are that company, what we love to really explore the mechanisms behind the biology, our system is now becoming the ecological relationships on on this one microbiome. And we're fascinating on what we are finding, we started doing a diagnosis on the soil so unveiling all the biological processes in the soil that was the first product we launched. And this is the one where we currently commercial AC in the last two years ago, we launched another product and other solution to profile the impact of inputs. So to understand how the inputs are working the agriculture solutions, air from these multi dimensional point of view is called GM we have recently published validate develop the first prototype to make recommendation on biological data driven recommendation. Because if you have the Soil Health Hub status, on one hand, you know the impacts of the different solutions, eventually, you can use a machine learning system to match them. So by doing an biological analytic of the soul, you can determinate which is the right solution. So what is next is to really make that system to work and make it available for farmers, let's say developing the first beer to sell a system for agronomists. That's what we want to do by the end of 2022. So when we have all have samples and solutions already profiled in our system, right now, we have done in just four potatoes for two products. So well, the burpee is on and we're kind of out of band and we can just keep dancing a lot. Okay,

Rob Ward:

well keep dancing, because it's, it's exciting what you're doing. I can see how some people would think that listening to this is productive, actually created more questions as well as answers. So we've also got to bear that in mind. And one last final question. If there's one person who would you like to thank on how you managed to get to where you are today.

Adrian Ferrero:

Wow, there is just one person that's having people waste their time. Now there is one person who believed in Alberta myself. From the beginning, this person is Massaro Nagi the former CTO of Illumina a we were to unknown intrapreneurs in Spain, he gave us the opportunity to join the Illumina stellarator. He trust our vision and depress our skills to make this happen. So we're very thankful to Mustapha, and the whole Illumina surgical team will not be here without that support. So if I have to recognise somebody that will be most apart first. But of course, there are so many people who has helped us to get to this point.

Rob Ward:

But it just shows there's no there's moments in time when you try and make that brave leap forward, when you're really just starting out. And somebody believes in you how wonderful that is, we previously run an accelerator and I totally get that how spotting those little gems of an idea and trying to see how that idea and the people that are behind it, gonna make it work. And obviously, you you had that backing, that's critical to this whole industry, developing the innovation pathways, we need to do gratulations on where you've got to, Here's to the next stage, and I look forward to hearing a lot more about it. Thank you very much today. And good luck with your series be raised wish all the best.

Adrian Ferrero:

And thank you also for giving us the task was playing what we do to share our vision on how agriculture is meant to change and evolve for good, keep doing it. This is amazing. It's a

Rob Ward:

pleasure. But before the thing is saying Take care. It's a real life meeting one day, awfully, Robert.

Adrian Ferrero:

Thank you for listening to the Soil Health Hub podcast. If you'd like to learn more and join us, visit SoilHealthHub.com. See you next time!