Partnership to Develop Agricultural Product Line Shows Promise to Improve Crops and Reduce Carbon Footprint

Partnership to Develop Agricultural Product Line Shows Promise to Improve Crops and Reduce Carbon Footprint

A strategic partnership between Specialty Granules LLC (SGI), Monty’s Plant Food Company and OrganoCat has developed MagmaHume™, a mineral-rich soil and plant fortifier, that shows promise in boosting crop yield while having potential to reduce a farmer’s carbon footprint.

The collaboration came out of a desire to address nutrient-depleted farmland and climate change by utilizing a powerful combination of Monty’s humics and SGI’s metabasalt rock “fines” – a byproduct of its roofing granule production.

Available in dry pellet form this spring, MagmaHume™ contains Monty’s proprietary activated humics and nutrient-rich metabasalt derived from SGI’s U.S. quarries.

Initial trials have shown that, when tested on corn, hemp and grains, MagmaHume™ supported both yield and quality increases.

“Although the weather threw us many curveballs, we were pleasantly surprised with MagmaHume™ and a 17.5 bushel advantage. MagmaHume™ spread fine and we look forward to using more in the future,” said Brad Hobrock of Illinois-based AgriBio Systems.

In addition to the 17.5 bushel per acre increase of corn, the MagmaHume™ trial provided a $37.22 per acre return on investment for trial farms.

“Placing pulverized rock such as metabasalt into farmland has a real potential to both increase crop yield and capture carbon to be stored in the earth for prolonged periods of time,” said Professor Benjamin Houlton, Director of the John Muir Institute of the Environment at University of California Davis. “Agriculture could be key to creating negative carbon emissions.”

In a recent study led by Houlton, metabasalt was pulverized and mixed with topsoil. The mixture, which creates a microbial response that facilitates weathering and, in turn, helps capture carbon dioxide, was used on 50 acres of corn, alfalfa, almond crops and rangelands in California’s Central Valley. Crop yields have been shown to increase between 15 and 20 percent with pulverized rock amendments, and Houlton’s global model showed the potential for farmers to capture between five and 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year.

“This is an exciting time for Specialty Granules and our partners at Monty’s and OrganoCat,” said SGI President Justin P. Dunlap. “For close to 100 years, SGI has mined volcanic deposits for roofing granules, but until recently, these ‘fines’ had limited use. Through our strategic partnership, this byproduct is being put to good use as a means to remineralize the soil and, potentially, even sequester carbon and help farmers lower their carbon footprint.”

“We are excited to partner with Specialty Granules and OrganoCat to develop and commercialize the next generation of multipurpose technologies for agriculture and environmental sustainability,” said Monty’s CEO Jeff Sangalli. “We are passionate about healthy soil because we know that healthy soil leads to healthy plants, higher yields and more nutritious produce. The very real probability that these products can also be an effective negative-emissions technology for climate-change mitigation is a game-changer.”

The specific humic substances added to MagmaHume™ provide additional benefits to the soil such as enhanced nutrient uptake, stimulation of microbial activity, reduction of soil compaction, increased soil water holding capacity and enhanced residue breakdown.

Added OrganoCat Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Dr. Alexander Shulgin, “Our partnership with SGI and Monty’s creates a new scientific consideration – advanced agro-geology – and a real scientific symbiosis between active organic substances and processed minerals. The result is a new generation of organo-mineral substances with a wide range of applications in agriculture, environmental restoration and other industrial uses.”

Dr. Shulgin is noted for developing and utilizing activated organic substances to bind radioactive strontium, cesium, iodine and cobalt isotopes for post Chernobyl radiation mitigation.

MagmaHume™ is the first in a planned line of similar products. For more information, visit:

About SGI

With more than 90 years of expertise, Specialty Granules LLC, a Standard Industries company, is a leading aggregates and mining company that supplies specialized products to the North American building materials and agricultural industries. Headquartered in Hagerstown, MD, SGI has four production plants powered by more than 550 employees. Plants are strategically located nationwide in Blue Ridge Summit, PA; Annapolis, MO; Pembine, WI; and Ione, CA.

About Monty’s Plant Food Company

Monty’s Plant Food Company is a trusted developer and provider of environmentally responsible soil enhancement and plant nutrition products, globally. Monty’s believes that healthy soil leads to healthy plants, higher yields and increased nutritional content. Founded in 1997, Monty’s offers a portfolio of OMRI Listed soil conditioning products; liquid macronutrients and micronutrients for seed and foliar feeding; and other specialty products for agriculture, lawn and garden. As trusted advisors, Monty’s customers truly experience Success You Can See.

About OrganoCat

OrganoCat is a privately owned life science company specializing in the development of manufacturing processes and application of active organic substances for soil, water and waste projects. OrganoCat’s vision is cleaner soil and water; healthier plants; ecologically beneficial and sustainable agricultural practices; and environmentally safe industrial waste. OrganoCat has worked for decades to develop products for soil health and restoration, nutrient management and plant health in agriculture; remediation of hydrocarbons, heavy metals and other toxins and pollutants in soil and water; and detoxification and reuse of various industrial waste streams.