April 24, 2023 – Agricultural biotechnology company Qualterra, Inc., a leader in agricultural and sustainability technologies, today announced that it is the recipient of a second consecutive, $30,000 competitive grant award from the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) Nursery Advisory Committee to continue its industry serving work in controlled environment production of specialty crop nursery plants. Qualterra received its first competitive grant award from the WSDA Nursery Advisory Committee in March 2022 which resulted in the first completed trials that served to de-risk its pre-commercial processes. This year’s grant award will further accelerate Qualterra’s commercialization of its controlled environment horticulture propagation and nursery technologies.
“Our company’s combined technologies are aimed at using controlled environment horticulture to propagate and grow disease-free (clean) nursery stock as well as to test existing budwood and rootstock from the field to ensure the highest quality, clean plant material is being propagated and disseminated in the industry,” said Nathan Tarlyn, Qualterra’s R&D Scientist. “This is especially true for cherry growers trying to navigate virus and phytoplasma infections causing Little Cherry Disease and X-Disease.” “Today’s tree fruit grower faces a daunting array of climate change induced horticultural pressures,” said Dr. Seanna Hewitt, Qualterra’s Senior Genomics Scientist and Grants Management Specialist. “It’s a vicious cycle in which environmental stresses lead to low quality lants, and these vulnerable plants are further unable to withstand the environmental stresses.
“We continue to listen to and work with the specialty crop industry as they ask for technological solutions that enable the production of healthy starting material for their orchards and vineyards despite the unpredictable weather conditions,” said Dr. Amit Dhingra, Qualterra’s Chief Science Officer and Professor and Head, Department of Horticultural Sciences, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences at Texas A&M University. “We’re thrilled to receive this second consecutive competitive grant award and we are grateful to the WSDA and the Nursery License Surcharge program that generates these grant funds.”
“At Qualterra, we are working hard to pioneer and commercialize a controlled environment horticulture technology platform with the potential to produce clean, vigorously growing, field ready plants in a matter of a few months with minimal labor requirements,” said Mike Werner, Qualterra’s CEO. “This grant serves as a tremendous momentum builder for our company as we look to deliver these commercialized technologies faster. We believe our platform is becoming extremely beneficial to the specialty crop industry.”
Qualterra will receive this second grant award in July 2023 which is the beginning of the fiscal year for the State of Washington.
Qualterra is an agricultural technology company on a mission to create innovations in agriculture and sustainability. Qualterra’s platform of technologies follow a plant life-cycle from molecular plant testing and breeding support to propagation and nursery technologies through ag biomass waste processing and carbon capture technologies. Qualterra, headquartered in Washington State, USA, has three commercial facilities located in the main agricultural production area of the State. For more information about Qualterra, please visit www.qualterraag.com.