The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization forecasts that world food production will have to increase by 70 per cent by 2050 to meet the needs of a growing global population. This challenge is exacerbated by such factors as diminishing freshwater resources, rising energy prices, and the need for crops to adapt to the pressures of a drier, hotter, and more extreme global climate. Indigo Agriculture is partnering with Drs. Vladimir Vujanovic and Jim Germida, leading academics from the University of Saskatchewan, who have discovered a new class of natural microbes that can dramatically improve crop yield and stress resistance. The project will use genomic tools to systematically evaluate and field test a number of cropmicrobe combinations with high commercialization potential. It aims to develop breakthrough microbial products that will address the significant need for improved yield, water use efficiency and heat-stress tolerance in major crops in Canada and around the world including wheat, maize, soybean, canola, barley, and pulses — crops that account for more than $15 billion in annual production in Canada alone.