Like coral reefs that are ocean habitats for fish and marine life, a new product called Cool Terra creates a house-like environment for soil microbes that help corn, soybeans and many crops thrive, CEO Jim Loar says.

Multiple years of soil studies using Cool Terra have shown a “More diverse and very positive gain in biological life,” Loar says.

“When the polish of renewable fuels was starting to wear off, new things were being talked about in agriculture, with one being soil health,” Loar said.

Biochar is of significant scientific interest because of its potential for rebuilding organic matter, adds Francesca Cotrufo, a soil ecologist at Colorado State University who is helping Cool Planet study Cool Terra in the field.

She has spent her career studying how carbon cycles between plants, soil and the atmosphere and the central role of microbes in forming soil organic matter.

The material is rich in carbon, persistent in soils and capable of adding structure to the soil that eases water infiltration and retention, Cotrufo adds.

What separates Cool Planet from other product manufacturers is its focus on understanding the science first, then refining the material based on the data.