Two University of Manitoba graduates built a better crop fertilizer and their trailblazing efforts have earned them a coveted Innovation Award from the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation.
Kerry Green [DipAg/83] and Geoff Gyles [BSA/79] are the founders of Wolf Trax, which in the 1990s developed DDP Micronutrients. This micronutrient system features a patented technology Green and Gyles engineered: dry dispersible powder (DDP). They formulated DDP to coat and stick to each and every granule of macronutrient fertilizer in a blend. This patented technology results in even, blanket-like coverage of micronutrient across a field, and its design also allows plants to enjoy both immediate and delayed uptake of micronutrients, extending overall plant feeding.
“DDP Micronutrients represent the first significant innovation in micronutrient technology in decades,” Gyles said. “No other product resembles our technology. We are proud of where we have come and know there are still uses and applications for our patents that can contribute to helping farmers farm more efficiently and effectively.”
Wolf Trax is located in Smartpark, a subsidiary corporation of the University of Manitoba. Smartpark's vision is to “Build a Community of Innovators” on the doorstep of the University of Manitoba, facilitating university-industry research collaborations and innovation.
“The University of Manitoba community is extremely proud of these outstanding alumni,” says Dr. David Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manitoba. "Receiving this prestigious national award is a well-deserved honour for these innovators.”
The University of Manitoba community last celebrated a Manning award in 2010. Then, physics professors Kenneth Standing and Werner Ens won the Encana Principal Award, the highest honour bestowed by the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation, which has been recognizing and encouraging innovation in Canada since 1982. They won because they significantly advanced time-of-flight mass spectrometry, a tool many biological researchers rely upon to study diseases such as SARS.