New chemical-free soil amendment firm sets up in Solano

May 07 2018

Daily Republic By Todd R. Hansen

FAIRFIELD — A firm looking to plant itself in California is using International Compost Awareness Week to announce it is making Solano County its home base.

SymSoil, formed in November, plans to establish a 10,000-square-foot Center for Soil Science at the Solano County Fairgrounds and has formed a strategic alliance with the Recology composting operation to start the initial soil amendment project.

John Williams, chief business development and marketing officer for SymSoil, said the company needs about 2 or 3 acres for its operation and is looking at several sites, including one in the Vacaville area.

SymSoil also is renting space at Il Fiorello Olive Oil Company for a composting operation that will produce a product that it is actually introduced through irrigation.

“We hope that when their prototype is more confirmed and they develop their science that we will he able to use their product on our farm,” said Ann Sievers, who owns and operates Il Fiorello with her husband, Mark Sievers.

“This decision (to select Solano) comes after six months of investigation into which California county would serve the agricultural industry as a center for soil science,” Williams said in a statement. “Our reasoning is based on the fact that over 60 percent of the land in Solano County is devoted to agriculture, and of even greater importance for our project is the fact that Solano County represents the second most diverse agricultural region in California if not in the country.”

International Compost Awareness Week is May 6-12, which is celebrated by the Association of Compost Producers.

“We’ve been excited to work with SymSoil over the last few months in finding both a temporary and permanent home in Solano. They are a fantastic example of innovation in agriculture that in the near-term could lead to greater performance in food production, and in the long term potentially feed the world,” said Bob Burris, the president and chief executive officer for the Solano Economic Development Corporation.

“We also believe this is a company that can bring significant new investment and jobs to a region,” Burris said.

The company produces what it calls a “biologically active soil amendment product and process” that does not use any fertilizer chemicals or pesticides. The company filed a process patent in December on its initial product and process.

“The science behind this venture is based on over 30 years of research and experimentation to discover which organic microbial communities deliver the highest crop yields in a multitude of crop types and soil regions eliminating the need to use harmful pesticides and chemicals in farming,” the company said.

“During the course of this development, in January of 2018, the company identified the Solano County region as the most desirable area in which to undertake the development of its first manufacturing facility due to the strength of the regions agricultural diversity,” the company said.

“Apart from our management and science teams oversight during this process, SymSoil has employed two full-time local support staff, created additional work and revenue for Recology operations and Il Fiorello olive farm,” the company stated.

Once production begins, an additional eight to 12 full-time staff will be hired, plus up to five part-time workers, the company said.

“During May and June . . . SymSoil will begin shipping its first products both locally and to other farming regions and expand operations to develop a series of ongoing biologically active soil amendments products and solutions for the foreseeable future,” the company reported.