Farmers looking to save on labour, operating and maintenance costs, while minimising compaction and improving sustainability, should look no further than LAMMA 2018, to find out how Controlled Release Fertilizers (CRF) can help to streamline operations.
This innovative technology will be showcased by ICL Speciality Fertilizers on stand 723 at the event, and the team will be on hand to demonstrate the benefits.
“CRFs work in a very simple way, that’s proven to be successful,” says Scott Garnett, ICL senior agronomist. “Each granule has a special coating, which controls the release of the fertilizer to the plant, working in conjunction with the soil temperature, to release nutrients only when required by the crop.
“Recent trials have compared the difference between two onion crops, one treated with a single application of CRF – Agrocote, and the other with a course of three standard nitrogen applications throughout the season,” he explains.
“The trial has shown significant cost savings associated with application, a reduction in compaction, as well as a yield increase in the crop treated with the CRF.”
Scott explains that while this trial was in an onion crop, similar results can be applied to most arable and vegetable crops.
“As only one CRF treatment is required during the season, farmers shouldn’t need to go back onto the fields for further applications later down the line, saving them time, or the cost of employing a contractor,” he says.
“And those looking to reduce compaction, or that have trouble getting onto wet fields later in the year, will benefit greatly from only having machinery on the land once, early on in the season.”
It is also important to note that, on top of these cost savings, CRFs can help to relieve issues that can are often caused by poor management of conventional nitrogen programmes, including leaching, volatilization and denitrification.
“Because nutrients are released, only when required by the plant, there is minimal excess in the soil. This means that the risk of nitrates leaching into watercourses is reduced, as is the volatilisation of ammonia into the atmosphere, and the efficacy of the fertilizer isn’t compromised through denitrification,” explains Scott.
Those interested in finding out more about CRFs can head to the ICL stand (723) and meet the team at LAMMA on 17 and 18 January 2018, or visit icl-sf.com/uk/explore/fruit-vegetables-arable-crops/controlled-release-fertilizers/ .