Innovative E-Max controlled release fertilizer – production starts

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ICL Specialty Fertilizers has begun production of its new controlled release fertilizers (CRFs) employing the innovative new E-Max release technology − with capacity to produce 25 thousand tonnes per year at its production facility in the Netherlands.

Specifically designed for use in agriculture, including potato crops and field-grown vegetable, the new ICL products have been tested worldwide and will be marketed under the brand names Agromaster and Agrocote Max.

Employing the new E-Max technology, nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium and phosphate are released in a more precise manner helping match crops’ needs exactly, while limiting nutrient leaching.

Scott Garnett, Specialty Agriculture Senior Agronomist, says: “Trials have shown that CRFs can significantly increases the efficiency of nutrient use, and as a result improve crop yield and quality in specific climate and soil conditions around the world.

“E-Max technology enables a very thin coating to be added to a fertilizer granule enabling us to keep the nutrient level very high, while assuring a very good release curve for the crop. The new production process is considerably faster than with previous CRF technologies.”

CRF use is expected to grow rapidly worldwide. Initially used in ornamental crops, turf and specialty agricultural crops, CRFs are being exploited in a wide range of crops such as field vegetables, soft and hard fruit, maize, potatoes, rice and sugarcane.

Fred Bosch, Senior Vice President of ICL Specialty Fertilizers Europe & Asia Pacific says; “The new products Agromaster and Agrocote Max with E-Max Release Technology offer tremendous benefits for growers. There is a strong trend towards precision nutrition as growers experience the added value of these products. In specific growing conditions, such as sandy and loamy soils and regions where there is substantial rainfall during the growing season, nutrient use efficiency is obviously higher. The results I have seen during my visits to field trials and to growers who use our product have been very good, with higher yielding and better quality crops and fewer fertilizer applications.

“Our ICL Specialty Fertilizers agronomists are able to design and offer the right Agromaster NPK with the desired release pattern and product longevity. We know, for example, that potatoes need nitrogen in a specific period of the growth cycle and we are able to design a product that has a nitrogen release that suits the potato crop and creates balanced NPK fertilization.”

ICL Specialty Fertilizers presented the new E-Max Release Technology to its distribution partners last week at an event at its Heerlen production facilities attracting over 150 visitors.

Karl Mielke, Executive Vice President of ICL Specialty Fertilizers, says; “The production line in Heerlen is another step in our expansion and growth plan for controlled release fertilizers. We started production of this technology in Summerville, USA, in 2014. We have advanced plans for new production facilities in Asia and Latin America as the market is forecast to also grow substantially in these regions. CRF is a very important technology for ICL Specialty Fertilizers alongside our great range of product brands in soluble and liquid fertilizers. With E-Max Release Technology we can increase the nutrient use efficiency in key crops. There are a number of areas due to soil conditions and rainfall where the nutrient use efficiency can be enhanced.”

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