Biofix, a natural polymer coating for fertiliser granules, could improve the targeting of yield-boosting nutrients, claimed South African surfactant manufacturer, Lake International Technologies at the CropWorld conference.

Prior to the coat drying around the granule, a powdered trace element such as boron or elemental sulphur can be attached, resulting in better distribution of nutrients across deficient soils. Biofix also provides a robust protection of fertiliser granules during manufacture, blending, storage and handling, drastically reducing dusting and granule breakage.

“With the Biofix system, 100% of the fertiliser granules being applied to the crop will have the correct concentration and ratio of trace element on them,” explained Lake’s Duncan Andrews.

Fully compatible for use with the most commonly used granular fertilisers in the UK, including ammonium nitrate and calcium ammonium nitrate, Biofix can also play a role in reducing nitrogen losses from urea, by attaching sulphur to urea granules.

In independent trials in lettuce using Biofix sulphur urea (BSU), the application of sulphur using Biofix resulted in a 23% increase in yield compared with uncoated urea. “Using Biofix technology, fine sulphur particles can be attached and evenly spread over the entire fertiliser batch.

Sulphur is known to reduce nitrogen losses from urea with the additional nitrogen leading to higher crop yields and better financial returns,” he commented.