Cereals 2008: Fertiliser additives enhance use efficiency and crop yields

Two fertiliser enhancers that improve the availability of phosphorus fertilisers and decrease losses from applied N could be available next autumn or the following spring.

Nutrisphere-N was described by Melanie Acklin, director of marketing of USA firm Speciality Fertilizer Products as a nitrogen fertiliser manager. “It reduces volatilisation losses and nitrification in the soil,” she claimed.

A naturally occurring enzyme, urease, causes volatilisation of nitrogen fertilisers, she explained. Similarly leaching of N could be a significant problem in certain soil and environmental conditions.

Melanie Acklin

Two new fertiliser enhancers make better use of phosphate and nitrogen fertilisers,
according to Melanie Acklin of Speciality Fertilizer Products

Nutrisphere-N, an additive for either solid or liquid fertilisers, created an active shield round the fertiliser that prevented the action of urease and slowed down nitrification leading to leaching.

“It helps you get more out of what you apply, without destroying naturally occurring enzymes or soil bacteria. In the USA we’ve seen 10-15% yield increases from more than 100 trials across 15 different crops.”

A second product, Avail, helped maximise phosphate fertilisers. Certain elements in the soil, for example, calcium and magnesium, “fix” phosphorus in the soil preventing it from being available, Ms Acklin said. “Avail has a higher negative charge than P so it attracts those elements more strongly, leaving more of the P available.”

Again, the firm claimed yield responses of about 10-15% in the USA, regardless of soil P index or type.

Both products were being trialled in the UK in the current season, but as yet there were no deals with any suppliers confirmed. “We’re in discussions with Carr’s. We hope to have product available for the autumn or next spring.”

The product has to be applied onto dry fertilisers before application, or mixed with a liquid product.


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