Organic growers get new option with fertilizer made from plants

The fertilizer produced in Alberta will be sold as pellets or crumble and initially will be available to greenhouses and market gardens

OLDS, Alta. — Canadian organic farmers now have access to a new organic fertilizer.

The fertilizer, which is manufactured at Wetaskiwin Co-op’s Country Junction processing plant in Wetaskiwin, Alta., is made from organic peas, alfalfa and other plants.

“It’s from the same quality products as organic feed,” said mill manager Jay Crandall.

The fertilizer analysis is 5-3-5 and will be sold as a pellet or a crumble.

Crandall said most of the sales will initially be to organic greenhouses, market gardens and for fertilizing turf, but he expects the product will become an option for grain producers looking to supplement their existing fertilizer practices as it become more popular.

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“The organic grower always has so few choices. This will help achieve the proper balance of NPK,” he said. “Any organic fertilizer is usually about double the price of conventional fertilizer.”

Eric Schmidt, executive chair of BioRefinex Canada, came up with the idea of making organic fertilizer from plants.

As well, BioRefinex recently bought land in Lacombe, Alta., to build a plant that will turn animal specified risk material, those thought to be vectors for BSE, into safe byproducts, including fertilizer.

He anticipated that the byproducts from the Lacombe plant will eventually be used in the organic fertilizer produced in Wetaskiwin.

“This is for those of you who need a high quality organic fertilizer.”

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