Bio-wastes become fertilizer fodder

Fertilizers based on food waste, manure and other byproducts of the ag and food industry are refined and granulated for placement

Two new biological-based slow release fertilizer products manufactured with refuse from the food and agriculture industry will be available to Canadian growers next spring.

“We’re taking different organic substrates, things like food waste, manures, things like products that might come out of the food industry, ag industry, and we’re breaking them down to the amino acid level and then rebinding organic nutrients to that and creating advanced efficiency, slow release products,” said Hugh MacGillivray of Anuvia Plant Nutrient.

Anuvia Plant Nutrients already has SymTRX 20s registered in Canada and it’s been available to growers in the United States for three years.

SymTRX 10S was just released to the American market and is expected to be registered in Canada by spring.

SymTRX10S is licensed exclusively to Mosaic for the U.S. market and is sold under the brand Susterra.

ATP Nutrition will promote, sell and service SymTRX products in Western Canada and further distribution agreements are expected.

SymTRX 10S is a 14-24-0-10S granular fertilizer while SymTRX 10S is a 14-24-0-10S granular fertilizer.

“Think of the 20S as a nitrogen-sulfur material, and then the 10S is much more of a phosphate material with nitrogen and sulfur,” said MacGillivray.

MacGillivray said the fertilizer products will see the same use patterns in Canada as other dry fertilizer products including urea and ammonium phosphate, and that they blend easily and work well with existing application equipment.

He said the advantages of the products being biological-based can be boiled down into three buckets.

“One is efficiency, so improved nutrient efficiency because of the way the nutrients are delivered in available forms and then slowly as well. That translates into performance for the grower,” MacGillivray said.

“The second is soil health benefits. So we are returning back to the soil a very clean, pure concentrated form of organic matter that basically feeds the micro biome and promotes soil health improvement.”

He said the third benefit is environmental because there are fewer losses to the environment because they use slow-release technology and the fertilizers have a smaller carbon footprint because of the way they are manufactured compared to conventional fertilizer products.

An Anuvia Plant Nutrient news release states that university, on-farm trials and commercial use have shown SymTRX reduces volatility, leaching and contributes to an average yield increase of more than five percent versus conventional fertilizers.

MacGillivray said the carbon market in the U.S. is starting to heat up and there may be an opportunity for producers to take advantage of them through using these fertilizer products.

However, he said it’s still early in the development of carbon markets.

“But we are returning carbon back to the soil with 16 percent organic matter and about eight percent carbon being returned back on a per pound basis,” MacGillivray said

The Anuvia Plant Nutrient release said SymTRX bio-based technology can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 32 percent compared to conventional fertilizer products.

MacGillivray said SymTRX fertilizers will sell for a bit more than conventional fertilizers but they will deliver a three to five times return on investment to the grower.

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