Sollio Agriculture is partnering with Pursell to build a $20-million fertilizer plant at St. Thomas that will produce yield-boosting coated fertilizers.
The plant will have capacity for 100,000 tonnes per year for sale across Eastern Ontario and into the United States. Sollio has plants in Alabama and South Carolina.
Construction is due to begin this year and be finished by next August.
Pusell said its controlled-release coatings improve the uptake of nutrients by plants, with the potential to significantly improve yield and quality while lowering greenhouse gas emissions from volatilization and reducing the risk of nutrient leaching and runoff.
The coatings can also include micronutrients in addition to standard nitrogen, phosphorous and potash.
According to the International Fertilizer Association controlled-release fertilizers (CRFs) produce yields equal to regular commercial fertilizer at 20 to 30 per cent lower application rates.
They provide a more predictable, precise release curve, so growers can time when plants receive nutrients.
“We have tested CRFs at our crop production research farm over four years and found that a pre-plant application of urea coated with Pursell’s new technology significantly increased corn yield and profitability,” said Sollio Agriculture Crop Management Researcher Dr. Lucie Kablan.
“We are also conducting promising trials on coated phosphorus and muriate of potash and have partnered with McGill University to evaluate the environmental benefits of CRFs in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. This will provide useful data to make recommendations to Canadian farmers,” she said.