Sollio Agriculture opening new plant in Ontario

In Mid September, Solio Agriculture inaugurated CRF Agritech in St. Thomas, Ontario.

CRF stands for controlled-release fertilizer. The project was launched in 2021, and required an investment of over $25 million. CRF Agritech was awarded $154,000 as part of the Fertilizer Accelerating Solutions & Technology Challenge of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs of Ontario.

According to the media release, currently CRF Agritech is the sole plant in Canada able to manufacture controlled-release custom fertilizer formulations using Pursell's unique coating technology. The facility encompasses 25,800 sq ft.

CRF Agritech manufactures next-generation controlled-release fertilizer, including PurYield, for farmers across all Eastern Canada and the Northeastern United States. It will also be able to produce other coated fertilizer for uses other than agricultural. At full capacity, the plant will manufacture over 100,000 tonnes annually.

"The new coating plant in St. Thomas is in line with Sollio Agriculture's efforts to promote sustainable practices that reduce the environmental impact of farming activities and innovate with alternative products, while maintaining the goal of ensuring the prosperity of Canadian farmers,” said Casper Kaastra, CEO, Sollio Agriculture.

“The strategic location of CRF Agritech will provide for reliable supply in Eastern Canada and the Northeastern United States and reduce freight expenses for our customers. This strategic partnership between Pursell and the Sollio Agriculture network allows us to expand the potential market for this technology and support nutrient management initiatives associated with the use of fertilizer products. PurYield is an exciting addition to our portfolio, providing substantial benefit to farmers across the region."

Why CRF? According to the media release, it is used to apply a coating to fertilizer granules with the ability to add micronutrients and biostimulants, providing gradual nutrient release in the soil that is timed according to individual crop needs. These innovative fertilizers can offer many advantages.

By promoting higher yields through enhanced nutrient uptake by individual plants, there is reduced loss of nutrients through leaching as a result of surplus moisture and excess rainfall. Given the extreme weather events that farmers are facing, this important attribute has the ability to improve farm profitability.

According to the International Fertilizer Association (IFA), the use of coated fertilizer is able to reduce the quantity of fertilizer needed by 20% to 30% compared with traditional products.

From an environmental standpoint, initial studies conducted by the Sollio Agriculture research team and McGill University show that the use of PurYield fertilizer has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30%. Additional scientific testing and validation is currently underway.

The predictable, precise release curve allows growers to target when plants receive nutrients, minimizing the number of applications across the field and helping to mitigate issues related to labour shortages currently being experienced across the entire agricultural industry.

Use of controlled-release fertilizers aligns with internationally recognized 4R Nutrient Stewardship program best management practices for responsible and effective management of nutrient resources.

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