ICL Launches Groundbreaking Biodegradable CRF Technology
First-of-its-kind release technology is a major advancement for sustainable agriculture and food security and will allow farmers to meet 2026 EU fertilizer standards
Today, ICL ushered in a new era for controlled release urea with the launch of eqo.x, a groundbreaking rapidly biodegradable release technology designed for open field agriculture. This innovative solution is achieved through a coating, which will help farmers maximize agricultural crop performance while also limiting environmental impact, by reducing nutrient loss and by increasing nutrient use efficiency (NUE) up to 80%. The release technology also allows for increased or similar yields with reduced fertilizer rates, can help reduce the number and amount of nitrogen applications, and provides consistent and predictable nutrient release.
Importantly, eqo.x release technology is the first offering in the market to provide a controlled release fertilizer (CRF) coating for urea, which biodegrades more rapidly, and was specifically designed to meet future European fertilizer standards set to go into effect in 2026. The new technology will be applied to ICL’s CRF products for agricultural crops, including its Agromaster and Agrocote brands, and will help achieve a reduction in nutrient losses. This achievement is a key tool of both the European Farm to Fork strategy and the EU Soil Strategy for 2030, which aim to reduce nutrient loss by at least 50% by 2030.
“ICL is proud to introduce our most advanced CRF coating, eqo.x rapidly biodegrading release technology, which will both help regulate the release of nutrients on a daily basis – by responding to each crops’ specific needs – and result in higher nutrient use efficiency,” said Elad Aharonson, president of Innovative Ag Solutions for ICL. “Our innovative, sustainable, new technology will provide precision nutrition through a coating, which biodegrades more rapidly, and helps improve yield, reduce nutrient loss and simplify fertilizer application. Not only will this benefit farmers, it will also help the environment, as it will greatly reduce the leaching of nutrients into both the soil and groundwater, when compared to conventional fertilizers.”
ICL expects to have this innovative, new coating ready for farmers in the European Union by 2023 and, in order to meet expected market demand, is investing $20 million in a new production line for eqo.x release technology at its Heerlen facility in the Netherlands. According to Fortune Business Insights, the global controlled release fertilizer market size was $2.3 billion in 2018 and projected to reach $3.86 billion by 2026, resulting in a CAGR of 6.37% during the forecast period.
For more information on this groundbreaking release technology, visit the eqo.x website.