By Brendan Howell, ICL Sales Manager for Professional Horticulture in Ireland
There is no hiding from the fact we are entering a new era in relation to sustainable growing media as the industry comes under pressure to reduce - and ultimately eliminate - its reliance on peat. ICL - with its products, experience and expertise - is well placed to help growers meet the challenges that lie ahead.
New sustainable mixes containing Fibagro Advance
Previously Bord na Móna’s national account manager for growing media, I was appointed to the new role of ICL Sales Manager for Ireland in January.
Working directly with growers and distributors, ICL have launched a new sustainable Levington Advance growing media range onto the Irish market containing 25% Fibagro Advance. Manufactured from UK grown FSC sourced wood, Fibagro Advance is a highly consistent woodfibre substrate - available exclusively from ICL for the professional horticultural market. (For more information, click on the link below).
Many growers are delighted that ICL have stepped in to supply the Irish professional market. Early feedback is proving highly positive - growers like the consistency and performance of this new growing media which is resulting in high quality rooting with plants grown in 25% peat-reduced Levington Advance already starting to be sold into the Irish market.
We are now planning trials in Ireland with a 50% Fibagro peat-reduced Levington Advance mix, as well as ICL’s peat-free Levington Advance Sustain.
While ICL is already supplying growers in Bulk, Probales and Bulk bag formats, we are planning to launch a 75L bag standard product range in Ireland in the near future. Full loads (22 pallets) loaded at lunchtime in the UK, are arriving on nurseries in Ireland the next morning to be unloaded by 9am. By July we hope to be in a position to offer split loads, consisting of 11 pallets.
Industry leading nutrition and wetting agent technologies
Many Irish growers already put their trust in ICL’s industry-leading range of Osmocote controlled release fertiliser to satisfy the nutrition needs of their plants. Customers switching to Levington Advance mixes are remaining loyal to Osmocote - a product that has led the way in plant nutrition for over 50 years. Levington Advance mixes also benefit from advanced water management technology H2Gro, pioneered and manufactured at ICL’s AmegA Sciences facility based in the UK to support growers in their water management regime.
New generation Osmocote 5
Launched earlier this year, trials of the new generation Osmocote 5 are already underway here. Delivering super-efficient and effective nutrient release, Osmocote 5 products help overcome specific nutritional challenges faced by growers using peat-reduced and peat-free growing media. Just one of a range of products ICL has pioneered to help growers optimise the performance of sustainable peat-reduced and peat-free growing media.
We will report back on these Osmocote 5 trials later in the year. (For further information regarding Osmocote 5, click on the link below.)
Alongside Levington Advance peat-reduced and peat-free growing media, ICL is now offering its full portfolio of industry-leading controlled release and soluble fertilizers, H2Gro wetting agents and biostimulants to growers across Ireland.
On a personal note, having worked in the Irish growing media industry for many years, I look forward to working with many familiar, as well as new, faces in the future.
Together with Andrew Wilson - ICL’s Technical Manager for Fertilisers and Plant Protection Products in the UK and Ireland and Stuart Gammage and Dr Eleni Siasou - ICL Technical Product and Development Managers for Growing Media, we look forward to helping growers’ transition to a new more sustainable future.
Contact: Brendan Howell Tel : +353 (0) 830987436 or email [email protected]