Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 22, 2016 - ICL Specialty Fertilizers, a business unit of the ICL Group (NYSE and TASE: ICL), has begun producing controlled release fertilizers using its new E-Max Release Technology at its production facility in Heerlen, The Netherlands. The new products will be marketed under the brand names Agromaster© and Agrocote Max©. The new E-Max Release Technology, specifically designed for use in agriculture, was developed at the R&D facility in The Netherlands over several years and has been tested worldwide. The production line in The Netherlands has a capacity of 25 thousand tonnes per year.
E-Max Release Technology is a new controlled release fertilizer technology that releases nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium and phosphate in an even more precise manner. It also matches the crops’ needs exactly, while limiting leaching of nutrients. Experimental trials have shown that the use of controlled release fertilizers significantly increases the efficiency of nutrient use, and as a result improves crop yield and quality in specific climate and soil conditions around the globe.
Leon Terlingen, Director of Research & Development, ICL Specialty Fertilizers: “We have developed a unique process and technology for adding a very thin coating to a fertilizer granule. The new thin coating allows us to keep the nutrient level very high, while also assuring a very good release curve for the crops. A new production process enables us to produce the controlled release fertilizer in a faster way than with previous technologies. We have tested and developed this new technology in our laboratories on a special pilot installation over a number of years in order to exactly formulate and tailor the desired products to fit specific crop needs.”
Illustration of E-Max coating of a granule
The usage of controlled release fertilizers is expected to grow rapidly worldwide. Controlled release fertilizers were initially used in ornamental crops, turf and specialty crops in agriculture. Now controlled release fertilizers are used in a wide range of crops such as field vegetables, soft and hard fruit, maize, potatoes, rice and sugarcane.
Fred Bosch, Senior Vice President of ICL Specialty Fertilizers Europe & Asia Pacific: “The new products Agromaster© and Agrocote Max© with E-Max Release Technology offer tremendous benefits for growers. There is a strong trend towards precision nutrition as growers experience the added value of these products. In specific growing conditions, such as sandy and loamy soils and regions where there is substantial rainfall during the growing season, nutrient use efficiency is obviously higher. The results I have seen during my visits to field trials and to growers who use our product have been very good, with higher yielding and better quality crops and fewer fertilizer applications.
Our ICL Specialty Fertilizers agronomists are able to design and offer the right Agromaster NPK with the desired release pattern and longevity of the products. We know, for example, that potatoes need nitrogen in a specific period of the growth cycle and we are able to design a product that has a nitrogen release that suits the potato crop and creates balanced NPK fertilization.”
ICL Specialty Fertilizers presented the new E-Max Release Technology to its distribution partners on September 22, 2016. Some 150 visitors have been informed of the latest news including the field trial results worldwide at that time.
Photos of the E-Max event and celebration of the launch
Karl Mielke, Executive Vice President of ICL Specialty Fertilizers: “The production line in Heerlen is another step in our expansion and growth plan for the controlled release fertilizers. We have started production of this technology in Summerville, USA in 2014. We have advanced plans for new production facilities in Asia and Latin America as the market is expected to grow also substantially in these regions. Controlled release fertilizers are a very important product category for ICL Specialty Fertilizers alongside our great range of product brands in soluble and liquid fertilizers. With E-Max Release Technology, we can increase the nutrient use efficiency in key crops. There are a number of areas due to soil conditions and rainfall where the nutrient use efficiency can be enhanced.”
For more information on E-Max, Agromaster and Agrocote Max, check your local ICL Specialty Fertilizers site, contact your local advisor or read the E-Max leaflet.
For more information on the ICL Group, see www.icl-group.com