“Less is More”
ICL Specialty Fertilizers, New Holland, and Syngenta join forces for sustainable agriculture.
In 2015, a collaboration was set up between ICL, New Holland, and Syngenta at the Jolly family's farm in Ittre, Belgium. These three companies want to demonstrate that it is possible to make agriculture more sustainable under the slogan 'Less is More'. One of the components of the project is the efficient use of fertilizers. ICL, one of the participants, wants to demonstrate in practice that it is possible to obtain similar or even higher yields through more efficient use of fertilizers.
In 2015, ICL introduced coated (controlled release) fertilizers at the Jolly family farm for potato and strawberry cultivation. Coated fertilizers are NPK granules that have a layer of coating through which nutrients are released gradually. The advantages of these fertilizers are that significantly fewer nutrients are washed away, the plants receive a constant supply of nutrients during the growing season, and only one application is needed.
On a four-hectare plot of land used to grow Bintje potatoes, half of the plot was treated with normal fertilizers (215 kg KAS in two applications) and the other half was treated with coated fertilizers from ICL (215 kg in one application). The latter product, Agrocote Max, is a coated urea-based fertilizer 43-0-0 that has a release duration of two to three months. Beforehand, the soil had been treated with Haspargit (0-4-16) at a rate of two tonnes per hectare.
The plot was then harvested and the yield data analysed by Redebel, an independent agency. Whereas the Jolly family could normally expect a harvest of 50-55 metric tonnes per hectare, the plot half fertilized with the Agrocote treatment now produced a yield of 70 metric tonnes. Christophe Jolly explains, 'We were surprised that such an increase in yield was even possible. An average yield of 50-55 metric tonnes is already fantastic. The use of coated fertilizers definitely offers greater opportunities.'
Collaboration in Interra project
Since 2015, ICL, New Holland, and Syngenta have been cooperating to prove that sustainable intensive farming is realistic using the modern available technology. .
The sustainability initiatives of the three companies will be further expanded in 2016.
You are very welcome to see these initiatives in practice at the Jolly family farm in Ittre, Belgium !