Taking ornamental plant nutrition and nutrient release to a new level, ICL has announced the launch of its 5th generation Osmocote controlled release fertilizer.
“Delivering super-efficient and effective nutrient release, our new Osmocote 5 products have been painstakingly designed and developed to overcome specific nutritional challenges faced by growers using peat-reduced and peat-free growing media,” says ICL’s technical manager, Andrew Wilson. “Extensively tested around the world, we are now looking for UK and Irish growers to work with to conduct nursery trials.
“Osmocote 5 features unique nutrient matching release technology and an improved Optimised Trace Element Availability (OTEA) system to match plants’ needs throughout the release programme; the result are improved plant colour, health and growth.”
Although trace elements are required in relatively small quantities compared to NPK, they play a vital role in biochemical metabolic processes. However, some trace elements - such as Iron and Copper - are highly reactive and often become unavailable to plants.
“With Osmocote 5, the OTEA system means trace element release is super enhanced – for example iron is boosted by up to 300%,” explains Andrew. “Fully EDTA chelated, these trace elements remain soluble and therefore available right up until root uptake. There is also greater trace element availability at higher pH’s. This is particularly relevant in peat-reduced and peat-free growing medias, which inherently have a higher pH causing minor elements to become increasingly unavailable to plants.”
Taking in to account the trend to reduce or eliminate peat, Osmocote 5 also features a slightly higher Nitrogen content to improve growth in these medias - which tend to have lower nutrient buffering capacity.
“Put simply, Osmocote 5 safely delivers greater nutrient efficiency and effectiveness - which translates into improved quality plants as well as environmental benefits,” says Andrew.
Growers interested in being among the first to try these innovative new 5th generation products, are encouraged to contact their local ICL Technical Area Sales Manager. Following these trials, ICL is planning a full product launch in the UK and Ireland in autumn 2021.