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Donaghys launches innovative nitrogen enhancer

Media Release

Embargoed until noon, Wednesday 19 March 2008

Donaghys launches innovative nitrogen enhancer

Rural supply company Donaghys has launched an innovative breakthrough biotechnology product, which in trials has resulted in nearly equivalent pasture growth with half the level of urea application.

“The Donaghys LessN System is a nitrogen-enhancer which improves the nutrient uptake ability of clover-based pasture,” says Jeremy Silva, Managing Director of Donaghys.

“It promises to provide farmers with a more sustainable solution for maintaining productivity while reducing the level of nitrogen fertiliser application and its related environmental effects.”

The Donaghys LessN System also reduces the overall cost to farmers of applying fertiliser to promote pasture growth. For example, the trials show that on an average dairy farm of 120 hectares, it reduces costs by around $1500 per application of urea (based on a ‘standard’ application of 80 kg of urea per hectare).

Donaghys has an ongoing robust trial and monitoring programme. To date there have been 21 fully replicated LessN trials throughout New Zealand, on a mixture of dry and irrigated land, over periods between 18 and 35 days: in total around 50,000 data points.

“These trials show the Donaghys LessN System – which involves the spray application of 3 litres of LessN with 40 kg of urea per hectare – provides 97 percent of the pasture response compared with 80 kg of urea alone.”

“The trial results provide us with the confidence to introduce the Donaghys LessN System to market, and call on farmers and others involved in the industry to work with us on further evaluation.

“In all but one of the trials we have found that when nitrogen works – in promoting clover based pasture growth – the Donaghys LessN System works.

“The Donaghys LessN System enhances rather than inhibits – and enables pasture to more efficiently use applied fertiliser.

“The trials to date have been very exciting and encouraging. While the Donaghys LessN System works in a wide range of circumstances we are also keen to determine situations where it may not work so well, so we can refine our research and trial programme and provide this information to farmers.”

The trial results – which were conducted by Donaghys as well as independent research organisations – showed that the Donaghys LessN System provided an average nitrogen response of nearly 30, almost twice the nitrogen response of urea alone. All trials involved the spray-on application of urea.

“What our trials also showed was that spray-on application of urea appears to improve nitrogen response compared with the traditional spread-on method.”

Urea sprayed-on at 80 kg per hectare resulted in an average nitrogen response of 16, compared with a reported industry average of spread on urea of between 10 and 12.

“We believe the Donaghys LessN System is the first real nitrogen enhancer tool.

“It is a natural microbial-based product – developed after several years of research and followed by laboratory and field testing by Donaghys.

“The average dairy farmer spends up to $35,000 a year on urea fertiliser – the Donaghys LessN System should help farmers reduce that cost while at the same time providing significant environmental benefits,” concludes Jeremy Silva.

ENDS

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