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Demand from farmers for SurePhos expected to exceed supply

16 October 2019 – Ballance Agri-Nutrients has produced a sustainable superphosphate product that is expected to displace traditional ‘Super’ fertiliser used by the majority of farmers – with clear environmental and productivity benefits.

SurePhosTM is expected to reduce phosphate losses by up to 75%, making a significant positive impact onthe quality of waterways and, due to low water solubility, keeps nutrients in the soil system where they are available to plants.

Ballance Agri-Nutrients Chairman, David Peacocke, says SurePhosTM will be the choice of a new generation of farmers who have sustainability front-of-mind.

“This is a true breakthrough solution for farmers and will become the go-to product – a genuine sustainability choice for farmers.” He says phosphate loss is a major issue acknowledged by the vast majority of farmers.

Ballance Agri-Nutrients Chief Executive, Mark Wynne, says the timing was perfect to be launching the SurePhosTM product – developed with the support of Government under the PGP (Primary Growth Partnership Programme) as farmers come under increasing pressure to manage their environmental footprint and ‘farming within limits’ is a reality with regulatory limits on phosphate already in place in most regions.

Mr Wynne says “We are pleased to be able to bring this innovation to market at a time when farmers really need it, and they want to stay productive and sustainable. As well as advice, they need tools and products to lift their environmental performance – so we’re proud to help enable our farmers to be future-ready”.

SurePhosTM is a stabilised, gradual release and low water-soluble phosphate. It is uniquely formulated to spread evenly and more accurately ensuring more stays on the land and less is lost, minimising risk to waterways. It contains 7.8% phosphorus, a maximum of 25% of which is water soluble, and 9.5% Sulphur.

The product has been in development for 10 years and was produced with joint investment from the PGP and Ballance who each contributed over a quarter of a million dollars. Manufactured in Mt Maunganui with a breakthrough process, SurePhosTM can be spread using on farm accuracy tools such as SpreadSmart® and MitAgator®.

Ballance Innovation Leader Dr Jamie Blennerhassett says that while environmental pressures over the last decade have primarily focused on nitrogen use, phosphate has a parallel and compounding impact on fresh water – so reducing phosphate losses is a significant advantage and win for farmers.

“We are proud to have made the science work to get this product over the line. In our industry, it’s the equivalent of splitting the atom,” he says.

“While the principles behind the product are well understood, SurePhosTM is ground-breaking as it is a new technology that combines all the most desired characteristics of a phosphate fertiliser, including high agronomic worth, low environmental risk, high quality granulation and a competitive cost”.

Early testing of customers’ response shows that farmer demand will likely exceed supply but Ballance is committed to ensuring SurePhosTM is produced as quickly and efficiently as possible, while maintaining a strong focus on product quality.

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