Sollio Agriculture opening new plant in Ontario

CRF stands for controlled-release fertilizer. The project was launched in 2021, and required an investment of over $25 million. CRF Agritech was awarded $154,000 as part of the Fertilizer Accelerating Solutions & Technology Challenge of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

According to the media release, CRF Agritech is Canada’s sole plant that manufactures controlled-release custom fertilizer formulations using Pursell’s unique coating technology. The facility encompasses 25,800 sq ft.

CRF Agritech manufactures next-generation controlled-release fertilizer, including PurYield, for farmers across Eastern Canada and the Northeastern United States. It will also be able to produce coated fertilizers for uses other than agriculture. At total capacity, the plant will manufacture over 100,000 tonnes annually.

“The new coating plant in St. Thomas is in line with Sollio Agriculture’s efforts to promote sustainable practices that reduce the environmental impact of farming activities and innovate with alternative products while maintaining the goal of ensuring the prosperity of Canadian farmers,” said Casper Kaastra, CEO of Sollio Agriculture.

“CRF Agritech’s strategic location will ensure reliable supply in Eastern Canada and the Northeastern United States and reduce freight expenses for our customers. This strategic partnership between Pursell and the Sollio Agriculture network allows us to expand the potential market for this technology and support nutrient management initiatives associated with using fertilizer products. PurYield is an exciting addition to our portfolio, substantially benefiting regional farmers.”

Why CRF? According to the media release, it is used to apply a coating to fertilizer granules that can add micronutrients and biostimulants, providing gradual nutrient release in the soil that is timed according to individual crop needs. These innovative fertilizers can offer many advantages.

By promoting higher yields through enhanced nutrient uptake by individual plants, nutrients are reduced through leaching due to surplus moisture and excess rainfall. Given the extreme weather events that farmers are facing, this important attribute has the ability to improve farm profitability.

According to the International Fertilizer Association (IFA), coated fertilizer can reduce the quantity needed by 20% to 30% compared with traditional products.

From an environmental standpoint, initial studies conducted by the Sollio Agriculture research team and McGill University show that using PurYield fertilizer can potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30%. Additional scientific testing and validation are currently underway.

The predictable, precise release curve allows growers to target when plants receive nutrients, minimizing the number of applications across the field and helping mitigate issues related to labour shortages experienced across the entire agricultural industry.

Using controlled-release fertilizers aligns with the internationally recognized 4R Nutrient Stewardship program’s best management practices for responsible and effective management of nutrient resources.

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