ICL, a leading global specialty minerals company, launched eqo.x, a rapidly biodegradable release technology designed for open-field agriculture on Sunday.
This innovative solution is achieved through a coating that will reduce nutrient loss and by increasing nutrient use efficiency (NUE) by up to 80% will help farmers maximize agricultural crop performance while also limiting environmental impact.
The release technology also allows for increased or similar yields with reduced fertilizer rates, can help reduce the number and amount of nitrogen applications, and provide consistent and predictable nutrient release.
“ICL is proud to introduce our most advanced CRF coating, eqo.x rapidly biodegrading release technology, which will both help regulate the release of nutrients on a daily basis – by responding to each crop’s specific needs – and result in higher nutrient use efficiency,” said Elad Aharonson, president of Innovative Ag Solutions for ICL.
“ICL is proud to introduce our most advanced CRF coating, eqo.x rapidly biodegrading release technology, which will both help regulate the release of nutrients on a daily basis – by responding to each crop’s specific needs – and result in higher nutrient use efficiency.”Elad Aharonson
“Our innovative, sustainable, new technology will provide precision nutrition through a coating, which biodegrades more rapidly, and helps improve yield, reduce nutrient loss and simplify fertilizer application. Not only will this benefit farmers, but it will also help the environment, as it will greatly reduce the leaching of nutrients into both the soil and groundwater when compared to conventional fertilizers,” Aharonson added.
The new technology is the first to provide a controlled release fertilizer (CRF) coating for urea, which biodegrades more rapidly, and was specifically designed to meet future European fertilizer standards which are set to go into effect in 2026.
How will controlled release fertilizer assist nutrient loss reduction?
The controlled release fertilizer will be applied to ICL’s CRF products for agricultural crops, including its Agromaster and Agrocote brands, and will help achieve a reduction in nutrient losses. Nutrient loss reduction is a key tool of both the European Farm to Fork strategy and the EU Soil Strategy, which aims to reduce nutrient loss by at least 50% by 2030.
ICL expects to have the new coating ready for farmers in the European Union by 2023 and, in order to meet expected market demand, is investing $20 million in a new production line for eqo.x release technology at its Heerlen facility in the Netherlands.