New fertiliser reduces emissions and improves efficiency

Friday 15 Dec 2023

Fertiliser technology advancements are delivering environmental and growth benefits for the Australian forestry industry.

Results from replicated two-year trials show that an innovative new fertiliser product can deliver performance improvements, even with a 75% reduction in application rates.

Over the past few years, Matt Thomas from E.E. Muir & Sons has been testing Platinum Nergetic from Campbells Fertilisers in pine plantations in north-east Victoria. “Young trees need key nutrients early to optimise growth performance and plant health. The aim is to apply enough fertiliser to support the tree, particularly in the first 12 months, while minimising waste from excess fertiliser that the plant doesn’t use.

“We have been assessing Campbells Platinum Nergetic for several years now, demonstrating that we can use 50-75% less fertiliser without compromising tree growth. “In fact, we are seeing these trees outperform those treated with the grower standard fertiliser by a reasonable margin.”

Platinum Nergetic is a compound NPK granular fertiliser with calcium, magnesium and trace elements. A biodegradable polymer is used to coat the fertiliser granules, providing protection against leaching, volatilisation and soil lockup.

In the trials, it was applied at 50g / tree at planting, achieving 7-10% improved tree height and diameter at 12 months when compared with the standard blended product applied at 200g / tree. “The new coating technology used in the Platinum Nergetic forms a gel on contact with water. The tree roots can pass through the gel to get to the nutrients, which are released slowly as the coating dissolves,” he explained.

“It helps with even distribution and improved uptake of nutrients to the tree. You use much less product but improve the results.” Matt says the benefits extend beyond tree health. “There are also greater sustainability and environmental benefits, with the same amount of fertiliser now supporting four trees, instead of one.

“It is a quarter of the freight volume and handling, with improved efficiency and less associated emissions. In terms of productivity, efficiency and sustainability, it ticks all the boxes. We are getting more nutrients to the tree with less loss to the environment, while using up to 75% less product. It’s very significant.”

Ongoing Platinum Nergetic trials are being conducted by Campbells Fertilisers in partnership with HVP Plantations and E.E. Muir & Sons. Click here for further information.

Source and image credit: E.E. Muir & Sons

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