ST. THOMAS— A new $20 million plant will be erected for the production of controlled-release fertilizers (CRFs); granular fertilizer particles coated with polymer that gradually release nutrients into the soil.
Sollio Cooperative Group, Canada’s largest agricultural cooperative, and Pursell Agri-Tech, a U.S.-based coating technology company, are collaborating to build and operate the plant. Construction will start in the fall of 2021 and the plant is expected to be operational in August of 2022.
The plant will produce CRFs using Pursell’s coating materials, processing techniques, and technologies which add macronutrients and temperature-sensitive additives like growth enhancers, biologicals, and soil health promoters. It will generate upwards of 100,000 tonnes of fertilizer annually at full capacity.
The cooperative claims that CRFs are more efficient than regular fertilizers, which lose a portion of their product due to evaporation and run-off. CRFs can significantly increase yield and profitability, as well as improve plant and soil health while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, the cooperative says.
In past years, CRFs have been difficult to obtain for agricultural commodity production and have instead been used primarily in ornamental, turf, and specialty agriculture. The establishment of the St. Thomas plant will make CRFs readily available to the commodity agriculture market.
This project is Pursell’s first license agreement outside of the U.S. and CEO Nick Adamchak says he hopes they will continue to advance internationally.