Gleadell Agriculture has begun importing a new second-generation stabilised urea fertiliser that it says “takes stabilisation technology to a new level”.

The first 3,200t shipment of Alzon neo-N unloaded at Immingham last week is the first of five cargoes booked to the end of January to meet rising demand for stabilised urea in the UK, says the company.

The new product is manufactured by SKW Piesteritz, Germany’s largest producer of ammonia and urea and a specialist in stabilised urea products. Gleadell has worked closely with the German company over the last ten years. While sales of Alzon neo-N will largely be focused on Germany, Gleadell is one of a small number of selected partners in other countries chosen to distribute the product.

UK growers are seeking to cut rising losses to the environment and improve fertilisation efficiency, advises Gleadell fertiliser manager Calm Findlay, especially as increasing temperatures and moisture extremes during the growing season  lead to more nutrient wastage.

 The UK has set ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which will continue after it has left the EU, he adds.  It is committed to reducing five key pollutants including ammonia under the EU National Emissions Ceiling Directive.

“Detailed within this, the Air Pollution Action Plan, due to be published in 2019, will include an ammonia code, which will contain advice on how farmers can reduce emissions,” Mr Findlay notes. “Although voluntary, it will be important that high levels of take-up are seen to help the UK to meet its commitments, otherwise regulation may result.”

Germany has already legislated that its farmers must either inject urea-based fertilisers or use products with an inhibitor to reduce ammonia emissions from 2020, says Mr Findlay.

Alzon neo-N is a granular, 46% N urea fertiliser which contains two inhibitors to reduce both ammonium and nitrate losses.  In common with some other stabilised urea products on the market, it has a urease inhibitor to slow the conversion of urea to ammonium, so reducing the risk of volatilisation losses. In addition, the product contains a nitrification inhibitor to reduce the rate at which ammonium is converted to highly mobile nitrate, which can either leach in ground water or be lost to the atmosphere.

“Trials have shown have shown Alzon neo-N’s integrated inhibitor system can reduce nitrate leaching by up to 50%; nitrous oxide emissions by up to 75%; and prevent ammonia losses almost completely,” states Mr Findlay. “This combination ensures a higher proportion of nitrogen is taken up by the plant, which is good for the pocket as well as the environment.”

More information from Mr Findlay on 01427 421244 or calum.findlay@gleadell.co.uk