A new microgranule compound fertiliser designed for combine drilling is about to be launched on the UK market.

Super Start will be marketed by sulphur specialist JS Tech. It is already used across 600,000 hectares in European countries such as France, Germany and Holland, and in Latin America. The product is manufactured in Serbia by Elexir Zorka which makes some 15,000 tonnes of it each year.

The compound includes phosphorous (35%) and nitrogen (10%) plus sulphur (5%), zinc (2%) and magnesium (2%), and is placed next to the seed as it is drilled to encourage root development and boost establishment. The company claims the microgranule formulation has around 300 times the surface area of conventional fertilisers to ensure a faster release and quick availability following autumn or spring sowing.

JS Tech managing director Simon Stell expects initial interest to come from growers of maize, potatoes and oilseed rape, although he says spring cereals, vegetables and sugar beet would also benefit. However, the product won’t suit winter cereals due to the risk of N leaching.

“Super Start is very popular with maize growers where the wide rows make taking the fertiliser to the seed especially effective,” notes Mr Stell. “Whatever the crop, applying fertiliser as you drill is highly efficient. Not only is it placed right there where it is needed, but also saves the cost, labour and logistics of a separate spreading operation. With weather conditions seemingly more unpredictable, getting crops established quickly and strongly has never been more important.”

JS Tech, based at Tonbridge in Kent, was established over 30 years ago to distribute sulphur products internationally for a number of industrial uses including plant and animal nutrition. More recently, the company has added plant biostimulants and starter fertilisers to its portfolio.

Super Start will be distributed through several independent fertiliser suppliers in the UK. More details via the www.jstech.co.uk website.