Sheryl Haitana

Ballance Agri-Nutrients’ new superphosphate product is expected to displace traditional ‘Super’ fertiliser used by most farmers.

SurePhos™ is expected to reduce phosphate losses by up to 75%, making a significant positive impact on the quality of waterways and, due to low water solubility, keeps nutrients in the soil system where they are available to plants.

Jamie Blennerhassett.

SurePhos is a stabilised, gradual release and low water-soluble phosphate. It is uniquely formulated to spread evenly and more accurately ensuring more stays on the land and less is lost, minimising risk to waterways.

It contains 7.8% phosphorus, a maximum of 25% of which is water-soluble, and 9.5% sulphur.

The product has been in development for 10 years and was produced with joint investment from the Primary Growth Partnership Programme and Ballance.

While environmental pressures over the last decade have primarily focused on nitrogen use, phosphate has a parallel and compounding impact on fresh water – so reducing phosphate losses is a significant advantage and a win for farmers, says Ballance innovation leader Dr Jamie Blennerhassett.

“We are proud to have made the science work to get this product over the line. In our industry, it’s the equivalent of splitting the atom,” he says.

“While the principles behind the product are well understood, SurePhos is ground-breaking as it is a new technology that combines all the most desired characteristics of a phosphate fertiliser, including high agronomic worth, low environmental risk, high-quality granulation and a competitive cost”.

New fertiliser products that have environmental and productivity benefits are needed now more than ever.

Farmers are under increasing pressure to manage their environmental footprint and farming within limits is a reality with regulatory limits on phosphate already in place in most regions, Ballance Agri-Nutrients chief executive Mark Wynne says.

“We are pleased to be able to bring this innovation to market at a time when farmers really need it, and they want to stay productive and sustainable. As well as advice, they need tools and products to lift their environmental performance.”

The science work to develop SurePhos and Sustain have both been ground-breaking products that provide customers with choices to meet their needs, he says.

Ballance nutrient specialists and the farm sustainability services teamwork with farmers to provide information about farm systems and nutrients and use decision-making support tools such as MitAgator and My Pasture Planner, hosted in MyBallance, to make the best fertiliser decisions.

“The combination of advice, planning tools and products like SurePhos supports our farmers and growers to stay productive and sustainable, while managing their environmental footprint.

“We are rolling SurePhos out regionally to ensure we can meet demand. Sales are ahead of budget, but in line with contingency.”