2013-06-25   facebook twitter rss

Study Highlights Advantages from Using Koch Advanced Nitrogen Fertiliser

A study by Brown & Co, a firm of agricultural business consultants and land agents, has highlighted significant financial benefits from using UK-manufactured Koch Advanced Nitrogen® fertiliser (KAN) containing 46% nitrogen (N) to replace conventional 34.5%N Ammonium Nitrate (AN).

The report’s authors, Guy Plenderleith and Peter Cox, calculated an increase in farm profitability ranging from £6157 for a large 600ha winter wheat operation to £983 for a 100ha farm.

Fertiliser Sowing

photo © farm-images.co.uk

“Our study shows that the use of Koch Advanced Nitrogen® fertiliser in place of conventional Ammonium Nitrate generates real and significant financial savings, operational benefits and agronomic advantages,” states Peter Cox of Brown & Co.

Based on commercially-quoted prices for KAN and AN from the same source, on the same day, the study factored in an equal volatilisation rate for both products across a range of typical farm and input situations. These ranged from minimal application of manufactured nitrogen where significant quantities of organic manure were applied to N Max application for milling wheat, complying with NVZ requirements. In analysing the economic benefits of KAN, Brown & Co also calculated the machinery and labour costs for applying KAN and AN in two splits on feed wheat to a total of 180kgN/ha on each of the farms.

The study points out that with the price of fertiliser an important factor influencing farmers’ choice of product, KAN is considerably more cost effective per kg of available nitrogen, even though it costs more per tonne due to its one-third-higher nitrogen concentration. Because the higher concentration (46%N) of KAN compared with 34.5%N AN reduces the tonnage and number of bags required, the number of lorry journeys required to transport product to the farm is also reduced. In the case of a 600ha farm applying 180kg/ha of nitrogen three less lorry loads are required.

Koch Advanced Nitrogen® fertiliser is produced with AGROTAIN® nitrogen stabiliser that is proven to protect against nitrogen loss and help to maintain more plant-available nitrogen throughout the growing season to optimise yields and quality. Research by DEFRA found that, on average, the yield of winter cereals which received KAN matched those of crops given AN as the nitrogen fertiliser.

The report also highlights that KAN provides many other practical benefits, including easier transportation, storage, handling and spreading, together with higher work rates, lower greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity and less packaging waste. A further significant benefit highlighted in the study is that KAN is not subject to many of the onerous regulatory controls which apply to AN.

The time savings resulting from the higher nitrogen concentration of KAN, the report concludes, may also provide the opportunity to improve the timeliness of other crop husbandry operations such as fungicide and plant growth regulator applications. Accumulated time savings of up to 8.5 hours can be generated through the use of KAN, equating to approximately one working day. Because it is possible for some crops to pass the intended growth stage for chemical application in a matter of days this saving could have a significant impact on farms which operate in a tight time-window.

“The analysis and answers put forth by Brown & Co highlights a clear path to financial efficiency with nitrogen fertiliser and we were pleased to sponsor this research project,” states Mr. Simon Borthwick, Business Leader with Bunn Fertiliser. “Since Koch Advanced Nitrogen® fertiliser was introduced in 2011 we have seen a rapid increase in its popularity, for the reasons highlighted in this study.”

Koch Advanced Nitrogen® fertiliser is also available with sulphur in the form of Koch Advanced Nitrogen® fertiliser 33N 30 SO3 and Koch Advanced Nitrogen® fertiliser 38N 19 SO3 which meet the increasing need for sulphate-containing nitrogen fertilisers to be applied on UK farms.


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