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European & Middle East Ag sectors show interest in environmental credentials of Agrisilica®

Agripower’s Head Agronomist Bruce Cairns reflects on the recent Argus Europe Fertilizer Conference – held in Lisbon, Portugal – where Managing Director Peter Prentice addressed a room of over 700 delegates on Agrisilica®, and the Science of Silicon. Though most delegates hailed from Europe and the Middle East, the topics raised and the benefits of Agrisilica® resonated with the global audience.


“It was a rare opportunity for industry to gather and share learnings about the truly global challenges we’re all facing – especially in relation to environmental stewardship and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while not compromising on farmer yields.” said Mr Cairns.


“Peter’s session was extremely timely …empowering the fertilizer industry to lower their carbon footprint while improving the resilience of crops to extreme weather events such as drought is the perfect low hanging fruit – its two birds with one stone.”


Peter Prentice participated in the panel discussion ‘Droughts, heatwaves and unpredictable weather: How is Europe gearing up to tackle emissions?’ In his discussion, Mr Prentice outlined the key benefits of Agrisilica® and why major fertilizer producers need to look at blending options to meet current and future industry challenges.


“With over 1,000 trials globally, the science around the effectiveness of Agrisilica® and the need for Plant Available Silicon to improve crop yields and quality is conclusive. Where we are really seeing interest however is in the benefits of blending Agrisilica® with other fertilizers – particularly nitrogen.” said Mr Prentice.


Nitrogen, while a critical part of modern fertilizers, has a large carbon footprint. By comparison, Agrisilica® has an extremely low carbon footprint. By blending a nitrogen fertilizer such as Urea with Agrisilica® you can significantly reduce the blend’s overall carbon footprint.


On top of this, Agrisilica® is scientifically proven to improve nitrogen uptake and nitrogen use efficiency. This has the extra benefit of reducing the amount of Nitrous Oxide (N2O) released as a by-product of farming. As Nitrous Oxide is up to 265 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2), this is a significant reducing in greenhouse gases.


“The results we have seen from a number of blends have all been consistent. What we now know is if you blend your nitrogen fertilizer with 20% Agrisilica® you significantly improve the efficacy of the remaining 80% of the nitrogen blend – increasing the farmers yields.


By using an Agrisilica® NPK blend, farmers start with a lower carbon footprint – however with the yields then increased the reduction in their carbon footprint per tonne of food or fibre produced is significant.


This has some powerful implications for how global agriculture could look to reduce its overall environmental footprint in the coming years.”


This would prove topical for conference delegates and speakers with discussions focused around the sector’s carbon footprint, and the collegial sharing of lessons learned to this end. The challenges facing global agriculture have arguably never been greater. With much of the world pushing towards decarbonisation by 2050, there is increasing pressure for agriculture to play its part. At the same time, by 2050 it is projected that global agriculture may need to provide food for up to 10 billion people.


With this background, any solution than can contribute towards both decarbonisation and food security is of keen interest – and a large reason behind the speed at which the science behind Plant Available Silicon is being embraced by the sector. From farmer through to producer, the message is getting out.