Thousands of farmers making the switch to SustaiN

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We’ve run some numbers and about half of all of our urea sales in recent months have been SustaiN,” explains General Manager Sales Campbell Parker.

February 22, 2016

Thousands of farmers making the switch to SustaiN

Thousands of New Zealand farmers are swapping out their standard urea for urea treated with AGROTAIN® nitrogen stabiliser in a bid to ease the pressure on the environment and their pockets.

Ballance Agri-Nutrients credits 20 years of international research and more than 1000 field trials, combined with proven performance here in New Zealand for their SustaiN product’s success.

“We’ve run some numbers and about half of all of our urea sales in recent months have been SustaiN,” explains General Manager Sales Campbell Parker.

“Word is finally getting out there that this product can result in thousands of dollars more returns from growing more grass, while also having some really positive environmental outcomes.”

While farmers try to avoid ammonia losses from standard urea by applying it when wet weather is forecast, research by Landcare Research has shown a good 5 to 10 mm of rain is needed within eight hours of application to reduce ammonia loss – a finding consistent with research in New Zealand in the 1980s.

Science Manager Aaron Stafford, says nitrogen loss through volatilisation is well-known, but the economic cost is not.

“Around 500,000 tonnes of urea is sold in New Zealand each year and if you use the rule of thumb that 10 percent of available nitrogen will be lost from volatilisation, that’s the equivalent of 23,000 tonnes of nitrogen which is not doing its job in the soil and generating a return for farmers.  Urea fertiliser contains 46 percent nitrogen, so at an average of $600 a tonne for urea, this means $30 million of nitrogen is lost on average each year as ammonia.”

For an individual farmer these savings can equate to thousands of dollars each year.  Newly available from Ballance is www.sustaingain.co.nz - an interactive site designed for farmers who want to calculate the financial gains of using the product which is proven to reduce the volatilisation which leads to nitrogen losses.

Farmers wanting to check if applying SustaiN provides a net benefit over urea can use the calculator but also hear from dairy farmers across the country sharing their experiences using SustaiN.


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