ICL launches eqo.s in EU: a biodegradable CRF technology
eqo.s technology: the first-of-its-kind fully biodegradable coating
ICL Growing Solutions introduces a revolutionary biodegradable coating technology for its controlled release fertilizers (CRF) in the European turf market: eqo.s® technology. The new coating for nitrogen is compliant with future (EU) fertilizer regulations and will help turf managers to increase the nutrient use efficiency, and lower their carbon footprint while maintaining high quality turf areas.
With its patented eqo.s release technology, ICL takes the lead in providing a fully biodegradable coating with faster breakdown for urea. The innovation will be introduced in ICL’s CRF portfolio for the turf segment, in the EU market starting with ICL’s premium range: Sierrablen and Sierrablen Plus.
In order to meet the expected market demand, ICL has invested $20 million in a new production line for eqo.s release technology at its Heerlen facility in the Netherlands.
CRFs with eqo.s technology ensure optimal turf performance. The innovation is thoroughly tested in the field and proves to be as reliable as the current coatings, thus maintaining the high quality that you can expect from ICL products. Eqo.s release technology shows consistent and predictable nutrient release patterns while also limiting environmental impact by reducing nutrient losses and by increasing the nutrient use efficiency (NUE). After all nutrients are released the coating degrades faster than ever before.
What turf professionals need to know
CRF products with eqo.s technology have the same advantages for turf professionals as current coating technologies as current coating technologies as they improve the NUE and nutrient uptake by the plant.
- Field trials with eqo.s prove similar, significant reduction in nitrogen leaching, volatilisation and denitrification;
- Eqo.s shows improved growth and quality with reduced fertilizer inputs, as fewer applications per growth cycle are usually sufficient;
- Eqo.s shows the same consistent, reliable nutrient release for optimal growth.
“Our CRF products are of the highest possible quality, and the technology we introduce today, eqo.s, works similar as the previous coating technologies, but with some key improvements”, confirms Dr Andy Owen, ICL lnternational Technical Manager Turf & Landscape. “The application rates and high quality results will remain, and even the look of the product is similar. It is good news for turf managers as their CRF products will give the same high performance as before. What makes it revolutionary is that the fully biodegradable eqo.s coating breaks down quicker and is completely compliant with future fertilizer regulations.”
Spreading the eqo.s revolution
Though eqo.s technology will first be introduced into ICL’s premium CRF ranges of Sierrablen and Sierrablen Plus in 2023, ICL is confident that by, mid-2026, when the new biodegradability requirements will take effect on the EU market, the company is able to provide fast biodegradable coatings for all its CRFs in turf.
Benefits of CRFs for turf managers and greenkeepers
- Controlled release fertilizers are a precision nutrition technology that release nutrients over a longer period of time through an innovative coating. The nutrient release pattern closely matches the needs of turfgrass throughout its growth cycle, resulting in strong healthy turf that is more resilient to wear and diseases.
- Less is more: the use of CRFs mean a significant reduction of fertilizer input as it will require fewer applications per season compared to other forms of nutrition.
- CRFs have environmental benefits in comparison to conventional fertilizers, as their use allows greenkeepers and turf managers to create high quality turf with a significant reduction in nitrogen losses to atmosphere, soil and groundwater.
- As such, CRFs are part of the sustainable solution in helping meet future fertilizer targets conform the highest level of (EU) legislation.
* This product is not yet for sale in North America. Ask your local expert for more information.