Tuesday, August 11th, 2015 - NewsMaker
Research into advanced fertilisers that are more efficient and minimise environmental impacts has been given a boost with a new five-year, $8.5 million partnership agreement between the University of Adelaide and US-based fertiliser producer The Mosaic Company.

Based at the University’s Waite campus, the Fertiliser Technology Research Centre was established in 2007 as a joint venture between the University and The Mosaic Company, the world’s largest combined producer of phosphate and potash, to develop and evaluate more efficient fertiliser products.

“Over the past eight years with Mosaic’s support, we’ve been able to significantly expand our research and develop new techniques for fertiliser formulation and evaluation,†says Professor Mike McLaughlin, Director of the Fertiliser Technology Research Centre and Professorial Research Fellow with the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine.

“Research over the next five years will be focussed around developing fertilisers using nanotechnology and other novel materials and formulations for enhanced efficiency and minimised environmental impacts.

“We will also be working towards reducing the cost of manufacturing multi-nutrient fertilisers. Farmers and fertiliser users around the world will be the beneficiaries.â€

Outcomes from the Fertiliser Technology Research Centre to date have included:

· a model to predict release rates of nutrients, in particular sulphur, from complex multi-nutrient fertilisers
· manufacturing methods to optimise micronutrient fertiliser efficiency
· rapid tests to evaluate fertiliser effectiveness
· new dual-release micronutrient fertilisers
· a better understanding of the impact of new raw materials on fertiliser quality.

“The Centre’s work has been critical to Mosaic’s new product development,†says Dr Matt Clover, Manager, Research and Alliance with The Mosaic Company.

"Continuing our partnership will lead to a better understanding of how nutrients behave in the soil, and how enhanced efficiency fertilisers can increase yields while protecting nutrient losses to the environment.â€

Media Contact:

Professor Mike McLaughlin
Director, Fertiliser Technology Research Centre
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

The University of Adelaide
Phone: +61 8 8313 8433
Mobile: +61 409 693 906
[email protected]

Robyn Mills
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Phone: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 (0)410 689 084
[email protected]

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