Can Fertilizer Be Environmentally Friendly?

Feed the world. Starve the landfill. 

Sounds like a wild premise, right? But it’s exactly what we’ve been working hard to do at AnuviaTM Plant Nutrients. Our proprietary technology reclaims organic materials in the final step of their lifecycle, repurposing them and removing them from the waste stream. The result is products that improve soil health, enhance delivery of nutrition, and optimize plant growth.

Populations around the world are booming, there’s no denying it. Along with that comes the inevitable growing demand for food, and the inputs that support our food. Luckily, the demand for naturally derived products is also on the rise. As a society, moving away from the linear, single-use, disposable mentality of the past will only help us. We’re turning waste into organic matter, something considered “trash,” into something incredibly useful, creating the missing link for a circular economy in fertilizer. In fact, for every one ton of waste organic material that we use, we create approximately one ton of final product, keeping it out of landfills. 

The Anuvia process makes use of a wide variety of natural resources to create our fertilizer products, including food waste, animal manure, industrial plant organic waste and municipal water treatment plant organics. The exciting part is that instead of going to landfills, these “waste” products are used to return nutrients and organic matter back to the soil. By feeding crops with natural waste products, we’ve created a full-circle strategy for fertilization that isn’t just smart business, but great for the planet. 

Environmental benefits of a fertilizer product don’t end at production. Once delivered to a customer, the fertilizer undoubtedly ends up in the soil. Studies conducted on Anuvia’s flagship fertilizer for agriculture, SymTRX™, confirmed that 35% of the nitrogen within is slow release, ensuring that crops are able to use it over the course of their life, reducing waste. It also has a proven reduction in risk of nitrate loss and a reduction in nitrogen volatility. On top of all that, the 16% organic material each granule contains helps to increase soil microbial activity, leading to improved soil health. A boost to soil health is an environmental benefit that’s not only great for growers over the long term, but good for the environment as well.  

Speaking of the environment, and the planet as a whole, Anuvia’s plant nutrient technology reduces greenhouse gases on a production acre by up to 32% when compared to the use of conventional fertilizers. To put that in simpler terms, the study found that for every million acres that used Anuvia fertilizers, the reduction in greenhouse gases would be equal to removing 20,000 to 30,000 cars from the roads. With the USDA Farm Services Agency reporting over 236 million acres as crop acreage last year, it’s pretty eye opening. Obviously not every acre of every crop would be a perfect fit for an Anuvia product, but if they were, it would be like removing over 7 million vehicles from the road—and that’s only counting acres in the United States. Plus, recent studies indicate that SymTRX can reduce nitrogen leaching by up to 50.2% compared to urea, while offering a 4 to 13 times lower carbon footprint compared to inorganic fertilizers 

So, back to starving the landfill while feeding the planet — advancements in fertilizer technology like SymTRX mean that growers are able to improve their yields by enhancing the delivery of nutrition and optimizing growth, while boosting soil and root zone health. And, they’re able to do it with a product that’s actually benefiting the environment and using waste materials that would normally end up in landfills. It’s pretty amazing really, and something we look forward to seeing more products do in the future. 

Want to learn more about the impacts of soil health, and what SymTRX can do to influence yours? Read our recent piece on Soil Health – The Path to Enriching Soils & Profits.

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