After decades, finally, innovative technology has arrived in the fertilizer industry. Unlike many other industries that have seen significant innovation, the fertilizer industry has seen little to none––until now.
In 2016, Anuvia Plant Nutrients first began producing its unique biobased fertilizer. Unlike any other product on the market, the product, SymTRX®, provides nutrients efficiently in plant available forms, returns organic matter to the soil and provides farmers with a 5:1 return on investment, with a smaller environmental footprint. Today it has helped farmers sustainably farm over two million acres.
This innovation is based on two critical needs. “Effective nutrient management requires solutions that provide an economic benefit to the farmer,” says Hugh MacGillivray, Anuvia Plant Nutrients Chief Commercial Officer. “But equally as important, is that those solutions mitigate farming’s impact on the environment.”
If farmers can accomplish both–– improve their ROI while adopting practices that actually lessen the environmental impact of agriculture, then there are no real barriers to adoption. MacGillivray agrees. “SymTRX is easy to use. Farmers do not have to change or modify equipment. It’s plug and play.”
However, he points out that using a biobased product like SymTRX should be one of several crop strategies. Farmers should also consider other practices that minimize tillage and keep plant residues in the soil. The effect of these practices is cumulative and positively impact ROI.“
In general, organic matter levels have fallen from 5- to 6-per cent of the soil to less than 3% per cent on most cropland soils.
How SymTRX Works
SymTRX has been shown in field trials to help enrich soil health and increase yield. A unique bonding process – the delivery system known as Organic MaTRX – gives SymTRX a dual-release characteristic allowing nutrients to be immediately available and useable. It works by binding amino acids from organic materials with inorganic nutrients that plants need for growth. Plants can more eﬃciently use key nutrients like ammonium N, sulfate sulfur and orthophosphate.
In fact, SymTRX releases up to 65% of its nitrogen in the first two weeks of application as ammonium nitrogen which is readily available to the plant. The rest of the nitrogen becomes available as SymTRX slowly breaks down to deliver nutrients during the critical stages of plant growth.
Often nutrients from conventional fertilizer, including nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and sulfur, are not used efficiently by growing plants. Many nutrients are often lost through volatilization or leaching. This loss of essential nutrients puts the brakes on healthy plant growth and productivity and a drain on the farmer’s investment in his fertilizer. The environment suffers also as nutrients not used by the growing crop run-off into lakes, streams and rivers.
Studies conducted on SymTRX confirm proven risk reduction for nitrate loss and nitrogen volatility. (Show nitrogen loss graph)
To make SymTRX, the company uses a wide variety of organic resources including food waste, animal manure and other organic materials. These materials are reclaimed in the final step of their life cycles. They are repurposed and removed from the waste stream and converted into a high-efficiency slow-release fertilizer.
“The exciting part is that instead of going to landfills, these organic materials are used to return nutrients and organic matter back to the soil. By feeding crops this way, we created a circular environment that isn’t just smart business, but great for the planet.” MacGillivray says.
Dividends From The Soil
One practical approach to help farmers meet soil productivity and environmental goals is the practice of using sustainable bio-based fertilization strategies. Considered a key contributor to soil health, plant nutrition, and crop yield, innovative fertilizer technology is the path to greater efficiency, productivity and sustainability.
In Statesville, NC, Aubrey Overcash, Southern States agronomy manager, has seen first-hand how the new fertilizer technology works for his customers. “Our farmers are seeing the benefits of keeping organic matter and carbon in the soil with less nutrient runoff when they use SymTRX,” Overcash says.
“Farmers’ livelihood depends on their soil health. Long-term, they want to improve the soil and make it better than when they first started farming. It’s a big thing. It’s not just a matter of profitability, it’s also a matter of taking pride in what you do.”
“All the great agricultural systems which have survived have made it their business never to deplete the earth of its fertility without at the same time beginning the process of restoration.” – Albert Howard, The Soil and Health: A Study of Organic Agriculture
The Bottom Line
While improving soil health and reducing environmental impact are important for a successful fertilizer strategy, getting the most return from dollars invested in plant nutrients is top priority.
MacGillivray points to SymTRX’s flexibility as an economic advantage. SymTRX products can be used alone or blended. The product itself is homogenous, which allows uniform, consistent delivery and even feeding.
Corn research trials conducted in the US Southeast from 2018 to 2020 showed an average 10 bushel per acre increase in yield, compared with AMS or urea, representing a 6x return on investment. In 75% of trials, positive net income was reported. SymTRX has also been successfully used with sugar beets, sugarcane, soybeans, peanuts, pasture grass, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, squash, onions, blueberries, cabbage and citrus with similar economic performance results across a wide variety of crops.
SymTRX’s yield benefit has been proven through multiple university and third-party studies and across geographies. SymTRX trials, during the last four years on more than 2 million acres, show a 3 to 5x return on investment reflecting an average yield increase of 5.1% across major crops like corn, rice, wheat, canola and cotton, when used in a blend, replacing conventional nitrogen and sulfur sources.
Great on Pasture
SymTRX works great on pasture, too. Jeff Lewis, beef cattleman, Fairfield, KY relies on his pasture for grazing his cattle and 100 per cent wet baleage to get his cattle through the year. “Over the years when we fed corn silage, we would just take what we would get because the corn silage would kind of cover up a lot of mistakes with hay,” explains Lewis.
“The first year that we started using SymTRX, got three cuttings, but the third cutting was light. Now the third year, this year, we have been able to get all our hay needs met with two cuttings and we’re able to pasture the third cutting. My pastures have already been grazed and bounced back and here we are in the middle of October.
“The hay quality is absolutely outstanding. It’s just unreal,” Lewis says.