The first cargo of the world's most advanced stabilised nitrogen fertiliser into the UK, has been uploaded in Lincolnshire.

The delivery of a 3200t shipment of Alzon neo-N was manufactured by SKW Piesteritz – Germany’s largest producer of ammonia and urea and a specialist manufacturer of stabilised urea products – and imported by Gleadell Agriculture, which is seeing a growing demand for the fertiliser to cut rising losses to the environment and improve fertilisation efficiency.

“Alzon neo-N, a granular 46% N urea fertiliser, is the world’s first integrated all-weather fertiliser. It takes stabilisation technology to a new level, containing two inhibitors to reduce both ammonium and nitrate losses,” said Gleadell fertiliser manager Calum Findlay.

"These losses are an increasing problem, driven by increasing temperatures and moisture extremes during the growing season.

He added that while the UK continues to be a favourable location in terms of climate, temperatures are getting higher, with drought and extreme rainfall increasing in the growing season in particular.

Hence, losses in the form of ammonia, nitrate and nitrous oxide, plus the availability of fertilising nitrogen, are becoming an ever greater problem in relation to nitrogen efficiency and adherence to legal regulations.

The new fertiliser containing two stabilisers, will go some way to reducing the amount of losses, said Mr Findlay.

“Trials have shown have shown Alzon neo-N’s integrated inhibitor system can reduce nitrate leaching by up to 50% and nitrous oxide emissions by up to 75%, and prevent ammonia losses almost completely.”

As with some other existing stabilised urea products, Alzon neo-N contains a urease inhibitor, which slows down the conversion of urea to ammonium reducing the risk of losses by volatilisation.

It also contains a nitrification inhibitor that reduces the rate at which ammonium is converted to highly mobile nitrate, which is prone to leaching or being lost to the atmosphere.

The cargo, unloaded last weekend, was the first of five booked to the end of January to meet rising demand for stabilised urea in the UK. Two of the five cargoes are due to be delivered to Berwick at the end of this month.

Commenting on the price of this new fertiliser, Mr Findlay said: " It has a very attractive cost per unit, being well below that of ammonium nitrate, with a £15-£20 premium over straight urea, although prices will change due to exchange rates."