Sollio Agriculture, the agribusiness division of 100-year-old Sollio Cooperative Group, announces its new CRF AgriTech plant in St. Thomas has received a $154,000 grant to accelerate production as part of the Bioenterprise Fertilizer Accelerating Solutions & Technology Challenge.

Provided by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) the grant will help accelerate production and industry adoption of the advanced controlled-release fertilizers (CRF) made at the plant, based on their proven positive environmental impact.

Sollio Agriculture and its business partners will use the grant to train retailers and growers, research coatings for various nitrogen, phosphate, potash, and other fertilizers, and ensure product quality control, with production set to begin in May.

Bioenterprise selected winning Ontario-based alternative fertilizer projects and products based on their potential for helping address the risks in the fertilizer supply chain and driving economic and environmental benefits back to the Ontario ecosystem.

In 2021, Sollio Agriculture partnered with Pursell, a leading fertilizer-coating technology company based in Sylacauga, Alabama, on the $20 million CAD joint venture to build and operate a dedicated fertilizer-coating plant in Southwestern Ontario. The project, which broke ground in fall 2021, will see the plant apply Pursell’s proprietary materials and processing techniques to the production of advanced CRFs, providing an environmentally beneficial fertilizer supply to the region’s agriculture industry.

When it begins operation, the plant’s patented technology will enable the addition of micronutrients and temperature-sensitive additives to fertilizers, such as biologicals, growth enhancers and soil health promoters. These controlled-release coatings improve the uptake of nutrients by plants, with the potential to significantly improve yield and quality while lowering greenhouse gas emissions from volatilization and reducing the risk of nutrient leaching and runoff.

In addition to providing sustainable fertilizer products to the local agriculture industry, the CRF AgriTech plant will also generate economic benefit for the St. Thomas region with local jobs for facility staff, trucking companies and suppliers.