New partnership aims for safer fertilizer technology
J. R. Simplot Company has formed a new partnership with Honeywell that will introduce a new fertilizer technology to the North American market. In this joint effort, Simplot will produce and market the product, while Honeywell will provide the technology and production facility.
“Simplot’s footprint in the Western United States, and our commitment to leadership in agriculture and plant nutrition, position us well to develop partnerships such as this one with Honeywell,” said John Malinowski, AgriBusiness VP of business development. “Our respective companies bring very different competencies to the table; a combination that sets the basis for a strong partnership and innovative business platform.”
Historically, ammonium nitrate was a widely used source of dry nitrogen for both agriculture and turf applications. The key downside with such fertilizer is its potential to be used in the development of explosive devices. After the Oklahoma City bombing and other incidents, all but one fertilizer manufacturer in North America opted to cease production of this product, including Simplot.
Customers have used various products as substitutes for ammonium nitrate, but most do not exhibit the same agronomic benefits.
Honeywell’s patented technology creates a new molecule by fusing together ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate; resulting in an entirely new combination of readily available nitrogen and sulfate in the same granule.
“Initial field tests have shown excellent results,” said Malinowski. “Most importantly, this new molecule does not exhibit the detonable drawbacks of ammonium nitrate.”
The new technology has been designated by the US Department of Homeland Security as a Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology under the SAFETY Act (Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies).
Simplot’s Lathrop, California facility provides an excellent location for production of this new technology. Lathrop has good access to the raw materials required and sits in the heart of one of the world’s premiere agriculture production regions.
Production is slated to begin in 2013, with much anticipation from Simplot customers in both the agriculture and professional business sectors.