Bio-Based Phosphate Makes Sustainable Attainable

The team at Anuvia has pioneered a technology to take waste and upcycle it into fertilizer, and now they are passing the baton to Mosaic, which is commercializing one of its formulations as the newly launched Susterra. 

Susterra will be Mosaic’s first bio-based phosphate fertilizer (14-24-0-10S + up to 15% organic matter). 

“This product makes sustainable attainable,” says Tom Fry, director of performance products at The Mosaic Company. “This is an opportunity to incorporate a new technology that is plug and play with the other phosphate fertilizers farmers have used in the past. There isn’t complexity associated with using Susterra.”

Susterra provides a unique solution in a product that removes waste from landfills, is easy to handle and store, and has unique benefits to the soil and crops. 

“What Anuvia has perfected is a proprietary technology that allows us to use otherwise discarded raw materials to capture the nutrients and create this high-quality granule that we can blend with other fertilizer just like any other phosphate source,” he says. 

The Susterra product handles, stores, blends and spreads just like other commercial fertilizer products. 

“The bulk density is nearly identical to other phosphate products we sell. There’s no need to re-calibrate blending equipment or spreading equipment differently,” Fry says.

With its uniformity and based on its composition, Fry says it’s a “no-brainer” to pair with a MicroEssentials application. 

“Working with Susterra and blends of MicroEssentials means you are providing both fast and slow re-lease. The two leading phosphate technologies alongside each work synergistically,” he says.
The Susterra granule is designed to have its organic matter boost the soil microbiome while the other nutrients are kept in the root zone for optimum uptake. 

“The organic matter is changed as such it’s completely sterile and denatured. It’s broken into the amino acids so it has direct impact on microorganisms in the soil,” he explains.

As retailers and farmers are looking for new conservation practices—beyond cover crops, grass waterways, and no-till, Susterra fits that bill. Fry points to Mosaic research showing 86% of farmers are actively looking for more practices to improve their soil health.

“And the next exciting arena will be the soil microbiome,” he says. “There has been tremendous inter-est in this product and how it fits into a farmers’ fields. We expect the ramp up of this product to be faster than any other introduction we’ve done before. Susterra will be a strong foundational product in our portfolio focusing on soil replenishment, nutrient replenishment and sustainability.”

The product will begin distribution this fall to be staged for its first application season this coming spring. Fry and his team are anticipating wide geographic demand for the product across the U.S. and the row crop market. 

“We are going to market so that it’s a very similar price or small premium compared to a DAP, or MAP plus ammonium sulfate,” Fry says. “And with higher yields and great nutrient efficiency, this product is an excellent value to the grower. If we are doing our job right, using this product doesn’t come as a cost to the grower, but rather it brings higher profitability.” 

Mosaic has exclusive U.S. marketing rights for the Susterra formulation. Anuvia will continue to market its SymTRX formulation (16-0-1-20S) and other products. 

Anuvia’s facility is a former Mosaic site, where the companies have agreed to a 10-year lease.