Spotlight on Science – Fertiliser change is on the way

Henry Bechelet B Sc (Hons), MBPR, RIPTAin Science

The EU Fertilising Products Regulations (2019/1009) are driving significant changes in the supply of fertiliser, biostimulant and soil conditioner markets across the EU.

What are the main differences between these new regulations compared to the previous ones?

These new regulations are more far-reaching than the previous fertiliser regulations because they now also cover the marketing of organic fertilisers, organo-minerals, growing media, soil conditioners and biostimulants rather than just mineral fertilisers.

What do you think the main aims of these regulations will be?

The aim of the regulations is to increase the number of fertilising products available in the EU, especially from sustainable sources or using organic alternatives, which were not covered in the previous regulations. It's good news for end users because the regulations are demanding higher standards from suppliers.

How will compliance be tracked?

All products that come under the remit of this legislation must comply with environmental and safety requirements to protect the environment and maintain soil quality. There will be a lot of testing and checking carried out by independent notified bodies to ensure compliance.

What changes should people expect?

This is a significant development for our sector and ICL have invested a huge amount of resource to ensure that our products in all categories are fully compliant with the new regulations. We have needed to reassess all of our individual products and their labels and make changes where required to ensure full compliance. Significant investment in independent trial work has been needed to provide the data to support the claims we are able to make with our biostimulants.

What are the biggest changes/developments coming with the regulation changes?

The most far-reaching development arising from the new regulations is in the area of controlled release (coated) fertilisers and their biodegradability. The new regulations will stipulate biodegradability parameters that will make the existing coatings that are currently used non-compliant when these regulations come into force in 2026.

How is ICL preparing for the changes ahead?

ICL are introducing a revolutionary biodegradable coating technology for its controlled release fertilisers (CRF) in the turf market: eqo.s® technology. The new coating for nitrogen is compliant with the EU Fertilising Products Regulation (2019/1009) and will help turf managers to improve their nutrient use efficiency and will provide a solution for future sustainable turf management programmes.

What makes ICL's coatings different?

With its patented eqo.s® release technology, ICL takes the lead in providing a fully biodegradable coating that breaks down faster than existing coating technologies on the market. This innovation will be introduced in ICL's CRF portfolio for the turf segment, starting with ICL's premium range: Sierrablen and Sierrablen Plus.

For more information visit the ICL website