Scotts R&D department has, over the past two years, pushed slow release fertilizer performance to a new level of precision with the development of the Sierraform Contec technology. The ultimate target, of course, is to reduce the number of fertilizer applications required by achieving a complete match between the nutrient needs of the grass and the release pattern of the fertilizer over time - maximising sward vigour, minimising nutrient wastage and reducing labour input.
Sierraform with Contec achieves this through a combination of mechanisms:
Firstly, the product is designed for accurate, uniform distribution of nutrients across the sward. The Contec Sierraform granule has a narrow particle distribution of 0.7 to 1.4 mm and the products are homogenous - i.e. every single nutrient is contained in the same ratio within each granule. This ensures that applications are even and nutrient availability is uniform across the area.
Next, the products are formulated specifically for UK and Irish conditions. Contec Sierraform is manufactured in the UK and contains nutrient levels, ratios and release patterns appropriate to our climate.
Thirdly, Contec Sierraform granules are designed to break down very quickly after application, eliminating the risk of mower pick up and speeding the availability of the nutrients.
The key to the Contec precision, however, is the unique make up of the nutrient sources. No less than five different forms of nitrogen are combined in specific ratios within a granule to create exactly the right release pattern. The release spectrum ranges from rapidly available N in the form of ammonium sulphate to the long-term N reserves held as Mono ammonium diurea.
Each source reaches its nitrogen release peak at a different time after application, with the rate of release governed by temperature. By combining the right amounts of each in a granule, Contec Sierraform can be relied upon to release exactly the right amount of N for a sustained and predictable period - keeping the sward healthy, resilient, vigorous and green with minimal labour and management input.