With the world’s population expected to hit more than 10 billion by 2050 (a growth of 35%), we need efficient farming to feed the world. But in order to continue to farm and meet this demand without significant environmental risk, we must reduce farming’s demands on the Earth.
Our technology is changing how agriculture can nourish its crops. While it can take natural processes years to convert organic materials and manure to usable nutrients, our patented technology achieves this in just minutes.
Thallo® also achieves a staged-release effect without added coatings or polymers, which is the way most slow-release technology in fertiliser currently works. The nature of our organic manufacturing process creates staged-release results naturally.
The finished product itself is a dry product of consistent, hard granules for easy application, reduced volatilisation and leaching and requires no specialised equipment to apply to agriculture or amenity land.
Thallo® contains up to 30% soluble organic matter, which quickly returns essential carbon to the soil where it can add value and enhance the environment. It acts as a primary food source for the microbes that reside in the soil. A loss of soil bacterial diversity is linked to an absence of organic food matter delivered as organic carbon compounds, such as those in Thallo®. The application of fertilisers incorporated with plant residues improves nutrient availability in soils, which shifts the microbial community structure and favours plant growth.
When healthy and in adequate abundance, soil has about 650 million bacteria in every gramme, which fulfil some very important tasks:
It feeds the plants by not only delivering slowly released nutrients; it also feeds the soil. Microbes working in concert with fungi and bacteria, which need carbon compounds to survive, to create healthier and more sustainable soils.
Healthier soils have better soil water holding capacity and nutrient retention; the natural elicitors (molecules that stimulate any of a number of defence responses in plants) in Thallo® also offer plant immune systems core components for biotic resistance and its tight granular structure reduces the loss of key agents to the atmosphere.
In nature, organic matter found in bone and livestock manure take many months, if not years, to decompose and be available to plants. During this time the material is vulnerable to nutrient loss.
EDL’s patented process means that equivalent and improved decomposition takes place in minutes, creating a clean, efficient way to return biosecure concentrated organic matter back to the soil.
Soil health and quality are improved with subsequent applications and improvements in crop viability, quantity and quality. The elements of which are recaptured and recycled on the next organic conversion.
“A good farmer leaves the land better than he found it” – EDL has designed its fertiliser to make that intent easier to achieve!
UK agriculture relies heavily on the import of rock phosphate from Morocco and Russia. There are major question marks over whether in the long-term it is sustainable for the UK to import such a large amount of the phosphorus that it needs and which is contaminated with Cadmium (Cd), a heavy metal linked to disease generation. EDL recaptures the phosphate previously lost, and research has confirmed that cadmium levels are almost immaterial, unlike rock phosphate, that is required by evolving EU laws to be far lower.
Without phosphate, we cannot produce food. As an essential nutrient in fertilisers, phosphate ensures the world’s agricultural soils are fertile, crop yields are high, farmer livelihoods are supported and ultimately that the global population can be fed. Yet it is uncertain whether the world’s main source of phosphate will be available and accessible in the future. Phosphate rock is finite and becoming increasingly scarce, expensive and concentrated in only a few countries. Phosphorus is also mismanaged: four-fifths is lost or wasted in the supply-chain from mine to field to fork. EDL ensures a domestic and sustainable supply of clean phosphate released in a form that is quickly available for plants ensuring it is not locked up in soils and potentially reducing the application needs.
Water and energy are now considered critical for meeting future food demand of a growing population. However, there is little or no mention of future phosphorus scarcity as a key factor limiting future food security. Yet without phosphorus, there would be no food or any life on earth. Re-using this resource, then recapturing it from the animal’s bones and re-using it, again and again, provides the perfect phosphate cycle.
Recent EU regulation changes, to allow the use of recovered phosphorus, was brought in to ensure domestic supply, as currently the EU imports over 85% of its phosphate for more fertiliser application.
Provisions to limit Cd in national mineral phosphate fertilisers exist on a national level in 21 EU countries and to a lesser extent, around the world. These are set to become more stringent in the coming years making recovered clean phosphate ever more valuable. The low cadmium recycled phosphate as found in Thallo® is an essential food production and security resource.
As previously described, EDL has a uniquely flexible approach in the repurposing of waste organic materials into Thallo®; it is possible to flex the formulas from macro to micro levels pre and post-production meaning that seasonal, plant and soil specific variations can be catered for.
This is our base formula, providing improved yield, better soil and root zone health in a homogenous, slow release, multi-nutrient product with up to 30% soluble organic compounds.
This more efficient nutrient delivery leads to increased production and nutrient transfer, while contributing to a better environment by reducing the loss of nutrients via leaching or volatilisation. This translates into higher efficiency and better economics, in a sustainable way.
Sometimes called “the 4th major nutrient”, sulphur is essential in crop growth and has become more important as a limiting nutrient in crop production. The excellent sulphur content delivered by Thallo®, makes it an important ingredient and meets the increasing needs of soils for sulphur. In fact, many crops contain approximately equal amounts of sulphur and phosphorus.
It’s important to understand that crop yields are always limited by the nutrient in shortest supply.
Intensive crop activities undertaken since the end of the second world war have drained the store of micronutrient elements in the soil, yet farmers must target ever-higher yields to feed the growing population. And while our understanding of plants’ needs for NPK fertiliser has grown, our knowledge of the essential role that micronutrients play in ensuring maximum returns at harvest — and crucially, healthy livestock and population — is also quickly gaining ground. Conventional fertilisers focus on the macronutrients NPK (nitrogen, phosphates, potash), yet plants cannot reach their full potential without the addition of sulphur, magnesium and calcium, and main micronutrients such as boron, zinc, manganese, molybdenum and copper.
Micronutrients also enhance the efficient uptake of macro and secondary nutrients and are vital for the production of crop, soil and climate specific fertiliser formulations to balance nutrient applications and nutrient transfer to plants. They also act as a major stimulus to water-use efficiency; water resources can be a major constraint on food production and the role of micronutrients to improve this is worthy of further research. Thallo® offers a simple customisable solution with opportunity for specific micronutrient variation as needed by regional and seasonal demands.
For example, magnesium (Mg) helps plants to form complete proteins and enhances the rate of photosynthesis. Secondary nutrients and micro-nutrients are very important in facilitating many critical plant functions and in enhancing sugar translocation, root strength and overall plant immunity. The most critical of these micro-nutrients are boron (B), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), cobalt (Co), molybdenum (Mo), and sulfur (S).
Boron is critical for transporting carbohydrates through the plant system to help form and fill fruit. Boron is also a critical life sustaining element to microbial life in the soil. Zinc and manganese are both critical for proper reproduction and seed formation. Many trace minerals have proven to be vital in enabling plants to produce complete plant compounds, which allows them to be naturally resistant to pests and disease.
The benefits of supplementing secondary nutrients and micro-nutrients are far reaching. In fact, the presence of adequate secondary and micro-nutrients help other nutrients be more effective. For instance, boron is required to help a plant absorb calcium.
Thallo® is produced as clean, dry, hard granules which can be easily stored and handled in traditional agricultural equipment and warehouses, with excellent spreading characteristics.