Facility upgrade to boost 2018 capacity

IMPROVED CAPACITY: Incitec Pivot Fertiliser's Ian Laube says the new facility's blending techniques could improve farming yields.

IMPROVED CAPACITY: Incitec Pivot Fertiliser's Ian Laube says the new facility's blending techniques could improve farming yields.

Incitec Pivot Fertilisers is trebling its blending capacity at its Port Lincoln site in time for the 2018 farming season, which is expected to reduce fertiliser waiting times for farmers.

Incitec Pivot, which supplies the majority of the Eyre Peninsula with fertiliser, is installing a new blending plant as part of a major upgrade to the Port Lincoln site, which will improve load-out times for blends from 70 tonnes per hour to 200 tonnes per hour.

The company’s South Australian regional business manager Ian Laube said the company was responding to farming requirements.

Farmers should see the potential for yield increases due to the upgrades at the facility.

Ian Laube

He said farmers now required a more complex blend of chemicals in their fertiliser, which meant the fertiliser took longer to produce than previous years.

“(The fertiliser) is more complex and takes longer to put together,” Mr Laube said.

He said the increased production at the Port Lincoln site would mean shorter waiting times for farmers who had to wait for a booking slot in peak fertiliser period.

“Customer demand and the load-out capacity was insufficient to service the growing demand for prescription blends,” Mr Laube said.

The peak fertiliser period is between March 1 and May 31.

Mr Laube said agronomists and farmers worked together to determine the chemical composition of the fertiliser, evaluating the soil composition and the harvest from the previous year.

The agronomist then places a prescription for a specific mix of chemicals with the fertiliser company, which is then blended for the farmer.

The upgrade will also include a new applicator which can apply trace elements, fungicides and other liquid coatings to fertilisers.

Incitec Pivot southern region vice president Gerard Buckle said the applicator gave better results and halved the time involved in treating fertilisers, which improved turnaround times for customers.

He said the development of a paddle applicator that sprayed and mixed fungicide liquid over fertiliser granules gave better coverage than an older technology.