Market need and potential
Farmers have told us that fertilizer cost is their greatest management challenge going into the 2023 season, while market leaders concede that in the past they have lacked commercial incentive to invest in scalable, enhanced efficiency fertilizers fit for precision agriculture. Macro supply constraints now present win-win conditions for both producers and farmers.
In the absence of innovation, the EU Farm to Fork strategy will directly lead to an estimated 12% reduction in EU farm productivity and consequently impact food affordability for consumers.
Conventional and specialty control release fertilizers currently on the market cannot be recommended for precision placement because they introduce salt stress, disrupt seed hydration and germination or reduce water uptake by roots.
Cropcision offers a step-change enhancement in fertilizer efficiency. We have developed a microplastic-free, control release platform technology that, for the first time, makes precision placement of fertilizer granules and other active ingredients possible. Granulated inputs can therefore be applied in the seeding furrow without reducing germination efficiency.
The technology has broad application for plant growers, so the value for producers of green leafy vegetables and forest tree seedlings can also be addressed.
The fertilizer market is consolidated and dominated by suppliers with significant, vertically integrated production capacity (e.g. Yara, Koch, Nutrien, ICL). Liquid fertilizer products can be applied at seeding but there is currently a gap in the market for a granular fertilizer with sustained release that can be applied with precision directly to seeds or roots. We view these companies as potential licensees.
Unique to Cropcision, our granular fertilizer can be placed directly in the seeding furrow at much reduced rates per hectare compared to broadcast applications, thereby targeting nutrition to the crop rather than weeds, supporting early vigor and rapid canopy closure. This practice then leads to reduced weed pressure and minimizes the need for herbicide control. Farmers have also pointed out the added benefit of a single tractor pass for both seeding and fertilizer application because it reduces the risk of soil compaction and saves operator hours and fuel use.
Greenhouse and forest nursery operators will benefit from adopting a simplified, more robust nutrient management with higher produce quality.
We are moving fast and need to prepare for a growth phase. We have:
1) Established technical proof of concept in 4 crops across 4 sectors
2) Identified multiple aspects of novelty and patentability and…
3) …established an external field trial in 20 high value crops with the aim to establishing our first reference customer in Q2 of 2023.