Yara buys nitrogen-modelling company Adapt-N

Yara International has bought Agronomic Technology Corp (ATC), the company that owns Adapt-N.

Adapt-N is a field model used to aid farmers in their agronomy practices. Nitrogen field models have been developed for decades. Numerous models have been successfully implemented in many countries. Adapt-N is one of these and was developed by a US company.

Field history, weather, soil and crop data are inputted into the model over the growing season. The model is then used to predict crop inputs.

For example, the model can help to predict the amount of nitrogen fertiliser that may be needed by a crop.

The figure paid for ATC is unknown. Yara is the largest producer and marketer of mineral fertiliser worldwide and had a revenue of $11.5 billion (USD) in 2016.

The Norwegian company is know for its commitment to efficient fertiliser use and the development of new technologies. For example, the N sensor, which can be mounted to a tractor with a fertiliser spreader, allows fertiliser to be spread at different rates throughout a field.

In simple terms, the N sensor measures the green colour in the crop canopy and applies more or less nitrogen depending on that colour.

The Yara N tester is a similar product. The small, handheld device can measure chlorophyll content of a leaf and can be used to adjust the fertiliser requirement of a crop.

The Yara Water Solution measures the leaf tissue of plants and Yara claims it can help to reduce the amount of water applied through irrigation by 30%.

Yara has put a focus on sustainability and technology and the acquisition of ATC is adding to that portfolio.

While the company has developed and promoted many measurement tools in the past, ATC will bring a new dimension to the fertiliser production company.

This will come through the use of modelling systems that contain a series of measurements – from the soil and the environment – to predict the amount of fertiliser needed.