The challenge of high nitrogen fertiliser prices for the second year in a row is giving Irish livestock and tillage farmers great cause for concern as they struggle to break even with their respective enterprises, according to Advance Fertilizers General Manager Mike Shields.

“This has prompted many to look around to see how they can save money while maintaining productivity,” he said.

“Some are convinced that the new Koch Advanced Nitrogen product will help achieve both these objectives. KAN, as it has become known, is claimed to be as effective as CAN despite being made from urea. What we have here is urea treated with a urease inhibitor.

“This slows down the rapid breakdown that normally happens with urea-based fertilisers.This practically eliminates the losses that you normally get with urea fertilisers so that the end result is CAN-type performance,” Shields said.

Shields pointed out that the new product range is a lot less expensive per unit of nitrogen than CAN. In addition the higher concentration (46% nitrogen compared with just 27% in CAN) means that there is less volume to transport, store and spread, reducing time and costs.This can be significant with larger farms having to cover more ground particularly when land is away from the home farm.

“KAN has been trialled by Teagasc and the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) on both crops and grassland and found to work as well as CAN across a variety of soil types.

“In addition, there are environmental benefits with reduced nitrous oxide gas emissions.This is becoming more important as sustainability and low carbon farming is demanded by international customers and regulators,” he said.

The KAN product range also includes blends with sulphur and potassium.