U.S. feed ingredient maker steps into Canadian crop sector

The crop science arm of U.S. animal health and feed ingredient firm Alltech has been cleared for expansion into the Canadian fertilizer market.

Lexington, Ky.-based Alltech announced Tuesday it has picked up Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) approval for four of its crop products — Agro-Mos, Soil-Set, Crop-Set and Grain-Set — which are now registered as micronutrient fertilizers.

Alltech bills its Alltech Crop Science division — which began in 1993 under the name Improcrop — as “fuelled by the power of yeast,” offering products derived from the fermentation process.

The division, based at Nicholasville, Ky., just south of Lexington, now describes its products as a “viable alternative to conventional agrochemicals.”

On its site, Alltech has marketed Agro-Mos as providing “essential nutrients that can aid with the defense against environmental stresses and (promote) metabolic processes,” adding the product can be “easily” applied with most fungicide or insecticide programs.

Soil-Set, the company said, provides “essential plant nutrients, specific bacterial metabolites and natural enzymatic compounds” and promotes decomposition of crop residues and other organic matter to improve soil structure.

Grain-Set, meanwhile, is marketed for foliar application of micronutrients “complexed by amino acids and plant extracts that act as a powerful surfactant.” The short-chain amino acids found in Grain-Set allow “immediate product absorption in plants,” the company said.

Crop-Set, the company added, is based on plant extracts and “aids in stressful situations by providing nutrients essential to growth.”

“While each product has a different source of micronutrients, all of the products are used to treat micronutrient deficiencies,” the company said in its announcement.

“Successful agronomic practices are now a balancing act between meeting the consumer demand for fewer chemicals and trying weather conditions, all while attempting to increase yields with less land,” Alltech Crop Science CEO Geoff Frank said in Tuesday’s release. “It all starts in the fields and field health.”

Alltech’s animal health and nutrition business has operated a Canadian head office at Guelph, Ont. since 1988 and has regional offices in Calgary and Ste-Hyacinthe, Que., plus a livestock mineral processing plant at Alexandria, Ont., about 90 km east of Ottawa.

The Alexandria plant, set up in 1999, makes Bioplex trace minerals and has an annual production capacity of about 20,000 tons, which Alltech said makes it “one of the largest organic minerals facilities in the world.”

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