Reduce your carbon footprint with quality nitrate fertilisers - Elders Rural Services

Reduce your carbon footprint with quality nitrate fertilisers

Yara can help farmers reduce their carbon footprint by utilising environmentally friendly production methods for nitrate based fertilisers.

Yara crop nutrition commercial director – Australia and New Zealand, Michael Waites, says nitrate fertilisers are the most efficient and reliable way of delivering nitrogen to a wide range of agricultural crops.

“Compared to urea or ammonium, nitrate is more quickly absorbed by the plants roots, facilitating faster plant uptake,” said Mr Waites.

“Plants capture large amounts of carbon dioxide during growth,”

“Applying the correct fertiliser at the right amount and time helps to optimise biomass production and carbon dioxide uptake per hectare.

“While this carbon dioxide fixation is only short-term because most of this biomass is consumed as food or feed, increasing the efficiency of agricultural production can free up more land for bioenergy production without impacting food security.

“Replacing fossil fuels with bioenergy have the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 80 percent.

“Increasing the productivity of existing agricultural land helps to reduce pressure for further land-use change, which contributes about 12 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.”

Yara is one of the world’s leading producers of nitrate fertilisers, including the widely-used YaraMila range of compound NPK fertilisers.

A recent innovation is the YaraRega range of water-soluble NPK fertilisers that are suitable for delivery via simple irrigation systems or broadcasting before irrigation or rainfall.

Mr Waites said Yara is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

“We’ve already reduced the carbon footprint of our nitrate fertiliser production by 40 percent by making our production plants and processes among the most energy-efficient in the world,

“Our ammonia plants are energy-efficient and continuously improving, leading to lower natural gas consumption and less carbon dioxide emissions. Our nitric acid plants are among the best for greenhouse gas emissions thanks to the development and adoption of catalyst technology,” he said.

“This technology significantly reduces emissions of nitrous oxide – a potent greenhouse gas – associated with the production of nitric acid.

“Yara has shared this technology, which is considered best practice by the EU, with the rest of the industry, which has helped to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of nitrate and urea production in Europe compared to other countries.1,2

“Yara’s ongoing development of ‘green’ ammonia technology and climate-smart agricultural practices means we’re on track to reduce emissions by another 30 per cent within a decade.”

‘Green’ ammonia technology uses renewable hydrogen sources instead of fossil fuels to produce ammonia.

Yara is constructing one of the world’s first industrial-scale renewable hydrogen plants in the Pilbara region of Western Australia in partnership with ENGIE, a global low-carbon energy and services group.

Other local initiatives include partnership with the Farm Waste Recovery and drumMUSTER packaging recycling programs, and implementing fully-recyclable polyethylene bottles for its YaraVita micronutrient foliar fertilisers.

Yara is committed to the development and adoption of integrated crop nutrition solutions, innovative decision-making tools and climate-smart agricultural practices that maximise the efficiency of fertiliser application.

Article written by Yara for Seasons magazine. 

References: 1. Brentrup, F., et al. (2018). Updated carbon footprint values for mineral fertilizer from different world regions. 11th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment of Food 2018 (LCA Food) 17-19 October 2018, Bangkok, Thailand. 2. Hoxha, A. & Christensen, B. (2018). The carbon footprint of fertiliser production: Regional reference values. Proceedings 805. International Fertiliser Society Conference 8 May 2018, Prague, Czech Republic.

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