Growers at container nursery operations deal with the loss of surface-applied controlled-release fertilizer when containers inevitably topple over due to wind or heavy rainfall. Last year, Scotts Professional provided a solution to the predicament by introducing Osmocote Pro with Fusion Technology, a new category of controlled-release fertilizers with a proprietary fusion agent that bonds fertilizer prills to the surface of growing media.
Now, Scotts has introduced a new, easy-to-use Fusion Value Calculator to help growers decide whether Osmocote Pro with Fusion Technology is the best controlled-release fertilizer for their specific needs.
“If a grower assumes all products are the same and only considers the cost per bag, any product enhanced with Fusion Technology would initially appear too expensive,” says Chris Buchheit, marketing manager for Scotts Professional’s ornamental horticulture fertilizers. “We developed the Fusion Value Calculator to encourage growers to take the process a few steps beyond price and perform a more detailed analysis of the factors unique to their own operations.”
Available online at www.osmocoteisbest.com, the Fusion Value Calculator is simple and flexible, allowing growers to develop cost/return estimates based on their own operating costs and market prices. After growers input some basic information about spacing, fertilizer rates and bag costs, the Fusion Value Calculator compares the investment costs of various fertilizer treatments and estimates the cost of fertilizer lost due to spillage. From there, growers can discover the potentially huge hidden costs of the poorer crop quality that can result when fertilizer is spilled from containers.
“After pots are tipped over, the smaller amount of fertilizer left behind will stimulate less plant growth,” Buchheit says. “Since it’s not practical or feasible to reapply fertilizer every time a container blows over, most growers have just accepted this loss in economic yield as something they can’t control. Now, Fusion Technology not only offers a viable and easy-to-implement solution for second-year, surface-applied fertilizer treatments, it also maximizes profits by improving plant quality.”
Fusion Technology is an innovative polymer compound added to Osmocote Pro controlled-release fertilizer. After the fertilizer is surface applied to the growing media and watered in, the polymer compound forms a web-like adhesive matrix, binding the fertilizer prills to the surface of the growing media. Re-wetting the growing media through subsequent irrigation maintains the Fusion activity, ensuring the fertilizer will stay in place for an extended period of time.
“In today’s tight economy, growers are carefully monitoring all their production costs and cutting back on expenses in the hopes of maximizing margins and profits,” Buchheit says. “Adding Fusion Technology to a fertilizer program does require growers to make a larger investment up front, but by using our new Fusion Value Calculator, they can see how this investment may pay off in the long run with higher value crops that bring in more money at sale time.”
Osmocote Pro with Fusion Technology is currently available in two formulations: 19-6-9 in a five to six-month longevity and the all-new 20-4-7 in an eight to nine-month longevity. For more information about Osmocote Pro with Fusion Technology, visit www.osmocoteisbest.com. To learn about other Scotts Professional products, or to find a territory manager near you, visit www.scottspro.com.