Grain and cotton growers across NSW and Queensland are set to benefit as Orica launches its new fertiliser business with plans for a local manufacturing plant for urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) in Moree, NSW.
Orica Agriculture also expects to begin supply of anhydrous ammonia to east coast growers in April next year, with dedicated line haul and on-farm nurse tank fleets.
Construction of the UAN plant is scheduled to commence in 2018, but growers can access transported UAN immediately.
These investments will bring increased competition, as well as secure and consistent supply of liquid and gas nitrogen fertiliser, to growers on the east coast of Australia.
Orica Agriculture Senior Business Manager, Paul Scutt, says liquid fertiliser is a speciality product used with great success in Western Australia and other markets globally and there is growing interest in the eastern States.
“We believe the market is ready to embrace the benefits of UAN including precision application during specific crop growth stages, reducing passes over paddocks and the reliance on pending rainfall for incorporation of fertiliser.
“We are building on Orica’s extensive manufacturing footprint and proven track record in safe and reliable transport to provide direct delivery to farm,” he said.
In addition to the new UAN plant, Orica Agriculture will supply anhydrous ammonia from Orica plants in Newcastle, NSW and Yarwun, Queensland. No solid urea supply will be offered by the company.
Moree Plains Shire Council has welcomed Orica Agriculture’s investment, and Mayor Katrina Humphries says the UAN plant brings major benefits to the region, including job creation.
“Employment is a key ‘plus’ for our community – more than 10 permanent jobs together with the potential for more than 20 jobs in the trucking industry represents a good, solid boost.
“We see Orica’s commitment to Moree as an important catalyst that will encourage other firms and industries to explore the commercial advantages our region can offer.
“Given our Shire’s rural productivity, this is exactly the type of manufacturing enterprise we are keen to attract. It’s a great example of commercial players in the supply chain recognising Moree’s unique position in the agricultural sector,” she said.
Moree cotton grower Michael Seery also welcomed Orica’s investment and commitment to ensuring fertiliser supply and competition.
“Anhydrous ammonia has been a pivotal part of the farming process for our family-run agricultural enterprise over the last 20 years. The ability to apply large amounts of nitrogen with relative ease is the reason we have used this product,” he said.
Mr Seery also praised the Orica team that ran a pilot program on his property.
“The Orica Agriculture team has been easy to work with; right from dealing with the management team when the concept was first raised, all the way to the transport personnel and the people handling equipment on site. The process was under expert supervision at all times.
“This seamless transition down the supply line gives me confidence in their ability to deliver. I think they will be a great asset to the agricultural community – both irrigation and dryland.”
Key resellers will stock Orica Agriculture nitrogen fertiliser products including Precision UAN and Precision Ammonia.