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'First of its kind production plant': $25M fertilizer plant opens in St. Thomas, Ont.

CRF Agritech is St. Thomas’ newest multi-million dollar production plant.

“It's the first of its kind fertilizer production plant like this in North America,” said Mike Pastir, general manager of CRF Agritech.

At nearly 26,000 sq. ft., the $25-million computer-controlled plant will produce up to 100,000 tons of PurYield fertilizer at capacity. That amount is enough to service Eastern Canada and the Northeast United States.

“This product allows the fertilizer nutrients to be used at a time when the plant needs the most,” said Casper Kaastra, CEO of Sollio Agriculture, who is a joint partner with Pursell, a leading innovator in coating technologies.

He explained, “Quite often that's later in the season. Farmers put on the fertilizer early in the spring when the field is ready to be planted, but when the crop actually needs it is typically quite a different time than the one the fertilizer is applied.”

PurYield fertilizer will be produced at a new $25 million production plant in St. Thomas, Ont. (Brent Lale/CTV News London)

For farmers in southwestern Ontario, this new “state-of-the-art fertilizer” could be a game-changer.

“We're gaining yield, we're gaining efficiencies and we're making less passes through the field,” said Stephanie Berlett, a farmer from Listowel, Ont. “All those things combined to put more dollars in pocket at the end of the day.”

Ontario Agriculture Minister Lisa Thompson was in St. Thomas Monday morning to receive a tour of the new facility.

The province awarded CRF Agritech a $154,000 grant to accelerate the production and adoption by growers of controlled-release fertilizers.

CRF Agritech is a $25 million fertilizer production plant in St. Thomas, Ont. (Source: Sollio Agriculture)“The technology is new and it’s innovative, “said Kaastra, who added the fertilizer isn’t just for agriculture, but also for ornamental and lawns. “It allows us now to incorporate new products that otherwise wouldn't be available to be put on fertilizer granules and those kinds of things just makes farmers that much more productive.”

While the new plant will also create up to 25 new jobs, the opening of the plant shows industry continues to choose southwestern Ontario as a home base.

“There's a pride in that to say you know, this is made in St. Thomas,” said Pastir. “It gives growers an opportunity to understand that we have a Canadian made solution for them right here at their back door.” Top Stories


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