Avail Phosphorus Fertiliser Enhancer

Goulding Fertilisers NI have brought a unique phosphorus fertiliser enhancer called “Avail”, to its customers.

What is Avail?

Avail® Phosphorus Fertiliser Enhancer is a water-soluble additive for granular phosphorus fertiliser that enables phosphate to remain free in the soil, providing opportunity for greater plant uptake with minimal costs. Avail is the only phosphorus fertiliser enhancement of its kind.

Avail has been developed by American research company SFP and has been shown to protect the phosphate fertiliser applied to the soil from locking up, making it more available to the plant.

Avail has been hailed as the biggest development in fertilisers for a generation, and is set to become an important tool in optimum crop nutrition. Avail is applied directly to the phosphate fertiliser at the factory, it is proven to last all season, and leaves no environmental footprint.

What are the major benefits of Avail?

Research has shown 75 to 95 percent of phosphorus fertiliser is tied up or fixed in the soil. Avail is a revolutionary technology that helps solve the long-standing problem of poor phosphate availability. Improving availability of phosphate leads to better rooting, increased plant metabolism and ultimately greater yields. Avail provides greater phosphate efficiencies, improved yield potential and increased profitability.

The Avail Effect

The Avail effect has been shown through independent work from Harper Adams University College.

Better rooting = Greater yield potential

In 3 weeks from planting there was over a 40% increase in root mass where Avail treated phosphate was used.

The Avail Difference

In study after study, Avail has been shown to reduce phosphate fixation and boost potential yields – as much as 10-15%.

Summary of 2009 Trials

Trials carried out by Harper Adams at four separate sites showed significant yield responses to the use of Avail. The results below show how a lower rate of phosphate treated with Avail outperformed the “standard” rate of untreated DAP (50 kg per acre), yielding on average 2.3 tonnes/ha more.

Maize Yields t/ha – 2008 Harper Adams University College
Chester Lakham Harper Petworth
Fresh Yields Standard P & N 56.23 50.12 39.22 50.59
25kg + VIL 59.27 53.45 41.06 51.61
Dry Yields Standard P & N 16.26 14.66 16.93 15.99
25kg + VIL 16.55 15.30 17.67 17.00

Avail Maize Fresh Yield t/ha – 2008 Harper Adams University College

Avail Maize Dry Yield t/ha – 2008 Harper Adams University College

Summary of 2012 Trials

In 2011/2012 Velcourt conducted an independent trial on winter wheat in North Yorkshire in which AVAILenhanced phosphate was compared to standard phosphate at two rates – see below

  • AVAIL-treated phosphate produced a statistically significant yield increase of 1 t/ha (10%) compared to untreated phosphate. (The results from both the treated and untreated plots indicate the lower P rate was sufficient to meet crop requirement).
  • At a value of £150 – 200 per ha for the additional tonne of wheat, the return on the cost of the AVAIL is 10 – 13 fold.
  • The treated and untreated phosphate was broadcast two weeks post-sowing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Avail tie up the nutrients in the soil?

Avail is only effective in the very small zone around the phosphorus. It does not change the overall nutrient availability in the soil.

For crop producers, what are the benefits of Avail?
  • greater phosphate efficiencies
  • improved yield potential
  • increased profitability

Numerous research studies have been conducted on the effects of Avail on key crops, including cereals, potatoes, oilseed rape, maize, onions and sugar beet.

What are the relevant crops for which Avail may be applied?

Avail is currently being applied with proven response to barley, carrots, grass, maize, oilseed rape, onions, potatoes, red beet and wheat.

Can Avail be used directly on the soil?

No. Avail is designed to prevent the fixation of applied phosphorus in the soil. Once untreated phosphorus has been applied to the soil and becomes fixed, there is no way to set it free.

What is the environmental impact of Avail?

There is no environmental footprint with the use of Avail. It is a water-soluble and biodegradable phosphorus-enhancement product. Studies show that the Avail polymer is destroyed during the 12 to 15-month period between field crops, with no residual effect on subsequent crops.

Can Avail be leached out of the fertiliser application zone by rain or excessive moisture?

Work with flooded rice has shown that Avail gives season-long protection without being moved out of the nutrient zone by rain or irrigation.

Can Avail be used on manures?

With manure’s extremely variable nutrient composition, as well as high volume usage, SFP does not recommend using Avail on solid or liquid manures.

Does the use of Avail lessen the amount of fertiliser needed?

Research work is under way to establish how the use of Avail may be able to lead to reduced phosphate fertiliser usage without compromising the unique benefits of Avail treated phosphate. Indications are that some reduction will be possible, however a number of studies have shown that using recommended phosphorus rates plus the Avail technology can lead to higher yields and increased profitability.

Should I broadcast or place Avail?

Avail is effective in both broadcasting and placement applications.

Should Avail be used in the autumn or spring?

Research shows that Avail is equally effective applied in the autumn as it is in the spring.

Avail was developed in the US. Is it effective in the Ireland?

Phosphate fixation is a global issue, and Avail is proven to work in any crop, soil type and climate. There is an increasing body of research which is demonstrating that Avail is just as effective in the Ireland as anywhere.

Can I use Avail in Organic farm systems?

No. Although Avail is biodegradable and leaves no environmental footprint, it does not meet the requirements of Organic certification bodies.

Download our Brochures

Avail Booklet

Avail FAQ

Avail leaflet on Cereals

Avail leaflet on Potatoes

Velcourt AVAIL trial on Wheat 2012

For more information on Avail product details visit the SFP website.