Fertiliser manufacturer Yara has made moves to secure the UK’s fertiliser supplies, confirmed CEO Svein Tore Holsether. The company is bringing ammonia to Europe from production facilities in Trinidad, the United States and Australia to support fertiliser capacity after the surge in European wholesale gas prices caused factories to stop or curtain production.
“Faced with record-high gas prices, we actually have the flexibility in our system to switch off ammonia production: so rather than using European natural gas, we’re importing from our other facilities that are running at full blast,” he said. “We are bringing that ammonia into Europe so that we can maintain our fertiliser production at close to full capacity.”
Commenting on the announcement, Mark Tucker, head of agronomy at Yara UK, has confirmed that the UK will have supplies: “It’s a relief for farmers that product is still available, but please do talk to your usual supplier as early as possible to discuss your requirements.
“I would also encourage all farmers and their advisors to view this announcement as an opportunity to look again at your season 2021/22 cropping and nitrogen management plans. Are there opportunities to manage risk by considering spring cropping and adopt new technology to further improve nitrogen use efficiency?
“This will ensure that you make every kg of purchased nitrogen work harder for your business and optimise the return on investment.”
The company also confirmed that it was impossible to say how long the high gas prices would last in Europe but it would be able to supply all customers with their contracted volumes.
Mr Holsether said: “Longer term, what we need in place is policy to make the development of renewable energy more resilient and we need a more value-chain approach to the food system, which is currently so fragmented.”