Nutrien and Canadian agtech startup CoteX Technologies are exploring joint commercialization of a more sustainable way to deliver nitrogen fertilizer to large acreage crops.
CoteX said this week it signed a memorandum of understanding with the crop input provider to explore market opportunities for "a coating technology to produce an affordable, environmentally-friendly nitrogen fertilizer solution."
The startup makes a controlled-release coating that allows fertilizer to be slowly released into soil over time, reducing emissions and eliminating potential residue. Coatings are plant-based and biodegradable.
“Our coating process is lower cost and more versatile than liquid coating and it’s environmentally friendly," Santosh Yadav, CEO of CoteX Technologies, said in a release. “Adoption of our technology helps minimize the loss of nitrogen into the environment.”
Sky-high fertilizer prices in 2022 made farmers more cautious of their nitrogen application, and pushed many to try new solutions or alternatives to traditional crop protection products. As these new technologies become more popular, major agribusinesses are now trying to get in the game.
Weaker demand for traditional fertilizers weighed on Nutrien's third quarter earnings as farmers continue to wait for prices to settle. The company is becoming selective in its investments, and plans to reduce annual capital expenditures to a range of $2 billion to $2.5 billion.
"We are focused on investments to sustain our assets in highly targeted growth projects in our retail, potash and nitrogen businesses," Nutrien CFO Pedro Farah told investors earlier this month.