ICL Specialty Fertilizers files for patent on apparatus for rice fertigation


New in-house invention eliminates intense labor associated with fertilizer application in rice fields.

ICL Specialty Fertilizers under the name of Everris International B.V. filed a patent application at the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Aug. 30, 2018. The patent relates to the apparatus for surface irrigation that has been designed more specifically for rice fertigation.

The new invention popped up from in-house development based on ICL Specialty Fertilizers’ expertise in fertigation, consisting of drip emitters (on-line drippers or integral drip lines), minimally elevated reservoir tank and gravitational energy.

“It is very tough to have to wade through muddy rice fields under the blazing sun, while shouldering a 30 kg knapsack applicator for top-dressing,” says Masahide Tabata, area sales manager for ICL Specialty Fertilizers in Japan and Korea, and inventor of the apparatus. “We wanted to develop a device that could eliminate the high-intensity labour that comes with the application of fertilizers in rice fields. The result is this apparatus: it enables the solution of water-soluble fertilizers (nitrogen, phosphate and potassium) to flow precisely from a water inlet point outside of the field, and surface irrigation supplies the solution continuously to the rice field.”

The new apparatus is economical, trouble-free, user-friendly and accurate to operate. On top of the labour-saving aspect, field trials have revealed that improved nutrient management can be achieved with the apparatus, thanks to its even distribution of nutrients.

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