Raw materials are carefully blended to create the right mix of nutrients for each field.[/caption]
They also created a sales and distribution model that saves local farmers money by selling and spreading the material, using state-of-the-art spreaders, at one-third the cost of traditional fertilizer. At the same time, the income gained from Plymouth K-Lime helps offset material reuse costs for Domtar.
“We wanted to make sure the material not only had value to Domtar but could also be of true benefit to farmers,” said Elwood Black, a technical consultant with ARM. “We routinely send off samples of the material to document its quality, and we calibrate it to spread the exact amount [of Plymouth K-Lime] needed for a particular field. We tailor our operations to each farmer’s needs.”
A Better Fertilizer for Farmers
Plymouth K-Lime has been in distribution since late 2013, and local farmers have been very pleased with the results. Chris LeFever farms corn, wheat, soybeans and rapeseed on 900 acres near the mill, and he’s been using Plymouth K-Lime for some time. It works well, and it saves him as much as $35 per acre over traditional fertilizers and soil amendments.
“I like that it’s all-natural, and the particle size is really good,” LeFever said. “It’s clean, it breaks down well, and the roots get at it right away. With commodity prices going down and so much cost going up, the savings really help.”
Environmental and Economic Impact
But perhaps the biggest benefit of Plymouth K-Lime is its environmental and economic impact on Domtar and the local community. Hardison says the Plymouth Mill produces 30,000 tons of Plymouth K-Lime each year — all of it material that would otherwise be sent to the landfill at a rate of 190 tons per day.