Agronomy explained

Research and Development Programme

Sirius Minerals’ global agronomy programme provides technical, agronomic and commercial validation for POLY4’s use as an effective multi-nutrient fertilizer suitable for widespread use in commercial farming.

Our ongoing programme, conducted in partnership with leading agricultural universities, research institutions and commercial associates, operates across five continents. So far, we have directed over 210 trials on 27 crops in 17 different countries.

These studies tested POLY4 on broad acre and high value crops directly against other potassium based fertilizers, both as a straight comparison and as a component in an NPK blend. Results consistently show that POLY4 outperforms muriate of potash (MOP) and sulphate of potash (SOP) in both crop yield and quality, demonstrating the agronomic advantage provided by POLY4's multi-nutrient content. Further details of our programme can be found at

Laboratory results have also ratified the benefits of the POLY4's physical and chemical characteristics (e.g. compatibility, solubility, low chloride, crush strength). Now into our fifth year of trials, the scope and scale of the research demonstrates our long-term commitment to further developing the agronomic understanding of POLY4.

Global food security

Over the next 35 years it is expected that more food will need to be produced than has been to date in human history. Global food security is the macro-driver which underpins the market demand for fertilizers.

The world’s population is predicted to increase to 9 billion by 2050, placing increased demand on food production. In addition, as economies become wealthier, the demand for protein rich and high quality diets is expected to increase. Sustaining increased livestock herds requires greater efficiency from grain production and arable land.

The situation has become even more challenging as the amount of farm land available for crops is decreasing and in many places, is becoming increasingly deficient in the nutrients required for plant growth.

Balanced fertilization is required to address these challenges. This practice - which we believe can be achieved through the use of POLY4 - can maximise the land's potential because nutrients work together and a deficiency in any one of them will limit crop growth and quality – a principle known as the “law of the minimum”. We believe that Sirius Minerals has the potential to make a major, positive contribution to global food security as it becomes one of the largest producers of multi-nutrient fertilizer.