Phospholutions’ Craig Dick Shares Update on RhizoSorb, Sustainability and Global Expansion

Editor’s note: In 2023, the CropLife team sat down with Phospholutions to learn about its RhizoSorb technology, which is embedded into fertilizer granules at production to increase availability and uptake of phosphorus. The company has been enjoying healthy growth since then, so we circled back with Craig Dick, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, to get an update on its business and insights on the current market.

CropLife: When we spoke last year, Phospholutions had just launched RhizoSorb 8-39-0. How is it going?


Craig Dick: Since we last talked, we have completed two large-scale production runs with a manufacturer in Europe. We have also imported one vessel and shipped rail cars to retailers and distribution centers in the Midwest. We have a second vessel scheduled for summer fill.

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The response from retail has been strong. Moving from tote bags to barge quantities and taking over bin space in 18 months is a strong indication that the market wants the next generation of phosphate fertilizer.

CropLife: You guys sold out last year. How is your inventory and production for 2024?

Criag Dick - VP Sales and Marketing

Craig Dick, Phospholutions

CD: In a market where supply has been constrained, we are fortunate that we can meet our retailers’ growing demand with our current manufacturing partnerships for the coming years. We have also contracted with multiple distribution centers in the Midwest to ensure timely in-season resupply. Our supply chain team is doing a great job ensuring we can expand production and have inventory in warehouses for adequate supply when and where needed so that the retailers we work with can be confident they’ll have their product when their customers need it.

CropLife: What is driving retailers to make the switch to RhizoSorb 8-39-0?

CD: What we have heard from retailers is that they believe in our agronomics, and they love the economics. To quote one of our customers: “We are making the change because it is very lucrative.” Another retailer told us that, “This is the easiest new product introduction we have ever had. It’s not often that you can bring a grower a new product that costs less per acre.”

Additionally, farmers are aware that they are over-applying phosphates to ensure that they are making enough P available to the crop. There is a lot of excitement about the sustainability of RhizoSorb, less run-off, and a lower carbon footprint because it doesn’t cost them extra.

When you have growers asking for RhizoSorb and retailers who are seeing better margins, lower inventory costs, and more operational efficiency, change can happen relatively quickly in agriculture. Backing the product claims with a yield guarantee program has essentially taken the risk off the table for the farmer since it costs less than conventional products per acre and our retail partners see the value in offering such a unique program.

CropLife: Sustainability is obviously an important consideration in ag. Any updates on that front?

CD: Yes. Last fall, we completed a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) conducted by Sustainable Solutions Corporation. The comparative cradle-to-gate LCA was conducted on RhizoSorb 8-39-0 and monoammonium phosphate (MAP) fertilizers to ascertain the environmental impacts. The analysis includes all inputs and outputs of the system from raw materials, transportation, and production. RhizoSorb reduced carbon emissions by 45% and eutrophication by 40%.

This study indicates that RhizoSorb can reduce the Carbon Index score for growers interested in growing low carbon corn for the upcoming 45Z tax credits. It also shows that we can have a dramatic impact of reducing algae blooms.

CropLife: Last year you were targeting domestic row crop production. Is there any change to this strategy?

CD: Our primary strategy is U.S. row crop, but vegetable growers have also been very interested in RhizoSorb. We have seen interest in RhizoSorb in numerous regions around the world and are actively setting up distribution and field research in Europe, Canada, and Central and South America. To spearhead this growth, we have hired a Chief Commercial Officer, James Ortiz, to oversee international expansion.

CropLife: When can we expect domestic production?

CD: We have a great international fertilizer manufacturer that is supporting U.S. growth and demand. We are continuing to develop a domestic manufacturing partnership to meet future demand needs. When we are ready to announce that, CropLife will be the first to know!