For the first time in the world, a foliar fertiliser has been made from recycled batteries.

ZM-Grow is the first zinc and manganese foliar fertiliser to be made from used alkaline batteries.

The batteries are crushed, treated and leached.

The mass is then filtered and the remaining solution purified, filtered once more and neutralized to around pH 4.00.

Registered and approved for use in the UK for both conventional and organic farming systems, ZM-Grow is distributed by Hutchinsons crop production specialists.

Tim Kerr, Hutchinsons fertiliser manager, said: “This is a really exciting product and is branded as a circular economy fertiliser by its clean-tech, Finnish manufacturers Tracegrow.”

“Put simply, Tracegrow has developed an innovative technology to extract, purify and reuse the zinc and manganese from alkaline batteries - up to 80 per cent of the trace elements found in alkaline batteries can be re-used.”

“ZM-Grow ticks all of the pertinent boxes for sustainability, offers a reduced carbon footprint whilst also providing a high quality, effective micronutrient foliar fertiliser that meets a valid need by UK arable growers.

“ZM-Grow is a sulphate-based concentrate containing 60g/l Zn, 67g/l Mn and 75g/l S.

"We know that balancing micronutrition can help improve nitrogen efficiency and ZM Grow can make this difference, at a time when nitrogen prices are at an all-time high.”

Hutchinsons have been trialling and distributing the product for the last two seasons and grower feedback has been very positive.

Tim said: “The recommended rate is two to three litres in 200-400l water. In our trials we have found it to be chemically stable, and have had no issues with mixing. It flows smoothly though filters and spray nozzles and doesn’t block them up.”