Hexafly claims that its new product, Hexafrass, an organic insect-derived fertiliser, containing chitin, offers a sustainable alternative to commercial fertilisers.
The product, made by the Slane insect farmers, is “highly effective” at locking in nitrogen, is available to purchase from €350 per tonne.
Its slow-release bioavailability encourages positive nitrogen uptake and works by pre-charging the soil with good microbial activity. This, in turn, has a double-action effect.
It stimulates and promotes root development and plant growth whilst boosting the plant’s natural defence against pests and diseases.
Alvan Hunt, CEO of Hexafly, says, “Hexafrass is a very innovative new organic insect fertiliser that we know growers will love.”
“We have seen some very positive trial results across a broad range of horticulture and cereal plants, and the feedback has been extremely positive.”
Composition of Hexafrass:
- Chitin, chitin-melanin compounds, fatty acids, proteins, and cellulose
- Over 27% bioavailable protein, giving positive nitrogen over time
- NPK 3-2-1
- High in organic matter 60%+
What is Hexafrass?
Hexafrass is a bi-product derived from the production of sustainable protein for the aquaculture, animal feed, and cosmetic industries.
Following closed circular-economy practices, organic brewers’ waste is upcycled into protein using Black Soldier Flies. The castings and manure from the BSF, containing the chitin, are called ‘frass’.
Hexafly, in accordance with the Irish Soil Association (IOA) and the Department of Agriculture, Food, and Marine Ireland, dry and mill the frass once collected.
What is chitin?
Chitin is commonly found in the outer coverings of insects and shellfish and the cell walls of fungi and algae.
When plants are in the presence of chitin, it increases the bio-active health and performance of plants by stimulating and balancing micro-organisms in the soil. It also activates immune responses and elevates natural defence against attack from insects and diseases.
What can I use it for?
Certified organic by the Irish Organic Association (IOA), Hexafrass is suitable for various horticulture and agricultural practices.
The company claim the product is of particular interest to organic soft-fruit growers, vegetable and flower producers, viticulturists, and garden enthusiasts.
Equally added, the product is good for developed plants or winter spreading as a soil conditioner and ideal for up-coming crops such as wheat, barley, potatoes, brassicas, and root vegetables.
How to use
The company recommends using less over time, compared to other mineral soil balancers because it is pre-charged with microbial colonies that slowly release nitrogen over time.
Either combine it with water or scatter across the soil, much like other soil improvers and fertilisers.
Hexafrass is available milled in 5 Litre and 650kg and pelleted 1,000kg. Prices: 5 Litre at € 11.99 and from €350 per tonne