Slow Release: IBDU or NOVEX

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by jmarkwood, Mar 25, 2002.

  1. jmarkwood

    jmarkwood LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    All this talk about the benefits of slow release made me compare prices of the two most widely know forms of Super-Slow-Release N (16+ weeks):

    IBDU (Rockland Super Turf 28-3-6)
    NOVEX (Lesco 18-2-18 2%FE)

    Anybody using these this spring for:
    less mowing
    less fungus
    better root growth?

    Versus a lower N% of Poly/Sulfur coated N which lasts 8 weeks
  2. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    Can't run a business on every 18 weeks.

  3. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    Novex is too new for the lawn trade to have experience. It's relatively new to golf.

    The technology sounds good. I couldn't get pricing last year.

    Question is, is it worth it. You might be able to skip a fert app this way, but what if you'd normally apply another product like surface insect, ghrub or weed with the one you eliminated and you gotta go anyhow, what have you saved?
  4. tremor

    tremor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    I've been selling NOVEX now for 3 years.
    I have 2 Full Service LCO customers applying 4 & 5 lbs/N (at one time) respectively & saving the labor. These clients job spec's spell out how much N, but not how many apps. I know, these are special situations, where the every 6-8 weeks "hang an invoice on the hungy lawn" thing doesn't work. On these higher end estates & commercial clients, the whole maint budget is handled on a monthly charge basis, so increased frequency of treatment would have a negative impact on revenue.

    I have a few private schools that cannot apply fert during the school year when the fields are in use. Left-winged Liberal New York Hug-A-Tree attitudes here. We apply NOVEX twice per year and still deliver the 4-5lbs of N that the fields require for good in season recovery & performance.

    I have another school that uses NOVEX 1 time per year @ 3lbs N. It's the labor budget in his case. I can ship fert there all day. But the man power to apply it just isn't there. Not the best agronomic program, I know, but far better than the alternative.

    We treated experimental test plots with EVERY slow release Nitrogen source currently made at rates that ranged from 1-8 Lbs/N/M & evaluated them. At 8 lbs/N, NOVEX plots weren't just the only ones alive, they were the best looking too. The plots were judged by members of the Euoropean Pro Turf market. Results won't be published so take my word for it or not. It's up to you.

    The Giants Stadium crew uses NOVEX almost exclusively on the Sand based "Pod System" that hosts the Giants & Jets football, the MetroStars soccer, & numerous Concerts. Revenue last year at Giants Stadium was the 2nd best in the stadiums history. (The prior revenue record was set on astro turf that had to be replaced the following year to the tune of $3mil+) IBDU, Methylene Urea, UF, PolyPlus, & Coron/N-Sure were all used prior to deciding that NOVEX did the best job for them. It's the most heavily used real turf stadium in the country & has the receipts to prove it. The turf is still considered acceptable for play even under these conditions. Other stadiums might look better. But none host as many events & still deliver a good living surface.

    IBDU is a nice material, but runs into trouble in that release rate is directly affected by particle size. Since it's water release only, the smaller sized prills required on reelcut turf have more surface area for the water to "work on". Bigger IBDU prills are slower to release, but will get "chopped" by the reel. So they become faster releasing by mechanical destruction, then water release sets in anyway.

    Methylene Urea (Nutralene) is much faster than NOVEX with twice the free urea. It also has less ASRN than NOVEX. MU40 is cheap to produce & gets sold pretty high for what it is, so watch the prices come down in the face of a better N souce than it's ever been marketed against before. Meth can be cheaper, but it probably can't be improved to make it better.

    UF has too much HWIN to benefit the turf in the same season that it is applied. Yet it still has more free urea than NOVEX. Apply 3-4 lbs of N from UF & watch out for clippings & dying turf. Don't believe me? Try it. I have.

    Polymer & Resin coatings could be as good as NOVEX but no one is building coated material in the sizes & release rate paterns that make cost effective sense for turf. Coatings are also subject to destruction when verticutting, which has no impact on NOVEX. Better turf gets verticut, especially if it gets athletic traffic.

    Cost vs Performance. Since cost is roughly the same, the superior performance of NOVEX is kicking butt around here.

    Sooner or later, we'll release material to the better turf schools for independent review. For now, we must rely on the release patern data (readily available) & our customers testimonmy.

    I have first hand experience with the product & have observed, for reasons that are still hypotheotical, a significant reduction in certain fungul diseases. We cannot make claims on this because we haven't any check data to compare to. (in writing anyway) This might prove to be coincidental, but the turf schools may be more helpful than I can be here.

    NOVEX will be available later this year (maybe?) in PolyPlus blends for lawncare. Stay tuned!

  5. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261


    Is Novex a granular product? Is it a LESCO propriatary product?

  6. tremor

    tremor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    We own the patent on the molecule as well as several manufacturing process patents. The analysis I most frequently sell is:

    Guaranteed Analysis
    1.8% Ammoniacal N
    3.2% Urea N
    8.6% Water Insoluble N*
    5.4% Water Soluble Controlled Release N*
    19% Total N
    2% Available Phosphate P2O5
    19% Soluble Potash K2O
    13% Sulfur Combined
    2.5% Iron Total
    1.7% Iron Soluble

    Derived from: Aminoureaformaldehyde, Urea, Ammonium Sulfate, Sulfate of Potash, Iron Oxide, Iron Sulfate, Methylene Urea Ammonium Phosphate.

    14% Slowly Available Nitrogen from Aminoureaformaldehyde, Methyldiurea and Dimethylenetriurea.

    The N breakdown results in 48% Water soluble controlled release N, 28% Hot water Soluble N, & only 16% Hot water Insoluble N, & 8% Free urea.

    Based on the complete nitrogen profile alone, it should come as no surprise that while some of the resulting N compounds are similar to currently available forms, NOVEX does represent the first honestly new source of Nitrogen to be developed in many years. The matrix technology allows for ALL the elements to be controlled in a homogeneous prill. Like many other ammoniated materials, there have been issues with elemental disbursion. Yet as our sources for raw materials have come in line & the process has been perfected, the resulting material today is exactly what we intended to engineer.

    The 73% Total Controlled Release Nitrogen (TCRN) represents a big step forward for reacted Urea forms of slow release Nitrogen. Nutralene (methylene urea) is second best at 68% TCRN but with 7% more free urea. Nutraform (urea formaldehyde) is much worse at only 56% TCRN. Free urea is greater at 12%. But HWIN is awful at 42%.

    The upcoming PolyVex will be a blended material not unlike the blends we see today with little blue & green chips in it. But I doubt we'll waste any money adding pretty colors to the NOVEX since the colors are a pointless marketing tool only. The cost is in the manufacturing processes. They are excrutiatingly slow & exacting. Adding anything that's not needed wouldn't add any value.

    I can ship this for special order situations.

  7. tremor

    tremor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Sorry about the rant. I got so hung up on the analysis I missed half your question!
    For now NOVEX is only available as a granular.
    But the new technology has allowed us to produce a similar material that has been formed into an Aquatic Restoration Briquette. The briquettes have been used to succesfully restore plants in Salmon fisheries in Canada. The Canadians were one of our first NOVEX customers.
  8. groundsguy1970

    groundsguy1970 Banned
    Messages: 166

    Being in the temperate rainforest- you GOTTA be all about slow release here! I use IBDU Fall&Spring, Thanksgiving and X-Mas aps. and then goto Iron followed by Easter ap. of IBDU.....then the rain tapers off as May appears. Under irrigation I use PCSCU:)

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