21/04/2022 - 15:42

Local agribusiness puts down ASX roots

21/04/2022 - 15:42

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RLF AgTech is looking to expand the profile of its crop nutrition products on the back of an $8.5 million initial public offering and ASX debut this morning.

Local agribusiness puts down ASX roots
RLF AgTech made its ASX debut this morning. Photo: RLF Agtech

RLF AgTech is looking to expand the profile of its crop nutrition products on the back of an $8.5 million initial public offering and ASX debut this morning.

The Welshpool-based agribusiness uses a combination of “advanced chemistry and manufacturing processes” to produce plant nutrition products for commercial agriculture.

RLF AgTech sought between $7 million and $10 million for its initial public offering, led by Discovery Capital Partners, with 50 million shares on offer at 20 cents apiece.

The business is led by Ken Hancock, who said RLF products are designed to be used alongside existing fertilisers to enable farmers to grow higher-yielding and better-quality produce.

Most of the proceeds from the $8.5 million it raised will go towards expanding the company’s international sales and marketing efforts and increasing production capacity.

Mr Hancock said the company has completed over 1,000 trials for its product – which is predominantly used on rice, wheat and barley crops – and has resulted in a typical 10 per cent to 30 per cent yield increase.

“We complex the micronutrients - sometimes nonexistent micronutrients - with a proton source, (resulting in) our plant proton delivery technology, PPD,” Mr Hancock told Business News.

He explains this product, which is applied either via a seed primer, soil and fertigation product or liquid foliar products to the leaf of the crop, adds to the role of photosynthesis.

“That then increases sugar production and metabolism and grows the crop above the ground but also below ground,” Mr Hancock said.

He explained that the RLF’s products are designed to be complementary to existing fertilisers, such as nitrogen and urea.

“When we increase the root system, we get more uptake at the granular fertilizer and make that system more efficient, and we get better uptake of moisture as well,” he said.

RLF’s offerings come at a higher premium than its traditional counterparts, or, NPK fertilisers, but Mr Hancock said using RLF’s PPD products in tandem could be used to offset extra costs.

“The 20 per cent reduction that the growers can make in traditional fertiliser can often pay for our products, so they essentially don’t have to spend more, they just have to spend smarter,” he said.

“Generally, the grower gets around a five to 10 times return on their investment.”

As well as its main fertiliser business, RLF has recently launched a carbon subsidiary, which was formed to pursue commercial opportunities in carbon credit units.

It has since entered a non-binding letter of intent with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to conduct a carbon feasibility study.

RLF Agtech closed its first day on the ASX at 22 cents in a $37 million market capitlisation.

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