Constantia Fertiliser’s goal is to add value to the TWK group by mixing quality fertiliser products and distributing these products to the agricultural sector through their network of branches and directly to farmers. Constantia Fertiliser is supported by a dedicated marketing team throughout South Africa.
Constantia Fertiliser Umlaas is located on Umlaas Road, Camperdown. This busy fertiliser plant strives to achieve greater heights every year. The facility boasts a mammoth size of 5 000 m2, with a bulk storage capacity of 10 000 t and floor storage space of 600 t.
The urea plant produces an impressive 40 t per hour. Urea, also known as carbamide, is an organic compound with the chemical formula CO(NH₂)₂. This amide has two –NH₂ groups joined by a carbonyl functional group. Urea plays an essential role in the metabolism of nitrogen-containing compounds by animals and is the primary nitrogen-containing substance in the urine of mammals. Urea is the most important nitrogenous fertiliser on the market, with the highest nitrogen content (about 46%). It is a white, crystalline organic chemical compound. Urea is neutral in pH and can adapt to almost all kinds of soils. It is a waste product formed naturally by the metabolism of protein in humans and other mammals, amphibians and some fish. Urea is widely used in the agricultural sector both as a fertiliser and as an animal feed additive. The primary function of urea fertiliser is to provide the plants with nitrogen to promote green leafy growth and make the plants look lush. Urea also aids the photosynthesis process of plants. Since urea fertiliser can provide only nitrogen and not phosphorus or potassium, it is primarily used for bloom growth.
The LAN plant produces 15 t per hour. In regular practice the basal nitrogen dressing at planting is often supplied with all the phosphorus and part or all the potassium requirement in the form of a ready-made fertiliser mixture such as 2:3:4 (30) or 2:3:2 (22), both of which are very popular with many vegetable growers. At the rates generally used to satisfy the phosphorus requirement on reasonably fertile soils, these mixtures may supply too little nitrogen at planting, and would need to be supplemented with one of the principal nitrogen fertiliser materials. Such materials include limestone ammonium nitrate (LAN), which contains 28% N and, incidentally, also about 5% Ca, urea (46% N) and ammonium sulphate (21% N and 24% S). Of these, LAN is the most popular and least acidifying and is used extensively for both basal and side-dressing.
Ordering from Constantia is effortless. Orders are received from the client or the farmer. A job card is created, and the process is set in motion. The production manager and supervising manager work closely together to ensure orders are carried out correctly the first time. The ordered product is manufactured and quality checked before it is loaded on a dispatch truck and weighed to go out for delivery.
All the products produced at Constantia are approved by their in-house agronomist. This speeds up lead times on production and deliveries.
Popular products are granular fertiliser registered blends/registered straights such as urea, MAP, KCL and LAN, to name just a few. All the prescription blends get additional approval from the agronomist.
What makes Constantia stand out from the rest is their sole distribution right on SELCOTE. SELCOTE is a world-class product that is imported and distributed in South Africa only by Constantia.
Constantia also owns their own delivery vehicles, which shortens their delivery times and also ensures their products get delivered safely at the client’s premises.
The company uses a competitive pricing structure. The fact that some of their products are imported creates a significant challenge in keeping their pricing in the market ranges. The ever-changing rand/dollar exchange rate poses a challenge to keep pricing competitive and realistic.
Constantia Fertiliser started as a small blending plant and has expanded over the past seven years into the new and improved blending plant that stands proud at Umlaas today. They have achieved a fantastic client base, and aim to provide the best possible product at competitive prices and with the best service.
The team at Constantia works very well together. They strive to give the clients their best efforts and service. They add value to the TWK group through specifically manufactured quality products to satisfy the needs of clients.
The blending plant at Wellington falls under the supervision of Mark Rohde and is managed by Gerda Vesluis. Oupa Vermeulen, our marketing manager for the Western and Eastern Cape, heads up a very experienced and dedicated team of agents who nurture a supply and customer base.
The process is much the same as at Constantia Umlaas: they produce bulk blends, NPK and custom mixes as per the client’s request in 50 kg or 500 kg bags.
Constantia Wellington’s niche products are blends, mostly plant fertiliser enriched with coated lime, gypsum and the Bio Green product range. The blending is all done correctly according to the need of the specific field by their agronomist, Wynand Bronn. It is not an easy blending process because the lime and gypsum are softer products, with a lower hardness than fertiliser.
Every order comes with a blend card. The card is signed off by our agronomist. Specific blends that require the same raw materials are grouped to streamline production. However, ammonium nitrate and urea blends, for example, can never be grouped in production. Once the product has been manufactured, it is kept in our facility until collected by the client.
The production plant has six bins and six screens, and all fertiliser runs through the same quality-approval system. They produce an impressive 180 to 220 t per 12-hour production run and have storing capacity for 8 500 tons in bulk.
Quality does not go unchecked at any of the Constantia Fertiliser blending plants.
Ideally, fertiliser recommendations should be based on the results of a recent soil analysis done on representative soil samples. Where vegetable crops are to be grown for the first time, or only sporadically or on ‘virgin’ soil, the importance of submitting representative soil samples for analysis and recommendations has to be emphasised. Analysing the ground before planting every crop, or at least annually, is recommended. Any visible or severe nutrient deficiencies or imbalances may then be corrected before planting, and any lime required can be applied.