ICL is delighted to bring to market Fibagro Advance, a woodfibre substrate manufactured in the UK exclusively for the professional horticultural market.

With its unique production process, ICL’s Fibagro Advance significantly reduces the impact of these issues. Combined with our technically advanced fertilizers and wetting agents we can almost eliminate such issues and produce high-quality plants throughout the growing season.

Using ICL’s unique thermo-mechanical process, Fibagro Advance is designed and manufactured to create a consistent and high-quality product. The process creates ‘split end’ fibres creating a unique matrix, which when blended with other raw materials, such as peat, coir and bark, results in increased water and nutrient holding capacity within peat reduced or peat free growing media.

Professional Woodfibre Substrate

  • Features and Benefits
  • What growers need to know?
  • Why Fibagro Advance
  • Low to medium bulk density - providing a good structure within growing media blends and reducing ‘slumping’ often associated with woodfibre products
  • Reduced nutrient leaching
  • Thoroughly trialled by ICL experts at different inclusion rates
  • High Air Filled Porosity for good rooting and drainage
  • Improved Water Holding Capacity
  • Full ICL nutrition (Osmocote) and wetting agent (H2Gro) packages available to increase plant quality
  • Manufactured in the UK from FSC sourced wood materials
  • Thermo-mechanically processed for consistency and quality

Woodfibre is seen as a sustainable inert option to peat based growing media, however there are issues around its use:

  • Slumping Due to its structure, particularly at high levels 
  • Water retention At levels over 25 to 30% there are difficulties with water absorption and retention
  • Nitrogen draw down Produced predominantly from white woods, the material continues to break down within the growing media potentially using available N in the process
  • Buffering capacity With a low surface area woodfibre is not as efficient at holding on to available nutrients

With its unique production process, ICL’s Fibagro Advance significantly reduces the impact of these issues. Combined with our technically advanced fertilizers and wetting agents we can almost eliminate such issues and produce high quality plants throughout the growing season.


Using ICL’s unique thermo-mechanical process, Fibagro Advance is designed and manufactured to create a consistent and high-quality product. The process creates ‘split end’ fibres creating a unique matrix, which when blended with other raw materials, such as peat, coir and bark, results in increased water and nutrient holding capacity within peat reduced or peat free growing media.


Fibagro Advance has been trialled with ICL’s top of the range nutrition and water management products (Osmocote controlled release fertilizers, Osmoform slow release fertilizers and H2Gro wetting agent), so that our Technical Area Sales team can create the best custom mix growing media for your plants; whether that be a peat reduced Levington Advance Solutions or peat free Levington Advance Sustain mix.

ICL is delighted to bring to market Fibagro Advance, a woodfibre substrate manufactured in the UK exclusively for the professional horticultural market.

Air Filled Porosity

 What is Air Filled Porosity (AFP)?

Air filled porosity is the percentage of air spaces present within the growing media.

What effect does it have?

Adequate oxygen is required around plant roots to help maintain growth whilst discharging waste gasses, such as carbon dioxide and ethylene into the atmosphere. For plant roots to remain aerated, the growing medium must have enough pore space without exposing the plant to drought stress.

Low AFP: There are not enough air spaces present to sufficiently aerate the roots, resulting in root damage and potentially whole plant loss.

High AFP: The air spaces present are too large and the medium drains quickly. The growing medium will have to be irrigated frequently to prevent drought stress.

Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)

What is Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)?

Cation Exchange Capacity, or CEC, is a rating of how well growing media can hold plant nutrients. In other words, particles within growing media can be seen as negative magnets (anions) which attract cations such as Potassium K+ Calcium Ca2+ and Magnesium Mg2+. CEC is expressed as milligrams equivalents per 100cm3.

What effect does it have?

The cation exchange capacity helps to regulate the supply of certain nutrients, such as Ca2+, Mg2+, K+, NH4+ and Na+. CEC also affects the regulation of pH. Growing media with a high CEC will recover more quickly from acidification compared with a media with a low CEC.

Low CEC: The media lack the ability to hold on to cations, resulting in nutrient leaching and deficiencies particularly in Potassium K+ and Magnesium Mg2.

High CEC: The media retain sufficient concentrations of cations which are then easily available to plants roots when needed.

Measured average CEC (meq 100 cm-3) for selected substrates used in UK horticulture market

The graphic (right) contains data published under the AHDB CP138 project: Technical Monograph: Growing Media Laboratory Methods, Mulholand et al., 2016 ADAS2016 ISBN 978-1-5262-0393-9 Published by ADAS UK Ltd.


*All the data in the chart are industry averages apart from the Fibagro Advance

Conclusion

The CEC of Fibagro Advance is significantly higher than the average woodfibre used in the UK market. Value is within the levels of fine peat and bark, which are known to have improved nutrient holding capacity. Fibagro Advance constitutes an excellent material which provides robust peat reduced and peat free mixes for optimum growth in professional horticulture.