SOURCE: AXcess News

June 13, 2007 09:00 ET

AXcess News: Expanded Corn Acreage Boosts Fertilizer Stocks

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - June 13, 2007) - Expanded corn crops aren't hurting fertilizer stocks at all after the USDA reported that corn acreage is expected to increase 15 percent this year. But there's more to that picture if you look across the spectrum of companies who've benefited from rising agribusiness activity.

Itronics, Inc. (OTCBB: ITRO) reported a 52 percent increase in first quarter revenue three weeks ago. The Reno-based maker of liquid fertilizer, GOLD'n GRO, forecast fertilizer sales would double this year and for the first time since launching its fertilizer division, that business unit managed to report a slight profit.

What makes Itronics fertilizer different is that it's manufactured from recycled photochemicals and is environmentally friendly, giving it two distinct advantages. Photochemical waste has to be disposed of properly and Itronics' plant in North Reno is the only one of its kind approved by the EPA. Second, nitrates, found in literally every municipality's drinking water, are becoming a growing concern to both federal and state environmental agencies with most of it coming from runoff due to agricultural use of nitrate fertilizers.

Higher natural gas and petroleum costs have also made the company's liquid fertilizers more economical to use, though Itronics got a break this year when the Utah State University began testing GOLD'n GRO on corn and found that it improved crop growth. Now the company has to wait while field tests are conducted and appropriate fertilizer registrations in cornbelt states are approved before Itronics can even begin to break into that market. But that hasn't stopped some entrepreneurial farmers like Dan Varner who searched for an alternative to nitrate fertilizer for his alfalfa crop and discovered Itronics' GOLD'n GRO.

His answer was to search out an alternative fertilizer source for his hay crop that not only saved him money, but didn't leave a salt residue in his topsoil.

"The cost of commercial fertilizer this year has risen 25 percent while chicken litter jumped nearly 50 percent," Varner said.

The Arkansas farmer had heard about GOLD'n GRO from a friend who'd used it on his alfalfa last year.

Itronics President, Dr. John Whitney, told AXcess News that "In large scale field use in California, GOLD'n GRO is proving to be 2 to 3 times more effective than products it is replacing, meaning that only one third to one half as much fertilizer is needed to satisfy the crop's nutritional requirement."

California remains Itronics' largest market where it is used on cotton, silage corn, alfalfa, orchards and vineyards. But the company is preparing to expand, having acquired two substantial photoservices customers that are expected to significantly expand used photochemical supplies to support on-going growth in GOLD'n GRO fertilizer sales in 2007. During the year the Company also obtained an additional $2 million in financing.

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