Controlled Release Fertilizers (CRF)
Growers are working harder than ever to remain profitable. This quest for profitability has caused many growers to scrutinize their production systems, looking for ways to save money on materials and labour. Recent trials have shown that a change in fertilizer practices may offer growers a real chance to cut costs, produce high quality crops and be more environmentally friendly.
Applied at the beginning of the cropping cycle, controlled release fertilizers (CRF’s) are coated fertilizers that deliver nutrients to plants over a defined and extended period of time. Generally, CRF nutrient release is driven by average soil temperature. Higher soil temperatures cause the fertilizer to release nutrients more quickly, which is linked to a plants higher growth rate and demand for nutrients.
While they are not necessarily the norm, CRF’s can fit very well into a production cycle where CRF’s can deliver nutrients far more efficiently, better matching crop nutrient demand as compared to other nutrition programs.
Basacote® is the COMPO EXPERT brand for fully coated controlled release fertilizers. The broad field of use includes the following segments:
- Substrate mixes for basic fertilization of container nursery stock and other young plants
- Plant hole fertilization of fruit tree (orchards) and forestry plantations
Basacote can be used in:
2. FRUIT CROPS
Incorporating Basacote® into growing media in nurseries, especially during soil mixing, requires no extra application labour. Because Basacote® provide nutrients slowly and constantly and in a manner that is not tied to irrigation frequency, they provide more consistent nutrition for plants making it possible to maintain more consistent quality. Application of a CRF results in lower root zone pH or electrical conductivity compared to traditional fertilizers as long as crops are properly irrigated (less stress). Basacote® is ideally suited for plant-hole application in the establishment of new orchards, plantations and other transplants.
Depending on the rate and product selected, Basacote® continues to feed plants while they are displayed (in nurseries), and after transplant into fields. Basacote® can provide plants with nutrients during cool weather, during lower light conditions and during high rainfall spells when irrigation is not possible. This will lead to more uniform feeding throughout the crop production cycle. By selecting the correct Basacote® product, nurseries can even provide sustained fertilization for transplants, providing a value-added difference.
Choosing a CRF
Choosing the right CRF and rate is critical for success. It’s important for growers to consult with product experts to find the right CRF for their specific needs. The proper longevity type depends on the crop, the growing environment and whether the grower desires post-production feeding.
Basacote® offers better results with 100% coated homogenous fertilizer prills for even distribution of nutrients and controlled nutrient release. These coated prills provide safety, consistency and thorough feeding. Equally important, CRF rates are generally much lower than conventional fertilizer due to their high nutrient use efficiency (NUE).
Combination fertilizer programs
Water soluble fertilizers, fertilizers with nitrification inhibitors and Basacote® can work hand-in-hand to provide greater benefits than any fertilizer technology alone. Basacote® can be used as the base (foundation) fertilizer and topping up with water solubles like COMPO EXPERT’s Novatec® Solub range or granulars like their Novatec® range when the crop needs it.
Through numerous trials it was affirmed that Basacote® use up to 50% (and even more) less fertilizer than conventional fertilizer, indicating traditional fertilizer losses into the environment. Application of Basacote® can dramatically reduce environmental impact. The higher nutrient use efficiency of Basacote® means more of the nutrients are taken up and used by the plants.
Do the math
Studies have shown that although traditional fertilizers cost less per kilogram, they can be far less efficient over the long run of the crop. If a grower needs to apply more fertilizer per unit crop over the entire production cycle with traditional fertilizers, this can make the unit fertilizer cost-in-use significantly higher. This is especially true for long-term crops.
CRF can be much more efficient and applied in lower doses compared to traditional fertilizers. This can lead to a lower total cost per plant. Application of CRF requires less labour, less transport and it is environmentally sound.
How does Basacote work?
Each fertilizer prill is evenly coated with an elastic polymer that controls water penetration and thus the solubility of nutrients inside the coating. This coating ensures a controlled nutrient release over 3, 6, 9, 12 or 16 months. All micronutrients (B, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Zn) are supplied in every granule, mainly placed directly under the coating layer.
Climate Adapted Release:
The nutrient release rate is controlled by temperature. Warmer soil increases the release of nutrients, coinciding with the plants higher demand for nutrients as growth rate increases.
Types of Release Periods:
“M” = months
Release period is determined by the thickness of the coating and can, therefore, be used in all climates.
Compo Blending Equipment:
For more information and tailored plant nutrition programs that are crop and farm-specific contact Michiel Meets at:
COMPO EXPERT South Africa
TEL: +27 (0)82 553 5431
WEBSITE (int): www.compo-expert.com
WEBSITE (South Africa): https://www.compo-expert.es/productos/catalogue-south-africa.html
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