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The challenges and solutions for open field crops

Haifa Group is a multi-national corporation and a global leading supplier of specialty plant nutrition. The company's decades of operations have made Haifa a world leader, known for providing innovative solutions in all areas of its expertise, dedicated and accessible to agronomic knowledge for farmers around the world.
We specialize in innovative, highly efficient, and sustainable solutions that are committed to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Our open field plant nutrition solutions are adapted to precise agriculture, with the goal of improving agricultural efficiency, increase productivity and reducing waste.


Avishai Schneider, our global Water-Soluble Fertilizers Market Development Agronomist, has been working for Haifa Group since 2013. 
During his career Avishai has been in contact with open field growers, who are coping with the increasing unstable conditions related to the changing climate, which is often expressed  as  stressed plants and  various nutrient deficiencies.  We talked to him about Haifa's solutions for open field.


Everybody talks about the weather. As climate changes become a prime challenge to open field agriculture, reliable crop nutrition is harder to come by. What is your opinion?

Well, frequent events of extreme weather such as high and low temperatures, floods, droughts, sporadic rain events and other anomalies bring new challenges when it comes to plant nutrition, especially to the open filed crops. Plants must be more resistance to stress, than ever before. Extreme weather events impair nutrient uptake and hence reduce nutrients use efficiency (NUE). This in turn means that fertilizer application must be efficient and accurate, to maintain a strong plant that can handle the extreme condition and maintain high NUE.

Haifa offers a range of solutions, designed to overcome these challenges, whatever the weather is. From plant nutrition solutions to application methodologies, we provide the tools to act, reduce the risk due to unpredictable growth conditions.

Due to the unstable weather, open field growers who rely on rain or flooding irrigation are incorporating sprinklers or drip irrigation in order to maintain steady water supply to their crops. Nutrigation™ (also known as fertigation) with high quality water and soluble fertilizers allows maximum flexibility of nutrients supply through irrigation systems, which provides precise control over nutrition and plant performance, even under unstable weather conditions.

After that we have Controlled Release Fertilizers (CRF), which provide a steady supply of nutrients and is not affected by inconsistent  rain or heavy irrigation and does not require sophisticated equipment.

By using CRF the grower saves labor and application costs.

The CRF granules, which have a semi-permeable coating are applied directly in to the soil. The coating acts as a semi-permeable barrier that allows continuous release of nutrients to the root zone. We have the Multicote™, Multicote™ Agri, CoteN™ and Multicote™ Stim, which help regulate stress and enable optimal  plant growth throughout the season.

Haifa also offers a wide range of Foliar Nutrition fertilzers that deliver the exact and  specific elements to the plant at a specific stage, with fast, corrective response when the nutritional balance  is impaired or in specific crop conditions.

our latest releases are 2 new  product lines of Bio-stimulants that were especially designed to increase NUE and to enhance plants resistance - Haifa Stim that offers sophisticated Bio-stimulant activity that promotes and improves plant strength and resistance and the Hybrid fertilizer product lines such as Polyfeed Stim and Multicote stim. These fertilizers offer unique solutions that combine mineral nutrition with the Bio-stimulant advantages in one product, which allows efficient and safe application without worrying about clogging irrigation lines.

our latest release are two new and disruptive lines of products that were especially designed to increase NUE and to enhance plants resistance, is the Haifa innovative Biostimunat line of products - HaifaStim™ which offers sophisticated bio stimulants that promote and improve plant strength and resistance.  and the Hybrid fertilizers product lines such as Poly-feed™ Stim and Multicote™ stim. These fertilizers offer unique solutions that combines mineral nutrition with the bio stimulant advantages in one product which allows efficient and safe application without worrying about clogging irrigation lines.


Nutrient Use Efficiency (NUE) shows the ability of crops to take up and utilize nutrients for maximum yields. It is a topic that we have been hearing a lot recently. What are your thoughts about it when speaking in terms of Open Field crops?

NUE is measured through:

* Uptake – % of supply
* Utilization
– biomass production per unit of nutrient

Traditionally, in open filed crops such as arable crops and orchards, granular fertilizers are applied to the soil surface. These fertilizers efficacy is low and for fertilizers such as urea they are exposed to leaching into the soil.

Controlled Released Fertilizers and advanced method of nutrients application by  Nutrigation™ were designed and are used for increasing NUE and reduce the environmental impact.    

Recently, Haifa R&D and the innovation center carried out a trial  that assessed the losses of Nitrate Nitrogen due to leaching. The trial included Urea applied by two application methods, soil application and fertigation as well as controlled released Urea. The trial results pointed out a clear-cut findings and conclusions, which showed that Nutrigation & Controlled release fertilizers decrease nitrate leaching.
CoteN™ Mix is wonderful for that. It releases nutrients to the soil according to plant’s requirements, prevents nutrient volatilization and  leaching, which leads to improved nutrient use efficiency and allows reduced application rates. CoteN™ Mix is suitable for vegetables (open field and protected), herbs, strawberries, fruit trees, bananas, and forest planting.


Sounds like Haifa has solutions for every problem in the product portfolio for all crops, but are there any other tools growers can use as well?
Of course! First of all, our website is full of crop recommendations and programs that are free for everyone.
We have also a fertilizer conversion calculator and NutriNetTM, which is a free online program that you can use to optimize fertilization programs, based on your soil and water composition, and using our updated localized database of crop requirements.
We have also a variety of apps, which includes FoliMatch™ for for foliar nutrition. FoliMatch™ is simple and easy to use and provides precise crop and stage specific foliar fertilization recommendations. We have more apps that are currently being developed. These systems  will address nutrient deficiencies and provide  the grower with decision support recommendations (Croptune) and the MultiMatch system that predicts availability of nutrients throughout the season along with accurate recommendation for using  controlled release fertilization.