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Slow release fertilizer VS. Controlled release fertilizer

Both slow release fertilizers (SRF) and controlled release fertilizers (CRF) supply nutrients gradually. Yet, slow release fertilizers and controlled release fertilizers differ in many ways: The technology they use, the release mechanism, longevity, release controlling factors and more.


Follow the table below to learn about the main differences, by comparing Haifa's Multicote™ technology with the three main technologies used by slow release fertilizers:

  Multicote™ SCU, Poly-SCU IBDU Methylene Urea, Ureaform
Technology Polymer coating Sulfur-based coating Urea reaction product Urea reaction product
Release mechanism Diffusion Rapture of coating Hydrolysis Microbial degradation
Longevity 2-16 months, depends on the coating thickness 2-2.5 months Depends on particle size MU: 12 weeks
UF: 12 months
Release controlling factors Temperature Microbial activity, moisture, temperature Soil moisture, temperature Microbial activity, moisture, temperature, pH, organic matter
Controlled-release N (% of total N)* 100% 40-50% 85% MU: 50%
UF: 20%
Additional nutrients in a controlled-release form Controlled-release NPK formulae





Slow release fertilizer: less control over nutrient release

As shown in the table, only one factor – soil temperature – affects the nutrients release of controlled release fertilizers. As for slow release fertilizers, there are multiple factors affecting the release (soil moisture, temperate, pH, etc.). Thus, using controlled release fertilizers the nutrient release is much more predictable.

Haifa's controlled release fertilizers

Haifa's controlled release fertilizers offer continuous release of nutrients throughout the growth season, optimized nutrition in a single easy application, reduced application rates and many other benefits.


Controlled release fertilizers - how does it work? watch the video:



Learn more about our Multicote™ products