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Haifa Blog

Controlled Release Fertilizer Technology (CRFT) - the way towards the precised arable crops nutrition and precision Agriculture

Arable crops are dominating agricultural land worldwide playing a vital role in food production and human nutrition. Although new technologies over Precision Agriculture have been rapidly developed, little have been done towards arable crops nutrition in terms of efficiency and sustainability. In reality, arable crop nutrition for decades is stuck on commodity fertilizers where nutrient use efficiency meets it’s lowest point, leading to great loss of elements, production and money. Control Release Fertilizers (CRF) can now be revolutionary in how we approach and apply the nutrition in arable crops, paving the way to the future fertilization practices and matching perfectly with the evolution of Precision Agriculture. The idea remains that the future of “intensified sustainability” through Precised Agriculture is based on new technologies and innovative products redefining our traditional “way of thinking”.

Nitrogen (N) could be characterized as the most significant nutrient in arable crops production and at the same time the most subjected in losses, while the utilization of N in mineral fertilizers is about 50-70% in the first year (Finck, 1992) and global urea use efficiency is no more than 50%. Sprayed molecules for protecting the N fertilizers working as inhibitors (urease inhibitors, nitrification inhibitors e.t.c.) of enzyme activity provided little protection and nowdays are considered more or less an outdated technology. After all, there have been more than 30 years since these technologies was launched initially and nothing more have been done since then, over nitrogen fertilizers efficiency.

Although there are no ideal solutions in nature maybe we can think differently in the arable crops nutrition and move a step further from the established practices. Use the technologies that are famous in high added value crops and make a more targeted and sustainable scenario. A very famous technology in nursery production could now be a solution and shift the way of the fertilizing approach in arable crops. Could Control Release Urea technology be an answer to the above issue and what can be achieved through the Control Release Fertilisers in arable crops?


Through this technology the idea is initially to:

a) minimize the losses of Nitrogen (N)

b) to increase the N efficiency

c) to decrease the number of application while maintaining a cost effective  

    practice which improves and stabilizes the production.


Nitrogen in form of urea (worldwide average Urea losses = 50%) is encapsulated inside a polymeric membrane (coating technology) with the capacity to release the nutrient osmotically in small doses over the whole plant growth period. No excessive dosses at the beginning and at the middle of the season that can stress the plant rooting system. Control Release Urea (CoteN Urea) specifically, has the capacity to release Nitrogen over a determined period of time under a reference soil temperature of 21oC, while at the same time is not working under 12oC in the soil. By having the soil temperature the only factor that drives the release rate of urea outside of the capsule, coated urea is:

a) minimizing the losses of N down to 2-3%

b) provides to the grower according to the climate zone and the crop the opportunity to choose the release time rate (2,3,4 and 6 months)

c) apply the fertilizer once with the sowing and reduce the application cost

d) improve the efficiency of the fertilizer following the 4P strategy in precise nutrition (Precise Product, Precise Time, Precise Place, Precise Dosage)

e) reduce the applied kg/ha to minimum

f) reduce the tilling and the compaction of the soil (No Tilling Tech)

g) perfectly match with the Precise Agriculture Technology that nowdays is easily adopted widely by the


    arable crops farmers.


CoteN™ Mix Products (Yellow line) – Optimal Nutrition throughout the growth season Nitrogen is released throughout the growth season ful lling the plant needs to all plant development stages.

Finally, we can not expect Precision Agriculture, Smart Farming, High Tech Technologies without moving one step forward more close to innovative products and solutions.

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