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Note: This is a short explanation about MultiMatch's new tool for assessing the environmental impact of fertilization programs. To read more about the method please download the full document.

MultiMatch™ is an online platform developed by Haifa that customizes application plans for the Multicote™ range of controlled-release fertilizers (CRFs), addressing specific crop nutrient requirements and actual growth conditions. Aiming to encourage growers to adopt environmentally-friendly fertilization practices, Haifa has integrated into MultiMatch™ a tool that assesses the environmental impact of CRF fertilization programs and compared them with conventional alternatives.
By incorporating this new tool in the MultiMatch™ system, Haifa’s goal is to raise awareness to the environmental implications of fertilizer production and application, and encourage the use of advanced fertilization methods that minimizes harmful impact on the environment. This assessment tool is intended as a high-level estimate for obtaining initial insights of the environmental impact of fertilization programs.
MultiMatch™ calculates the difference between the environmental footprint of recommended CRF application programs compared to commonly practiced top-soil fertilizer application. In both cases MultiMatch™ uses the same field characteristics, however, fertilizer composition, amount and application method is different and thus the overall environmental footprint is different.
 
The environmental impact assessment of the two programs is calculated according to the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method, a scientific method used to calculate the environmental footprint of a product. Data from MultiMatch™ is sent directly to an LCA model in SimaPro, calculating the environmental footprint for each fertilization program independently. The assessment considers the contribution of  processes from the fertilizer production through to the harvest of the crop:  manufacturing, transport of fertilizers to the farm, application in the field, taking into account emissions to air, soil and water and all harvesting steps, as shown in the Figure below.




Figure 1. Visual representation showing what's included in the study and the system boundaries for the two types of impact assessment. *This process is excluded for the top dressing fertilization program.



The results of the LCA are expressed per 1 kg of produce, and includes the following indicators:
  • Environmental footprint single score
  • Climate change (carbon footprint)
  • N leaching
  • N runoff
  • N volatilization
  • Eutrophication, freshwater
The environmental impact data of the two programs (CRF and top-soil application) are sent from SimaPro to MultiMatch™ and displayed as part of system's results.
Note that the calculation of environmental footprint is complex, requires the use of various assumptions and employs secondary databases of fertilizer production. Therefor the results should be regarded as a relatively rough indication and not be used for any form of external communication or certified documentation. If you seek a more accurate impact assessment of your fertilization program, contact FertilizerLCA@haifa-group.com.

Note: This is a short explanation about MultiMatch's new tool for assessing the environmental impact of fertilizer application programs. To read more about the method download here the full documentation.