Cultivation/Production

Controlled release vs slow release fertilizer products in vegetable crops

According to Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist at the University of Delaware in the US, there has been considerable work on controlled release fertilizer over the years and many of the different technologies have shown potential for use with vegetable crops. Controlled released fertilizer is most useful with nutrients that are subject to leaching losses, particularly nitrogen. Controlled released fertilizers should not be confused with slow release fertilizers. With slow released fertilizers, release pattern over time is not easily predicted and may be affected by moisture, temperature, and microbial activity. Historically slow released fertilizers have included organic sources that require decomposition and mineralization such as manures, composts, waste products from plant or animal sources, and plant residues. In contrast to slow release fertilizers, controlled released fertilizers have a predictable release pattern over time that is commonly temperature based. Controlled release fertilizers that are currently used are based on diffusion coatings (polymer and resin coated products). More

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