Controlled Release Fertilizers

According to Trenkel (1997), slow- release fertilizers (SRF) or controlled-release fertilizers (CRF) are those containing a plant nutrient in a form, which either (a) delays its availability for plant uptake and use after application (SRF), or (b) is available to the plant significantly longer than a reference “rapidly available nutrient fertilizer” (CRF). Controlled release fertilizers are granulated fertilizers covered with a thin coating, which enables the gradual release of nutrients over an extended time.

Basacote® Plus is the controlled release fertilizer produced by COMPO EXPERT. Each grain consists of an NPK fertilizer with trace elements surrounded by a polymer coating. 

Nutrients are released gradually and in a controlled manner. The release pattern of Basacote® Plus is mainly determined by the surrounding moisture and the temperature. The nutrient release rate is controlled by temperature. Warmer soil increases the release of nutrients, coinciding with the plants higher demand for nutrients as growth rate increases. The unique system of the flexible coating developed by COMPO EXPERT is able to respond very quickly to temperature changes (C-A-R (Climate Adapted Release) Technology). When the temperature rises, the casing softens and the increasing nutritional needs of the plant can be met immediately. When the temperature drops, the casing reacts fairly quickly by hardening again and the nutrient delivery will decrease. This results in the formation of an ideal root system at the start of cultivation and optimal growth throughout the season.

The release pattern also guarantees that the applied amount of Basacote® Plus will be fully available to the plant at the right time. The effect of these fertilizers is based on the processes of osmosis and diffusion. The NPK fertilizer granule, with trace elements, enters a moist substrate. Osmosis allows water to penetrate the grain and dissolve the elements, creating a concentrated nutrient solution. The nutrients are released into the soil/ growing medium through diffusion.

The Multi Benefits of Basacote® Plus

Improve Nutrient Use Efficiency

To avoid a negative impact of fertilizers on the environment (especially the groundwater), the ideal situation is where the plant use all the fertilizer applied to the soil so very little is leached into the surrounding groundwater. This is called a high nutrient use efficiency.

Normal chemical fertilizer is soluble and readily available to the plant, but due to high quantities applied at a time, all fertilizer will not be utilised by the plant and will be leached. These fertilizers have a low nutrient use efficiency.

Using high nutrient efficient fertilizers (such as Controlled Release Fertilizers (CRF’s)), studies have shown that equal growth can be achieved in by using 30% to 80% less fertilizer (see below for results). Nursery trials have shown that conventional fertilizer can be reduced from 182kg/ha N to 42 kg/ha N (75% less), with N leachate of 1 510 ppm in conventional fertilizer compared to 767.1 ppm with CRF ( However, due to differences in climate and other environmental factors, each area will react differently and we recommend consulting a qualified agronomist to achieve the highest nutrient efficiency for you unique situation.

It is clear that CRF’s is one of the logical steps towards sustainable agriculture

Practical Benefits of Basacote® Controlled Release Fertilizer

  • Nutrients are available according to plant demand
  • Lower application costs (tractor, fuel, mechanical)
  • Above also leads to less compaction
  • 30% – 60% less product applied with higher NUE (nutrient use efficiency)
  • Less logistics (less product to transport and store)
  • Less environmental pollution

Where to Use Controlled Release Fertilizer

  • To prevent fertilizer leaching
  • Light, sandy soils
  • Heavy soils in high rainfall areas
  • Where environmentally friendly practices are requested
  • Legislation
  • GlobalGAP
  • For specific crops
  • Shallow Roots
  • High nutritional requirements
  • Where mid-season application are not feasible

Benefits of Basacote® When Planting

  • It can be applied directly at planting
  • It only fertilizes the target tree
  • It uses low amounts of fertilizer by weight
  • The early growth helps trees overcome weed, pest and grazing pressure 
  • Trace elements in Basacote® overcome micronutrient deficiencies and help trees tolerate stress 
  • When using Basacote® in the nursery as well, nutrients will be available to the new seedling immediately therefore reducing transplant shock
  • Slow release properties mean less chance for leaching and nutrient eutrophication of waterways 
  • Well suited to high rainfall areas 
  • Small application amounts means less fertilizer is carried around the site by the planting crew

Unique properties of the coating

  • Even thickness

Ensuring high crop safety through controlled nutrient release

  • High elasticity

High safety; mechanical damage is reduced to a minimum

Coating consists of elastic polymer and is slowly broken down in the soil after nutrient releases

  • Trace element supply

All micronutrients (B, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Zn) are supplied in every granule

Chelated trace elements for excellent plant availability

The precise placement of micronutrients directly under the coating layer guarantees:

  • continuous long-term release
  • best efficiency of the chelates


  • Mixing through the potting soil:

For nurseries. this method gives optimal spreading of the fertilizer.

Make sure that the dose and month type are well coordinated.

Once the potting soil has been supplied with fertilizers, it is recommended that they be used quickly, preferably within 5 days.

  • Planting hole dosage:

The Basacote® is dosed in the planting hole. Either manually or mechanically. This will increase plant health and vitality. Also helping the farmer to focus on other areas on the farm.

Again, the dose and month type must be taken into account. When in doubt, please contact us.

  • Maintenance application on pots:

This method can be used for basic fertilising or as top-up fertilization. You can do the Determine dose and adjust according to the needs of the crop.

  • Maintenance application in orchards:

Basacote® is applied once or twice in the season according to plant age and climate ensuring nutrient demand across the season is accounted for.

Basacote® Plus compared to Basacote Plus Mini Application in the Nursery

Results of Basacote® Applications

Contact Us:

Contact us to assist you in selecting the correct nutrients for your specific crop and environment.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.