Each enhanced efficiency fertilizer (EEF) technology has its own unique characteristics and valued advantages. By tailoring fertilizer programs that incorporate these advanced technologies, you can optimize the delivery of nutrients to the plant, improving plant uptake, while reducing the potential losses to the environment through leaching, denitrification, runoff and volatilization.
Controlled-release, coated nutrient sources include the products known as polymer-coated fertilizers (PCFs). The manufacturing process involves coating a readily available nutrient substrate such as urea or sulfate of potash with a polymer coating.
Slow-release nitrogen (N) sources, also called "slowly available," are a part of many turfgrass fertilization programs. They provide greater longevities of available N than quick release sources, and are safer to use on turfgrass because of their lower burn potential. This group includes both coated and uncoated sources.
Inhibitors/stabilized nitrogen fertilizers work by delaying the conversion of N to forms that can be more readily lost to the environment through leaching, denitrification and volatilization. This delay allows time for rainfall or precipitation to move the urea into the soil where it is less prone to volatilization, and/or retains N in the plant/soil system longer. There are two main categories: urease inhibitors and nitrification inhibitors.
Natural organic fertilizers are also slow-release N sources. For the most part, natural organics are by-products from the plant and animal processing industries or waste products.