Nitrogen Stabilizers to Protect Your N Investment - Parrish and Heimbecker, Limited

Nitrogen Stabilizers to Protect Your N Investment

April 29, 2024 | Eastern Canada, Uncategorized, Western Canada

How Do Nitrogen Stabilizers Work?

Nitrogen stabilizers help ensure that the nitrogen is available to the crop by helping to reduce nitrogen loss. Nitrogen stabilizers are products that can help to slow the conversion of nitrogen to forms that are more susceptible to loss. Urease inhibitors slow the transformation of urea to ammonium, which can convert to ammonia gas and be lost by volatilization.  This means that you’re left with less usable N in the soil for crop production.

When Should You Consider Using N Stabilizers?

Nitrogen Stabilizers can be beneficial if you apply 100% of your nitrogen up front, if you surface apply liquid nitrogen as a herbicide carrier, or if you broadcast urea but it doesn’t get fully incorporated. If you have noticeable granules of N on the soil surface after application, it’s at a higher risk of volatilization especially in warm, dry conditions.

The 3 Forms of Nitrogen Loss:

Volatilization is above-ground loss of nitrogen and occurs when the soil’s urease enzymes break the urea molecules into ammonia gas. It can happen when fertilizer is broadcasted or shallow-banded during warm temperatures, or when N is applied to moist soil followed by dry conditions. Soils higher in pH are generally more prone to N loss.

Denitrification nitrogen loss occurs below ground when nitrate nitrogen is converted back into gaseous forms, and happens most often in warm soils that are poorly drained or waterlogged.

Leaching is when nitrogen is lost below ground as downward movement of water carries the negatively charged nitrate below the root zone. Leaching is most common in sandy soils and following heavy rainfall.

Soil Sampling

A soil sample is the first step to making sound nutrient management decisions. Contact your local P&H Representative to learn how to get the most out of your nitrogen application.

Contact your local P&H agronomist for up-to-date product info and recommendations.