How To Protect In Season Nitrogen

Sidedressing or topdressing can be vital in achieving optimal yields. Nitrogen loss can be a serious problem impacting yield potential and return on investment. Depending on the soil type, nitrogen fertilizer can be susceptible to losing more than 50% of its nitrogen through ammonia volatilization, denitrification and nitrate leaching.

The Nitrogen Cycle

The process of keeping nitrogen available to nourish crops is complicated. Variables such as weather, soil type and soil microbe population can all have an impact on how nitrogen can be lost. This diagram illustrates how nitrogen is made available for plants as well as the various mechanisms for losing nitrogen.

3 kinds of nitrogen loss:

-Ammonia volatilization: this type of N loss occurs above ground and happens when the soil’s urease enzymes break the urea molecules into ammonia gas. This can take place in every soil type.

-Nitrate Leaching: this takes place below ground and occurs when negatively charged nitrate is moved below the plant’s root zone by percolating water. This type of N loss is most common in sandy soils.  

-Denitrification: loss due to denitrification happens below ground and occurs when nitrate nitrogen is converted back the gaseous forms. N loss like this is most common in poorly drained or waterlogged soils.

Nitrogen stabilizers can help protect your in season nitrogen investment. Different products protect differently against nitrogen loss.
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