Reducing Nitrogen Volatilization
It comes as no surprise that growers across the U.S. are dealing with the effects of excessive precipitation. Late fall and winter precipitation limited fertilizer applications, and heading into spring, it has led to compressed fertilizer application windows. The wet conditions can increase the risk for leaching, denitrification and volatilization losses of nitrogen, all of which can threaten a grower’s bottom line.
Ammonia volatilization is nitrogen loss in the form of ammonia gas (NH3) to the atmosphere. It can cause up to a 40% loss of nitrogen and can be significantly higher in certain conditions. Factors that influence volatilization include:
- pH of the soil (high pH is worse, but it can occur in low pH)
- Fertilizer source (ammonium, urea, UAN, etc.)
- Higher air temperatures
- Surface crop residues
- Warm, moist soils
When urea or UAN is used in a broadcast application, urease enzymes break it down. Ammonia is then converted to ammonium (NH4+) and held in the soil, or it is lost to the atmosphere when urease hydrolysis converts the urea or UAN to NH3.
Some cultural practices to reduce volatilization include surface applying urea on cold, dry soils and banding of UAN or strip tilling urea. While these practices can help, adding urease inhibitors can greatly increase your success of reducing volatilization.
Helena’s urease inhibitor, N-Fixx XLR, prevents the urease enzyme from converting urea and UAN into NH3 for up to two weeks. This allows for irrigation and rainfall to take place before volatilization occurs and slows the rate of urea hydrolysis. N-Fixx XLR is a proven, NBPT-based formulation that is enhanced with a patented technology.
N-Fixx XLR is a nitrogen stabilizing fertilizer additive that reduces nitrogen volatilization by ammonia loss. N-Fixx XLR’s patented technology improves absorption and coverage on urea, improves flowability of treated urea, and improves mixing and stability with UAN. By protecting nitrogen and keeping it in a usable form, N-Fixx XLR helps deliver vital nutrition to crops during key growth stages.