Source: University of Missouri


There are many variables important to crop producers when it comes to the application of nitrogen fertilizers. Among them are the timing, rate and method of application of nitrogen, as well as the source and the use of additives, which can vary widely across the state and often between neighbors. A successful nitrogen management program aims to deliver enough nitrogen fertilizer to the crop in order to optimize yield and profitability while minimizing losses to water and air. With nitrogen, economic success and environmental success overlap almost completely. Everyone wants the nitrogen to end up in the crop.


IPM1027: Best Management Practices for Nitrogen Fertilizer in Missouri, authored by Peter Scharf, Extension Nutrient Management Specialist, and John Lory, Extension Environmental Nutrient Management, is intended to describe crop production practices that have the greatest potential for success in dealing with the complexities of managing nitrogen fertilizer. This publication is a tool designed to provide crop producers and fertilizer applicators with the information needed to make sound nitrogen management decisions.


The best management practices (BMPs) presented in this publication are identified as sound practices from an economic, production and environmental standpoint. Included in this manual are the BMPs for the best time and rate to apply nitrogen in order to minimize losses and ensure adequate availability to the crop during critical growth periods. Also included is detailed information on choosing a nitrogen fertilizer source as it relates to timing, application methods and placement, and the use of additives, as well as managing nitrogen from manure, along with the BMPs needed to promote the efficient nitrogen uptake.


The MU Plant Protection Programs publishes a series of IPM manuals and guide sheets that focus on a wide variety of topics important to individuals engaged in making sound pest management decisions and improving crop yields. From "Weed Management Systems for Environmentally Sensitive Areas (IPM1018)," to "Crop Nutrient Deficiencies and Toxicities (IPM1016)," IPM guidesheets offer something for everyone involved in pest management; from crop production, to landscape maintenance, to homeowners to hobby gardeners.


IPM publications are free to view online and copies can be printed for your convenience. Print copies of most IPM publications can be purchased for a nominal fee. To order copies of the IPM publications online, click here. To order print copies by phone with a credit card, call: (573) 882-7216 or (800) 292-0969.