Every business looks to improve its return on investment and reduce its risk of loss. Farmers are no different, yet the most important nutrient to their corn crop, nitrogen (N), is often put at risk of loss through volatilization, leaching and denitrification. Protecting applied N helps farmers improve plant health and yield, which helps improve the return on investment from their applied N.

“Any way that you can protect that N and improve uptake by the plant will create a healthier, more vigorous plant that has the foundation of nutrients available to create optimum yield,” says Mitch Bambauer, owner and agronomy representative, Bambauer Fertilizer, New Knoxville, Ohio. “Increasing that efficiency of N allows for more bushels per acre and an improved return on that acre year after year.”
 
Nitrogen is directly related to corn yield and profitability, but it is also at risk to be lost to the environment, and those losses are often driven by weather events. In dry weather, farmers could lose their applied N to volatilization; if it ends up wet, you could lose N to denitrification; and if you have water moving through the soil, you could lose N to leaching. With weather being unpredictable, you should take steps to protect applied N from all three forms of loss.
 
“First, you need to make sure to follow the 4Rs of Nutrient Stewardship and apply the right product at the right time at the right rate and in the right place to minimize N loss,” says Darin Lickfeldt, Ph.D., senior technical development manager for Verdesian Life Sciences. “But even when farmers follow the 4Rs, conditions can sometimes be conducive to losing N to the environment. NutriSphere-N® Nitrogen Fertilizer Manager helps protect applied N from all three forms of N loss, giving you insurance regardless of what the weather may be.”
 
NutriSphere-N adds between 8 to 12 bushels per acre to corn yields, depending on soil and agronomic factors and application specifics. Even with low commodity prices, that pays off. With $3.50 corn, NutriSphere-N provides a $30-$45 per acre return, for an ROI of more than 3:1.
 
“Our farmers have seen the benefits of treatment in variable conditions,” says Bambauer. “When we have extreme conditions, we almost always see a benefit from all N efficiency products. But we have seen the most consistent year-after-year return from NutriSphere-N from our farmers in their fields. It has bumped our corn yields 10 to 12 bushels per acre almost every season regardless of the weather conditions. It’s just good insurance for protecting your N investment.”
 
Over 500 trials have been conducted on NutriSphere-N on corn and have shown a positive yield response in more than 90 percent of the trials versus the control. NutriSphere-N has been commercialized for more than 10 years and used on more than 46 million acres. NutriSphere-N can be used on granular urea or liquid UAN and NutriSphere-NH3, a new formulation, can be used on anhydrous ammonia. There is also a formulation, NutriSphere-N HV®, designed for high-volume UAN application rates.
 
The variety and versatility offered by these NutriSphere-N products provide return, not just in terms of yield and profitability, but long-term returns to the environment, as well.
 
“When applied N is stable and available to the plant, that’s going to lead to more uptake into the plant, meaning less is lost into the air, rivers, lakes, streams and groundwater,” says Bambauer. “Protecting applied N creates a cleaner environment long-term and allows for lower use rates of N if the farmer is efficient.”