Fall N application: What, when, where and how
Finally, be aware that anhydrous ammonia is under a lot of pressure inside the nurse tank, and when released it reacts quickly with water. If ammonia comes in contact with your skin, eyes, or mucous membranes, it will cause dehydration and burns, so please use extreme caution when handling it. Remember that "it is better to lose a minute in life than life in a minute."
Weigh Your Options
While nitrogen does not have to be applied in the fall, this timing has both economic and logistic advantages. Soil conditions are typically more conducive to application, there is more time available than during the busy planting season, equipment and labor are better distributed, and often there are price incentives to buy anhydrous ammonia. The spring typically is wet, and soil compaction is of greater concern, especially for manure application. Waiting until spring to apply fertilizer also can delay planting, damage crops, and delay application of fertilizer to meet the crop's early nutrient uptake needs.
Unfortunately, though, because spring weather conditions greatly influence nitrogen efficiency, it is impossible to know in any given fall how safe or how risky it is to apply nitrogen. If the following spring is dry, there is little risk of loss from fall application (assuming nitrogen was applied correctly). On the other hand, if the spring is wet, the chance of loss increases. If after considering your options you decide fall nitrogen application is right for you, following the guidelines outlined here will certainly help protect your nitrogen investment and at the same time enhance environmental protection.-
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