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Nitrogen

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Planning for a pre-sidedress soil nitrate test

Studies have shown that corn producers could reduce their nitrogen (N) fertilizer rates utilizing the pre-sidedress soil nitrate test (PSNT) in the proper situations. The PSNT season is upon us – late May to early June. Some preparation work and planning are necessary to identify the proper fields and achieve the desired results.

Nitrogen

Nitrogen loss in saturated fields

Nebraska has received 6 to more than 10 inches of rain in East Central Nebraska since April and concerns of nitrogen loss in saturated soils is becoming a reality.

Nitrogen

Ammonia loss from urea

Volatilization losses of ammonia from urea have been a major concern of producers and agronomists because of the lack of precipitation. The nitrogen (N) cycle is very complex as it includes all forms of matter: solid (fertilizer and manure), liquid (dissolved N as nitrate and ammonium) and gas (ammonia).

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Considerations for urease inhibitors

Urea based N fertilizers are in an organic commercial form that requires a biological enzyme to promote degradation to ammonia. Ammonia exists as a gas at normal temperature and pressure, thus it may be lost by volatilization if not exposed to water. Ammonia loss potential by volatilization for incorporated urea products is negligible because soil holds enough water to capture ammonia as ammonium that can be held on the soil’s cation exchange complex. Surface applications of urea are at risk of loss because there is no opportunity to capture the ammonia as it is produced.

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