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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.


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).


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.


Improving nitrogen response for Mid-South corn

Mississippi’s warm, wet climate can pose considerable issues with nitrogen fertilization, particularly for crops which are known to be responsive and demand high amounts for optimal productivity, such as corn. Nitrogen, unlike some other nutrients, is very subject to change forms in the soil, which can substantially affect its availability to plants. The South’s warm, high rainfall climate greatly increases potential nitrogen loss through denitrification and leaching, compared to drier and colder climates. Therefore, optimizing your fertilizer dollars can involve considerable more planning than simply applying a given fertilizer rate.


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