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Nitrogen Miser

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By Earl Greenhough

Whether it’s no-till, minimum-till or strip-till, millions of acres are being farmed under some form of conservation tillage. Chances are you are using some sort of reduced tillage system to reduce erosion or save money on equipment, fuel and labor expenses.

However, nutrient management can be much trickier in reduced tillage. Fertilizer is not always mechanically incorporated into the soil. As a result, nutrients remain on top of the abundant crop residue, exposed to the forces of nature until it rains.

This environment can cause a serious problem with urea and UAN applications. High levels of the enzyme urease in crop residue can quickly convert unstable urea into ammonia gas which is lost into the air. This volatilization loss, along with denitrification and leaching losses can rob fields of nitrogen, which leads to several agronomic, economic and environmental problems: If plants don’t receive the nitrogen they need, yields and quality suffer; Increasing nitrogen rates to compensate for losses can erase some of the financial benefits of conservation tillage.

But by using AGROTAIN, growers still can make urea the foundation of their nutrient program in conservation tillage. So many have found it to be a fundamental part of their nitrogen management program that for the fourth year in a row, AGROTAIN has been chosen as the best product in the fertilizer category by no-till growers. It’s because AGROTAIN controls the loss of nitrogen from urea wet or dry.

Every grower I talk to is looking for creative ways to reduce input costs this season. Combining the benefits of AGROTAIN with conservation tillage is a win-win option, for your bottom line as well as the environment.

If you have a question for The Nitrogen Miser or for more information about stabilized nitrogen technology, contact me at [email protected]or call 780-929-8091 or 888-425-8732.


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