With a sharp increase in demand and restricted supply, customers are facing 2022 nitrogen fertilizer prices that are 3 to 4 times higher than 2021. Now more than ever we need to maximize the impact of our nitrogen. Nitrogen stabilizers help protect your fertilizer investment by preventing nitrogen loss to the environment, and allowing for better access to nitrogen for growing plants. After all, nitrogen is vital for plant health and yield.
Historically, the low cost per unit of nitrogen encouraged the over-application of N rather than risking plant deficiency and yield reduction. This does not mean nitrogen fertilizer was applied with gross negligence. Total nitrogen rates per bushel produced have significantly decreased as people have become environmentally conscious and focused on long-term sustainability over the last four decades. Furthermore, improvements in plant genetics and farming practices have increased nutrient utilization, allowing us to achieve more bushels per unit of nitrogen.
Norder Supply Know2Grow research in 2021 studied the effects of Anvol urease inhibitor treated UAN on root zone available nitrogen. The study showed a significant increase of plant available nitrogen in the 8 inch root zone and an increase of nitrogen contained in the plant tissue with just the addition of Anvol over the unstabilized check. Koch Agronomic Services performed similar research with Anvol treated Urea, testing rates from 60 to 240 pounds of N per acre. The stabilized nitrogen out-performed the untreated urea by 30 bushel across seven testing sites.
These studies show the ability of nitrogen stabilizers to protect your nitrogen investment and maximize yields. They also provide evidence that stabilizers allow for some reduction in nitrogen rates without sacrificing yield. Both studies were conducted with urease inhibitors, which reduce the risk of volatilization of urea-based fertilizers when applied to the soil surface or with shallow incorporation.
For below ground stabilization a product like Centro is better suited. Centuro is a nitrification inhibitor, which slows the progression of ammonia to nitrate. Nitrate is prone to leaching, especially in lighter textured soils. In poorly drained soils, nitrate can convert to nitrogen through the process of denitrification. Keeping nitrogen in the ammonia form helps ensure nutrient availability later into the growing season.
If you have not already, it is time to review your nitrogen strategy and incorporate Nitrogen Stabilizers into your management plan for 2022.