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Holding back urease can unleash yield potential

Updated: 05/08/2012 @ 9:31am

Inhibiting impact of urease in soil enables urea to do its job in yield production

The words “urea” and “urease” sound a lot alike. Urea is a cost effective nitrogen source and critical input in successful crop production. Urease is essential to convert the urea to a plant available form of N in the soil.

However, when this reaction takes place on the soil surface it can rob valuable nitrogen and ultimately reduce yields. Urease is an enzyme present in the soil that reacts with urea, turning it into carbon dioxide and ammonia (gas). When this happens on the soil surface it is released into the atmosphere, a process called volatilization. Volatilization losses from surface application of urea can be as much as 30 percent.

Situations favoring ammonia volatilization from urea or urea-based fertilizers include surface-application of the fertilizer; relatively high surface soil pH; high amounts of surface residue; warm and windy weather; high relative humidity; and moist soil. Fortunately, there is an effective, economical way to limit volatilization caused by urease. A urease inhibitor is a substance that, when applied to the fertilizer, controls volatilization loss. AGROTAIN® nitrogen stabilizer blocks urease so the breakdown process for urea is slowed. This allows the urea to be fully incorporated into the soil by rainfall, irrigation or mechanical incorporation.

AGROTAIN® stabilizer meets the criteria for enhanced-efficiency fertilizers as defined by the Association of American Plant Food Control Officials, so growers can count on it to keep nitrogen available when plants need it most. More urea for use by plants can add up to a more profitable growing season.

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