Protect N

Agriculture.com Staff 07/16/2009 @ 1:20pm

Dow AgroSciences expects to receive federal registration for a new nitrogen (N) stabilizer in August. The new product, which will be called INSTINCT once the label is received, is for use with urea ammonium nitrate (UAN), often referred to as 28% or 32%. It can also be used with liquid manure.

The new stabilizer was used with UAN in Iowa in 2008 and 2009 under a Section 24(c) registration. Until federal registration is received, the product is called GF-2017.

Dow has a long history in the nitrogen-stabilization market. They introduced N-Serve, which is used primarily with anhydrous ammonia (NH3), 35 years ago. INSTINCT and N-Serve have the same active ingredient -- nitrapyrin.

Like N-Serve, INSTINCT delays the conversion of nitrogen from the ammonium form to the nitrate form and protects against N losses due to leaching and denitrification.

Shortly after application, NH3 and UAN convert to the ammonium form. Because the ammonium form carries a positive charge, it is held tightly by the soil and organic matter, which carry a negative charge.

However, nitrosomonas bacteria in the soil convert ammonia to nitrite. Then another bacteria -- nitrobacter -- converts the nitrite form to the nitrate form. Under warm conditions in early fall or spring, this process can take less than a month. According to Dow, nitrapyrin can provide eight to 10 weeks of protection.

Nitrapyrin is a volatile product. "If you were to just apply nitrapyrin on the soil surface, within a day it would have evaporated," says Andrew Simeonidis, Dow product manager for INSTINCT and N-Serve.

INSTINCT, however, remains stable on the soil surface for up to 10 days. During that period, it may be incorporated mechanically or with ½ inch of rain or irrigation water. Once incorporated into the soil, INSTINCT begins protecting UAN from being broken down into nitrate.

To enable the new stabilizer to protect surface-applied UAN, Dow has encapsulated the nitrapyrin in minute capsules. For the nitrapyrin in INSTINCT to protect nitrogen in the ammonium form, the nitrapyrin diffuses through the capsule wall.

Because it is actually the soil that is being treated rather than the UAN, a standard rate of 35 ounces is used. That typically cost about $10 per acre this year, about the same as N-Serve.

Dow AgroSciences expects to receive federal registration for a new nitrogen (N) stabilizer in August. The new product, which will be called INSTINCT once the label is received, is for use with urea ammonium nitrate (UAN), often referred to as 28% or 32%. It can also be used with liquid manure.

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