If wet weather does make an appearance and disrupts your plans, set yourself up for success now and plan in advance for how you’ll minimize nitrogen loss risks.
According to Tim Laatsch, it’s crucial to protect spring-applied anhydrous. Laatsch has farmed for more than 20 years in Illinois and is also the director of agronomy for Koch Agronomic Services (Koch) in North America.
“Anhydrous ammonia can be susceptible to losses through both leaching and denitrification,” Laatsch says. “Understanding how those processes work will allow you to make a more informed decision on how to best protect your investment.”
Understand Risk Factors
It’s not just anhydrous ammonia that’s susceptible to losses – all nitrogen sources are subject to leaching and denitrification after being nitrified to the nitrate form.
The timing of that application also makes a difference. When nitrogen is applied early in the growing season, the time period between application and plant uptake is extended and the risk for below-ground losses increase.
Let’s take a look at both types of nitrogen loss and what factors feed into those situations.
Leaching occurs below ground and is the movement of nitrate nitrogen carried downward by water out of the root zone. When the nutrients move beyond the soil profile, the plant can no longer use them. The risk factors for leaching are:
- Pre-plant, at-planting or early post-planting applications, which means longer exposure time between application and plant need
- Loosely textured soils with high infiltration
- The pH of the soil
- Surface runoff produced from spring snowmelt
- Above average rainfall and large precipitation events
Denitrification is also a nitrogen loss pathway and involves the breakdown of nitrates to gaseous nitrogen by bacteria in the soil. That gas then escapes into the atmosphere. The risk factors for denitrification are:
- Pre-plant, at-planting or early post-planting applications
- Heavy textured soils with poor internal drainage
- Warm soil temperatures
- Saturated soils greater than 60% water-filled pore space
Keep Nitrogen Where You Need It
Now that you know the potential risks associated with untreated nitrogen, you need a reliable solution to protect your investment as you minimize the amount of inputs needed to produce the highest yield possible. To help keep your applied nitrogen where you need it during spring rainfall, many growers have turned to CENTURO® nitrogen stabilizer from Koch. CENTURO protects your spring anhydrous ammonia application against denitrification and leaching by keeping applied nitrogen in the ammonium form three times longer than without an inhibitor.1
Additional Benefits for retailers & growers
With the patented active ingredient Pronitridine, CENTURO also offers flexible storage and handling benefits for operational efficiencies.
- Can be added directly to anhydrous ammonia portable pressurized tanks.
- CENTURO is noncorrosive to the metals used in anhydrous equipment, saving down time caused by corrosion.
- Does not require stainless steel tank storage and can be stored for up to two years without degrading.
- The product is noncombustible, eliminating the need for explosion-proof equipment.
- CENTURO will not freeze as long as temperatures remain above -23 degrees Celsius.
Now is the time to make your spring anhydrous ammonia plans. Talk to your retailer today about adding CENTURO to your nitrogen management plan so you can protect your nitrogen investment and optimize yield potential. For more information on CENTURO, visit CENTURO.ca or contact your Koch representative.
1The underlying data is based on third-party laboratory studies funded by Koch Agronomic Services; results may vary based on a number of factors, including environmental conditions.