Knowledge Center | Koch Agronomic Services
Knowledge Center | Koch Agronomic Services
Anhydrous Ammonia: Planning for the Unpredictable
Article Categories: Blog Icon BLOG, CANADA
If the 2019 season taught us anything, it’s that things don’t always go according to plan. But that doesn’t mean looking ahead is a fruitless practice. With that in mind, have you started thinking about your 2020 nitrogen plan? A strategically planned anhydrous ammonia application can deliver significant agronomic and operational benefits. But how can you be confident your nutrient investment will still be available when crops need it?

While there’s no surefire way to guarantee anything when it comes to farming, there are actions you can take to set yourself up for success. As you begin to make your plans for this year’s nitrogen applications, consider these best practice recommendations. Rigas Karamanos is a senior agronomist with Koch Agronomic Services (Canada) and an authority on soil health interactions across Canada.

“Growers know it’s important to follow the 4R Nutrient Stewardship framework developed by Fertilizer Canada, because minimizing the potential for nutrient losses allows us to more sustainably manage our agriculture production systems,” said Karamanos.

According to Karamanos, keep these three things in mind: 

  • Always use a nitrification inhibitor, such as CENTURO® nitrogen stabilizer, with applied anhydrous to slow the conversion of ammonium and minimize nitrogen leaching beyond the root zone.
  • Apply nitrogen and inhibitors at the right time to protect your fertilizer until the crop needs it. To keep applied nitrogen in the ammonium form longer and minimize loss, wait to apply fall anhydrous until the 4-inch soil temperature has fallen below 10º–15º C. 
The use of nitrification inhibitors is not a new practice. CENTURO nitrogen stabilizer is a next-generation nitrification inhibitor for anhydrous ammonia. The patented active ingredient in CENTURO, Pronitridine, slows the nitrification process. 

“By slowing the nitrification process, CENTURO lengthens the conversion to ammonium and from there to nitrite and then nitrate by as much as three times than without an inhibitor1. That makes it available for plant uptake for up to three weeks longer, creating several advantages for growers, from reducing the potential for denitrification and the release of nitrous oxide to effectively lengthening the planting/seeding season for growers.”


In ideal soil and weather conditions, properly applied fall nitrogen will remain inactive in soil through the winter until warmer temperatures activate the nitrification process, distributing nutrients to spring crops at the right time. Varying soil pH and moisture levels can create an unpredictable landscape where your nitrogen investment can be highly susceptible to denitrification and leaching if left unprotected. 

CENTURO provides greater flexibility and protection, assuring the nitrogen you apply in the fall will be more stable for a longer period of time, maximizing availability
in the spring. So, when mother nature does her best to disrupt your best laid plans, you can be confident your nutrients are protected. CENTURO has been proven to extend the window of protection for anhydrous ammonia three times longer than without a nitrification inhibitor.1

 When it comes to farming, the only certainty is that every season comes with unpredictable risks. Some of the best decisions you can make for your operation next year take place this year. As the fertilizer application window opens up this season, keep the above best practices in mind and ask your fertilizer dealer about extending the protection of your nitrogen investment with CENTURO. Learn more about CENTURO here or contact your KAS sales rep to find your local retailer. 

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. Improvements in nutrient use efficiency, yield and nitrate leaching may not be observed in all cases. 

Article Categories: Blog Icon BLOG, CANADA
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