Knowledge Center for Agriculture Solutions | Koch Agronomic Services
Knowledge Center for Agriculture Solutions | Koch Agronomic Services
Protecting your Spring-Applied Anhydrous
Article Categories: Blog Icon BLOG, US, Nutrient Management
Spring will be here before you know it and soon it will be time to be out in the fields once again. And if you’re a grower applying anhydrous ammonia, timing is everything since spring weather can be somewhat unpredictable.

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
  • Tile-drained fields
  • 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
  • Tightly 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

 CENTURO provided a 6 bushel per acre yield advantage over untreated NH3

By extending the window of protection, studies show CENTURO can optimize the availability of the nutrients for plant uptake and boost nitrogen use efficiency by up to 25 percent. In one of those studies across three years in Nebraska, Illinois and Missouri, spring-applied CENTURO treated ammonia increased corn yield by an average of 6 bu/acre compared to untreated spring-applied ammonia.

Growers & Retailers Benefit from CENTURO

Since its introduction in 2018, CENTURO has earned the respect of retailers and growers alike. Those using CENTURO highlight the yield optimization as well as the storage advantage of being noncorrosive to the metals used with anhydrous ammonia and UAN equipment.

“We’re excited to talk with our customers and growers and hear that they’ve adopted CENTURO and are happy with the product’s results,” Laatsch says. “They’re telling us that CENTURO is a good fit for their nitrogen management plans and they’re impressed with the product’s ease of use, storage and handling benefits.” 

Thad Russell agrees. The field sales agronomist for Central Valley Ag in Nebraska says it is common to use stabilizers with anhydrous ammonia in their area. And they’re happy they switched to CENTURO. 

“I’ve used numerous other stabilizers, but we’re really excited about using CENTURO,” says Russell. “Besides the stabilizing factor of CENTURO, growers like the ease of handling and that it’s noncorrosive.”

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, contact your KAS 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. 2The underlying data was provided by University of Nebraska, University of Missouri, and the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association under Research Trial Financial Support Agreements with Koch Agronomic Services, LLC. Neither the universities or institutions, nor the individual researchers referenced, endorse or recommend any product or service. Improvements in nutrient use efficiency may not be observed in all cases

CENTURO has a noncorrosive formula to the metals used in anhydrous ammonia and UAN equipment. CENTURO is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. 

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