According to the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center, La Niña is expected to stick around through the end of May and then transition to neutral El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). ENSO is a recurring climate pattern involving change in water temperatures in the center and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. There are three states of ENSO - El Niño, La Niña and neutral.
La Niñas tend to bring drier winters and warmer than normal temperatures across the southern part of the U.S. and a good portion of eastern U.S. Conversely, below-average temperatures are seen in the Pacific Northwest eastward, over to the Northern Plains. In addition, parts of the Midwest, Ohio valley and Tennessee see more rain and snowfall than normal.
The Impact of Spring
So, what does this all mean for spring, specifically March through May?
Short answer, it depends. There are many factors that will play out in the coming weeks and months, but with how things sit in late winter, the National Weather Service is predicting above-normal precipitation for Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Washington and portions of Iowa, Arkansas and Oregon. Much of the rest of U.S., excluding the Southwest, will see equal chances in the probability of above or below-normal precipitation, or close to average rainfall for these areas.
Considerations for Nitrogen Applications this Spring
Especially for those in the eastern Cornbelt, who may see increased chances for above-normal precipitation, rainfall and saturated fields can mean increased risks for leaching and denitrification for applied nitrogen. If rainfall amounts exceed the water holding capacity of the soil, leaching can become your nitrogen loss culprit. And if you combine warm temperatures with saturated soils, then denitrification becomes a concern.
While spring is usually associated with spring showers, the La Niña could contribute to worsening drought in the Southwest and lead to dry conditions in other regions such as western Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. And like too much rain, dry conditions can lead to nitrogen loss as well. Little rainfall, combined with windy or hot weather can lead to increased risk of volatilization losses, especially when surface-applying urea or UAN.
Reduce Your Nitrogen Loss Risk
While the forecasted weather could change, the risk for nitrogen loss can remain no matter if you’re facing a wet or dry spring. Mitigate your risk and protect your fertilizer investment with a nitrogen stabilizer.
ANVOL® nitrogen stabilizer reduces losses via volatilization and can be used on urea or UAN. ANVOL provides the longest-lasting urease inhibitor protection over a wider range of soil environments. In a 2021 study conducted by the University of Tennessee, ANVOL reduced volatilization losses by 75%, 66%, and 77% at the 30, 90, and 150 lb. N/ac. sidedress rates, respectively, when compared to untreated urea at the same rate.1
Leaching & Denitrification
CENTURO® nitrogen stabilizer protects against nitrogen loss via leaching and denitrification and can be used to treat anhydrous ammonia or UAN applications. CENTURO extends your window of protection by slowing the conversion of ammonium to nitrate to hold the nitrogen in the ammonium form up to three times longer than without an inhibitor.2 By extending the window of protection, this allows more nitrogen to be available to crops even when loss conditions are favorable to leaching and denitrification.
Volatilization, Leaching & Denitrification
In the event the forecast changes, don’t be caught without the protection needed to combat nitrogen losses. SUPERU® premium fertilizer is a ready-to-use fertilizer that guards against all three forms of nitrogen loss. Based on soil sample analysis conducted by a third-party lab service, SUPERU reduced losses from leaching and denitrification after 22 inches of rainfall following application. SUPERU retained 82.6% of nitrogen in the soil versus untreated urea with only 19% of the nitrogen applied remaining.3
For now, spring weather is a bit of a waiting game, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put safeguards in place today. Contact you KAS rep today to learn which KAS solution would work best for your operation.
1The underlying data was provided by the University of Tennessee under a Research Trial Support Agreement with Koch Agronomic Services, LLC and neither these institutions, nor the individual researchers referenced, endorse or recommend any product or service.
2The 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.
3The data was provided and permission for use was granted by a KAS retail SUPERU customer in Oklahoma. Soil testing was conducted by a third-party laboratory service in June 2019
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.