Knowledge Center for Agriculture Solutions | Koch Agronomic Services
Knowledge Center for Agriculture Solutions | Koch Agronomic Services
Doing the Math on Nitrogen Protection
Article Categories: Input Costs, Value of Stabilizers
Growers have to make many decisions that can have positive and negative consequences for their crops. What seed hybrid should they plant? When should they irrigate? What pests do they need to spray for this year? But one decision that could have the greatest effect on a grower’s bottom line: skimping or skipping the use of a nitrogen stabilizer to protect their input investment.

Why is not protecting a nitrogen investment such a big risk? Studies show a grower could lose a significant amount of their input investment when they don’t protect it with a nitrogen stabilizer. At that level of loss, they’re leaving yield potential and profits to chance.

“Depending upon weather, soil and other limiting factors, nitrogen fertilizer can be susceptible to significant loss from ammonia volatilization, denitrification and leaching,” said Tim Laatsch, director of North America agronomy for Koch Agronomic Services (KAS). “Their bottom line could be a more risk than they thought.”

As a grower in southern Illinois, Laatsch understands the economic factors growers face. He applies the right amount of nitrogen for his crop’s needs with a stabilizer to protect against loss.

“Input costs are higher than they were three years ago, but protecting your input investment is not only a best management practice, it’s crucial to optimizing your yields,” Laatsch added.

Solutions Protecting Investment

Maximizing inputs to help growers optimize their nitrogen rates and increase yield is behind the work at KAS to develop customer-driven solutions. 

Two nitrogen stabilizers from KAS can help growers capitalize on their crops. CENTURO nitrogen stabilizer is an easy-to-handle nitrification inhibitor offering below-ground protection for anhydrous ammonia or UAN. ANVOL nitrogen stabilizer extends above-ground protection of UAN and urea.

Delivering highly effective performance results and optimized yields, CENTURO has helped growers meet their nitrogen efficiency and management and yield goals. Proven in the field, CENTURO’s noncorrosive formula is gentle on equipment to reduce downtime associated with equipment damage as it works to keep more nitrogen available for plant uptake.

ANVOL is designed to extend the window of nitrogen protection with the dual active ingredients of Duromide and NBPT. By combining NBPT with the KAS patented active ingredient Duromide, growers get the longest-lasting protection against ammonia volatilization over a wider range of soil conditions. 

Bottom line, how can these solutions help growers reach higher yields to become more profitable?

Do the Math

What is the cost and return on protecting nitrogen? As one of the larger investments growers have each season, nitrogen protection can show dividends at harvest. Let’s do the math on a couple scenarios:

CENTURO – Anhydrous Ammonia Math
Studies show that CENTURO treated anhydrous leads to a 6 bushel per acre increase in yield compared to untreated ammonia.1 On 500 acres, that’s 3,000 fewer total bushels without the use of a stabilizer.

If corn prices are $6.902 a bushel, they could face $20,700 in lost earnings from not protecting their nitrogen investment. 

Instead, that same grower decides to protect their nitrogen with CENTURO nitrogen stabilizer. Per acre, CENTURO is $10.07 for anhydrous ammonia at a 5 gallon per ton rate for a total cost of $5,035. Since they didn’t realize the $20,700 loss in yields by using CENTURO, the positive return on investment per acre was 4:1.


ANVOL – Urea Math
In a 2018 Clemson University study, urea treated with ANVOL was proven to provide a 24 bushel per acre average increase compared to untreated urea.3 If a grower applies urea to 500 acres without using ANVOL, that equates to a potential loss of about 12,000 bushels.

If again, corn prices were at $6.902 a bushel, this means the grower could see $82,800 in lost earnings by not protecting their nitrogen.

If a grower were to treat that same amount of urea with ANVOL at a cost of $16.45 per acre over those same 500 acres, it would cost the grower $8,225.

By that math, we are shown the grower in this situation would see a nearly $75,000 profit for a 10:1 positive return on investment per acre.

The numbers don’t lie, protecting nitrogen more than pays for itself.

To learn more about the economic benefits of using nitrogen stabilizers, contact your KAS representative today.

1Data provided by the University of Nebraska, University of Missouri, the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association under Research Trial Financial Support Agreements with Koch Agronomic Services. Improvements in yield may not be observed in all cases. 2Corn price is based on listed price in November 2022. 3Based on data provided by Clemson University from a 2018 corn study. 

None of these universities or institutions, nor the individual researchers referenced, endorse or recommend any product or service.

NOTICE: These calculations are provided on an “as is” basis. The data and material contained in these calculations are provided for informational purposes only. Actual results may vary based on a number of factors, including environmental conditions. Yield benefits from application of stabilizer products to nitrogen fertilizer will only occur if nitrogen loss is a limiting factor. Before use, consult the product packaging and labeling for information regarding the product's characteristics, uses, safety, efficacy, hazards and health effects. DISCLAIMER: KOCH AGRONOMIC SERVICES, LLC (KAS) ASSUMES NO LIABILITY OR ACTION TAKEN IN RELIANCE UPON INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE CALCULATIONS NOR DOES KAS ASSUME ANY RESPONIBILITY OR RISK RELATED TO ANY PERSONS USE OR RELIANCE ON THE CALCULATIONS. TO THE FULLEST EXTENT ALLOWED BY APPLICABLE LAW NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IS MADE INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, WHICH ARE SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDED. 

Article Categories: Input Costs, Value of Stabilizers
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