Knowledge Center for Agriculture Solutions | Koch Agronomic Services
Knowledge Center for Agriculture Solutions | Koch Agronomic Services
The Role of Nitrogen in Crop Production and How to Protect It
Article Categories: US, Blog Icon BLOG, Nitrogen Loss
The goal in crop production with nitrogen is to ensure as much of it as possible is available for plant uptake, where it can then be converted to grain throughout the growing season. While we know nitrogen is important to our crops, do we know what role it plays and how to ensure it’s available for optimal crop growth and production?

Understanding the Importance of Nitrogen

Nitrogen is an essential macronutrient for plant function and is a key component of amino acids, which form the building blocks of plant proteins and enzymes. Proteins make up the structural materials of all living matters and enzymes facilitate the vast array of biochemical reactions within a plant. Nitrogen is also a component of the chlorophyll molecule, which enables the plant to capture sunlight energy by photosynthesis, driving plant growth and grain yield. 

Nitrogen plays a critical role within the plant to ensure energy is available when and where the plant needs it to optimize yield. This crucial nutrient is even present in the roots as proteins and enzymes help regulate water and nutrient uptake. 


How to Protect this Valuable Nutrient

We’ve established the role and how important nitrogen is to a crop, now we need to understand how to protect and maximize this vital nutrient during the nitrogen cycle. Unfortunately, the nitrogen cycle is a leaky system, meaning it often works against the goal of high nitrogen use efficiency.

For example, surface-applied and shallow-incorporated urea is subject to volatilization losses as ammonia gas, unless the urea is incorporated by .5-inch rainfall or irrigation or treated with a urease inhibitor, such as ANVOL® stabilizer. ANVOL is the next-generation nitrogen stabilizer from KAS, featuring the Koch-patented active ingredient, Duromide, designed to deliver longer-lasting protection against nitrogen loss due to volatilization.

Anhydrous ammonia, UAN and urea all convert in the soil to form ammonium-N, which is gradually oxidized to nitrate-N through nitrification. This is an aerobic microbial process that accelerates as the soil temperature warms. Nitrate-N is subject to loss by leaching, the downward movement of nitrogen with water through the soil and denitrification, the process where microorganisms in the soil use nitrate for respiration instead of oxygen when soils are saturated.

CENTURO®, a nitrification inhibitor for anhydrous ammonia and UAN, blocks the nitrification process and keeps nitrogen in the ammonium form three times longer than untreated nitrogen fertilizer. This reduces nitrogen loss from leaching and denitrification, ensuring that adequate nitrogen is available to the crop during periods of rapid nitrogen uptake.

Plants require ample nitrogen to drive yield. Make sure your nitrogen is protected against loss and is available when crops need it most. To learn more about how Koch Agronomic Services’ products can help protect a nitrogen investment, contact your strategic account manager or retailer today.

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. Always read and follow label instructions. Always read and follow label instructions.

Article Categories: US, Blog Icon BLOG, Nitrogen Loss
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With persistent wet weather patterns across the U.S. causing logistical strain and delay of many growers getting into their fields, some are already making the switch from anhydrous ammonia to other nitrogen sources. This means now is the time to discuss nitrogen source alternatives and nitrogen protection options with your growers.
Article Categories: Blog Icon BLOG, US, Nutrient Management , Weather
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The process of keeping nitrogen available to nourish crops is complicated. Learn how you can protect against nitrogen loss with Koch solutions.
Article Categories: Blog Icon BLOG, CANADA, US, Nitrogen Loss