Spring is a great time of year. The temperatures start to warm, things green up, and you get a chance to go out into your fields after the long winter months. With all the good spring gives us, it also brings along unpredictable weather that can do more than just disrupt the young growing season.
If you’re applying spring-applied anhydrous ammonia, you need to be prepared for wet spring weather with a plan to minimize nitrogen loss risks.
“It’s crucial to protect spring-applied anhydrous,” Tim Laatsch says. “When there’s a potential for losing nitrogen, that’s not good for the crop or your bottom line.”
Laatsch knows firsthand what spring weather can do to nitrogen without a management plan. A farmer for more than 20 years in Illinois, he’s also the director of agronomy for Koch Agronomic Services (KAS) in North America.
“Anhydrous ammonia can be susceptible to losses through both leaching and denitrification, especially when you apply nitrogen early in the growing season,” Laatsch says. “Understanding how those processes work will allow you to make a more informed decision on how to best protect your nitrogen investment.”
Understanding below-ground nitrogen loss
Leaching causes the nitrate nitrogen to be carried downward by water. That movement takes the nutrients out of the root zone and beyond the soil profile where the plant can no longer use them. The risk factors 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
When nitrates are broken down to a gaseous form by bacteria in the soil, that gas then escapes into the atmosphere as part of the denitrification process. The risk factors include:
- Pre-plant, at-planting or early post-planting applications
- Tightly textured soils with poor internal drainage
- Warm soil temperatures
- Saturated soils with more than 60% water-filled pore spaces
Keep nitrogen where you need it
Now that you know the potential risks associated with untreated nitrogen sources, let’s find out more about a reliable solution created to protect your investment.
Many growers have turned to CENTURO® nitrogen stabilizer from KAS to keep nitrogen where you need it during spring rains, minimizing the inputs needed to produce the highest yield possible. CENTURO can protect your spring anhydrous ammonia application by keeping applied nitrogen in the ammonium form three times longer than without an inhibitor.1
By extending the window of protection, studies show CENTURO can optimize the availability of nutrients for plant uptake and boost nitrogen use efficiency by up to 25 percent. In one study 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.2
Advantages to using CENTURO
Since its introduction in 2018, CENTURO has earned the respect of retailers and growers alike for its yield optimization and ease of use. Likewise for its storage and handling advantages, as CENTURO is noncorrosive to the metals used with anhydrous ammonia and UAN equipment.
Thad Russell is the field sales agronomist for Central Valley Ag in Nebraska where it’s common to use stabilizers with anhydrous ammonia. He’s happy they switched to CENTURO, and his growers are happy with their results.
“I’ve used numerous other stabilizers, but we’re really excited about using CENTURO,” Russell explains. “Besides the stabilizing factor of CENTURO, our growers like the ease of handling and that it’s noncorrosive.”
As you make your spring anhydrous ammonia plans, talk to your retailer about adding CENTURO to your nitrogen management plan so you can protect your investment and optimize yield potential. For more information on CENTURO, visit CENTURO.com.
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.
Paid for by Koch Agronomic Services