Let’s Talk Nitrogen

Jun 03, 2021


If farmers could redefine this word in the dictionary, its new definition would probably include “weather in the Midwest.” While controlling the ever-changing weather is beyond any producer’s abilities, proper nitrogen management can bring stability back to your fields regardless of what the weather might bring.

As a building block to crop production, nitrogen is key to plant function, structure and growth, all of which impact yield. However, nitrogen can also be one of the more complex nutrients to manage and can be significantly affected by weather. Events such as heavy rainfall can lead to greater chance of nitrogen loss, which can detrimentally impact plant growth and overall yield.

While several forms of nitrogen can be found in the soil, plants only use one of two forms: ammonium or nitrate. While the negatively charged soil can hang on to the positively charged ammonium ions, the negatively charged nitrate ions are not as lucky. As a result, nitrate can easily be leached out of the soil and lost if not used by the plant in time.

So, how can you maximize the amount of nitrogen available at the exact time your crops need it?

1. Application Timing
Timing nitrogen applications becomes a key player in maximizing nutrient uptake. Providing ample nitrogen during high-growth stages helps ensure the plant uses the nutrient rapidly, which helps decrease the chance of nitrogen loss in the soil. In-season application methods can include foliar fertilizer with spraying application, dry spinner box spreading, liquid side dressing, Y drop nozzles or urea aerial application.

2. Nitrogen Stabilizers
A nitrogen stabilizer can be another important tool to help keep nitrogen in the soil, which increases its window of availability to the plant. RemaiN®, proprietary to Agtegra, is a proven urease inhibitor that protects nitrogen from ammonia volatilization.

Reducing nitrogen loss sets the stage for achieving greater yields and increasing ROI. Talk to your Agtegra Agronomist about nitrogen application tools and resources available to you.

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