Benefits of an Anhydrous Ammonia Application:
Anhydrous is the most stable, economical source of nitrogen fertilizer
After it enters the soil, water forms with nitrogen to make ammonium, which is then converted to nitrate. Once the nitrogen converts into nitrate, it becomes mobile within the soil, and causes nitrogen loss through denitrification and leaching.
However, when anhydrous ammonia is applied, the nitrate conversion rate is much slower than other forms of nitrogen, minimizing the potential for nitrogen loss. This is especially true when you couple your application with a nitrification inhibitor/stabilizer, such as N-Serve.
Reducing soil compaction
For nitrogen applications, soil conditions are generally better in the fall than in the spring. Soil is likely drier, which can stop equipment in the fields from causing compaction.
Spreading the workload and minimizing risks
Applying part of your nitrogen as anhydrous in the fall and the rest in the spring is a sure way to spread the workload, decrease your risk, and focus on planting in the spring.
Fall-applied nitrogen can provide the necessary nutrients that the spring crop needs to get started. Meanwhile, the nitrogen applied in the spring can help increase efficiency when the plants need the extra nitrogen. Making your second application in the spring additionally decreases your chance for denitrification and leaching.
Timing your Fall Application:
Plan to apply anhydrous when soil temperatures hit 50 degrees and below. If you choose to use a nitrification inhibitor like N-Serve, you can begin applying at 60 degrees. Be sure to check the forecast to ensure the weather remains cool for six to ten days following an application.
If you elect to use a nitrification inhibitor, look towards N-Serve to maximize your application and reduce your susceptibility to nitrogen loss through leaching and denitrification.
Before applying nitrogen in the form of anhydrous ammonia, be sure the ground is fit for an application. If you want to avoid soil compaction during application, dry soil is key.
You’ll also want to apply at an angle, and maintain proper application depth. This will vary by machine – but should generally be at least six to eight inches into the ground and 30-40 inches apart.
To get the most value out of your fall anhydrous application, talk with your AgriGold agronomist about proper application timing and rates. They can also help you select hybrids that respond best to additional nitrogen in the soil.