A new fertilizer additive designed to protect granular or liquid nitrogen applications from leaching and volatilization for an entire growing season is being marketed by Specialty Fertilizer Products. The company says NutriSphere-N is the first and only product that increases nitrogen efficiency for an entire season.
NutriSphere-N can increase yields as much as 10 to 15 percent, according to SFP, and is suitable for a variety of crops, including corn, wheat, potatoes, sugar beets, rice and onions. It can be used in all soil types.
NutriSphere-N is a liquid. On granular nitrogen, a half-gallon per ton is sprayed onto the urea prior to blending in standard coating equipment. With liquid nitrogen, NutriSphere-N is mixed at a rate of 0.5 percent by agitation prior to adding pesticides, surfactants or other products. There is no known incompatibility with herbicides, though jar testing is recommended.
The company says it does not expect to make NutriSphere-N suitable for use with anhydrous ammonia fertilizer.
Short-Circuiting Urease. SFP says NutriSphere-N works in the soil at the molecular level, creating an active shield that prevents the action of naturally occurring urease soil enzymes on the nitrogen.
When unprotected dry urea or liquid UAN come into contact with urease on the soil surface, the urease breaks down urea into a state that can volatilize — change into vapor and evaporate — leaving little nitrogen available to the crop.
Similarly, when dry or liquid nitrogen fertilizer is incorporated into the soil, leaching of nitrate-nitrogen can be a significant problem…