Reduce Surface-Applied Nitrogen Losses

Make sure you’re getting full value from nitrogen applied to your no-tilled crops.

When it comes to surface-applying UAN solutions or urea, it’s easy to end up with considerable losses due to volatilization.

Check the management ideas No-Till Farmer readers are using to reduce this costly loss of nitrogen while taking steps to protect the environment.

  • “We’re trying N-Serve and Agrotain to reduce nitrogen losses.”

—Daniel Oakes, Lyford, Texas

  • “The only urea I topdress is on no-tilled wheat and then I add Agrotain.”

—Ed Ruge, Valparaiso, Ind.

  • “Hold off spraying liquid nitrogen until 1 to 3 days before a predicted rain.”

—Mark Kessler, Crawfordsville, Ind.

  • “Early nitrogen application with Agrotain works best for us.”

—Paul Hay, Beatrice, Neb.

  • “Because of nitrogen volatilization, I no longer use urea or liquid nitrogen.”

—Jack Bickel, Atlanta, Ill.

  • “Apply these products in moist soil just ahead of a coming rain.”

—Harold Baleson, Rudolph, Ohio

  • “Using Agrotain and efficiently timing your application around the weather are essential for nitrogen management success.”

—Roger Baker, Wooster, Ohio

  • “If the temperature is high and rain is not forecast, add Agrotain.”

—Thomas Bash, Galion, Ohio

  • “I dribble on newer broadcast UAN nitrogen solutions and find inhibitors are useless in my area.”

—Gerald Truisi, Millmont, Pa.

  • “Apply before it rains with a nitrogen stabilizer.”

—Joel Myers, Spring Mills, Pa.

  • “Apply nitrogen early in the spring before it rains (which will incorporate it) and before temperatures get high enough to volatilize it.”

—Doug Coffrey, Thornton, Ind.

  • “I add Agrotain when I surface-apply nitrogen and inject with a coulter when sidedressing.”

—Mike Swaar, Mason City,

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Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

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