It will not be long and growers will be pulling those nurse tanks across their fields applying anhydrous ammonia. New nitrogen stabilizer technology will soon keep more of the key nutrient in the field. Greg Schwab, director of agronomy with Koch Agronomic Services, says nitrogen inhibitors improve the effectiveness of anhydrous, “Nitrification inhibitors help prevent the conversion to nitrate and that is the form that can be lost. So when you prevent that conversion, you reduce leaching losses.”
Schwab says Koch has a new product called Centuro that is currently awaiting EPA registration. He told HAT their research shows this product can keep the nitrogen in the field and the nitrates out of the ground water, “Out tests in Iowa showed a 65% reduction in nitrates coming out of the tile drain. In addition, we saw about a 10 bpa yield increase by keeping more of the nutrient in the field.”
With high yields in 2017, assessing current nitrogen levels in your soil will be an important planning tool for 2018. “I would recommend growers go to Purdue and look at the local data and see what they recommend,” said Schwab. “High yields means lots of nutrients have been extracted from the soil, so a soil test will be very important this winter to make sure those nutrient levels are where they should be.”
Schwab noted that keeping more nitrogen in the field is both an agronomic and environmental concern. Koch expects EPA approval this year and anticipates Centuro will be available for sale this fall.