N Stabilizers: Stewards Of Fertility

For head agronomist Robert Phillips, Hintzsche Fertilizer, Inc., Maple Park, IL, convincing skeptical grower-customers to opt-in to the retailer’s roster of nitrogen (N) stabilizer products is a relatively pain-free exercise.

Phillips, who reports that the No. 37 CropLife 100 retailer was the nations’ fourth-ranked distributor by volume of Dow AgroScience’s Instinct this past year, says that all of his agronomists “highly recommend” growers protect their N investment with a stabilizer, and they receive very little pushback.

“Just from the yield data we see and trials we’ve done, they strongly suggest that it’s pretty much a ‘no-brainer’ in a lot of situations,” he says.

Hintzsche currently vends the aforementioned Instinct, as well as Dow’s N-Serve, along with both Agrotain and Specialty Fertilizer Products (SFP) merchandise.

When making recommendations on which products to use in a given situation, Phillips says they all have unique agronomic fits.

“We are a huge 32% (32-0-0) company and Instinct seems to work pretty good with that blend,” says Phillips. “If a guy is in a low-rate ‘weed and feed’ type scenario with 50 or less units of N going on, we’ll use the Agrotain PLUS. And SFP’s More Than Manure (MTM) is great for stabilizing N and phosphorus in manure pits. It all depends on how you’re going to lose your N.”

A Stable Of Stabilizers

Parma, MO-based AgXplore characterizes 2013 as a two-fold success. “It was a great year for our nitrogen management aids,” says Tim Gutwein, director of sales. “We first attribute our success to the broadening awareness of the need to protect one’s fertilizer investment, but equally as important, AgXplore continued growth in geographic reach.”

AgXplore’s NZONE line headed up the companies’ offerings, and Gutwein says “NZONE has been a huge success for AgXplore; whereas many competitor products are harmful to soil bacteria, NZONE is not detrimental to the soil or bacteria.

“The interesting thing about NZONE,” he continues, “is that it works in so many different circumstances, whereas the efficacy of our competition tends to be very sensitive to moisture levels, soil pH, soil type and a variety of other factors.  What is also interesting is that our competition rarely will produce a test that shows NZONE to be inferior to their products when it comes to yield and this is where the rubber hits the road for most farmers.”

According to Gutwein, 2014 will see a new formulation of NZONE Max released, which will result “in treated urea being dryer and flowing better through application equipment.” Additionally, the company is working on a new product that will have a different mode of action that will compliment. Gutwein anticipates an announcement about this product in the coming months.

Meanwhile, Dow AgroScience’s N-Serve is ramping up to commemorate its 40th year of service to the industry this summer.

“This product has really withstood the test of time,” says product manager Jason Moulin, U.S. nitrogen stabilizers. “Even in a challenging year like this past one when ammonium nitrate (AN) season came a bit later, we continue to grow the product.”

This fall, the Iowa Department of Agriculture announced that Iowa growers implementing nutrient reduction practices are eligible for cost-share conservation funds. Under the initiative, growers who try N-Serve nitrogen stabilizer with their fall application of anhydrous ammonia can qualify for a $3-per-acre rebate, up to 160 acres, for first-time use of the product.

“Basically, Iowa incentivized N-Serve for growers because of its ability to reduce nitrate run-off,” says Moulin. “It’s an issue that’s top of mind in the industry, and with N-Serve being able to reduce leeching by 16% and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 50%, it’s really a perfect fit for a program like that.”

Aside from N-Serve, Dow’s other N stabilizer, Instinct, has undergone reformulation and is being rebranded as Instinct II. According to Moulin, the new product is enhanced by its lower freezing point.

“Instinct is a water-based formulation, so when it’s being stored over-winter some retailers have experienced difficulties storing the product,” he explains. “Now they can store it for all 12 months, and that will especially help during pre-pay season (Dec./Jan.).”

Another difference between the two formulations is that Instinct II will have a slightly higher per acre rate (37 oz./acre, as opposed to 35 oz./acre). For 2014 Dow anticipates having Instinct II registered in wheat.

“This N stabilizer market is in a growth phase and retailers should see some exciting stuff coming out in the next few years,” says Moulin. “These are no longer ‘nice to have’ products; they are now a ‘need to have’ product.”

At Koch Agronomic Services, things are looking up after the 2012 acquisition of Agrotain. According to a recent press release, in response to a reported increase in demand for SUPERU, production at the St. Louis, MO, facility will be complemented by additional production at the Koch Fertilizer Canada, ULC plant located in Brandon, MB.

“SUPERU is a good example of executing the global vision of Koch Agronomic Services. Working together with producers like Koch Fertilizer and other industry participants and marketing channels, we will continue to bring enhanced efficiency fertilizers and value-added technologies to the marketplace,” said Chase Koch, Senior Vice President of Koch Agronomic Services. “We remain committed to making the necessary capital investments, expanding our team and introducing innovative solutions that meet the demands of our customers globally.”

“A primary focus for us is investing in technologies and manufacturing that will increase the speed and efficiencies in production agriculture,” said Scott McGinn, Koch Nitrogen Co.’s senior vice president for North America. “Adding this SUPERU production capability at our Canadian facility supports our overall expansion efforts and provides value for our customers and suppliers. This move will benefit growers in both the Northern Plains of the U.S. and Western Canada as they plan for their spring 2014 crop plan with their retail agronomist.”

SFP’s Reggie Underwood, national sales manager, says that despite waning market conditions, the company’s N Stabilizer portfolio experienced solid sales growth in 2013. “Even with some of the challenges in the fertilizer market, and shorter windows of application timing in areas across the country, we are seeing good growth.”

Its dry formulation of NutriSphere-N has been enhanced for retailers in 2014, according to Underwood. The product has a new distinguishable orange color, which Underwood says is good for retailers storing similar products in adjacent bins. Also, by pre-treating urea with NutriSphere-N, it has a longer shelf life with enhanced storability, and makes for more uniform applications. “Our products’ shelf life doesn’t start ticking until it’s applied on a per-acre basis,” he says.

“Dealers in some parts of the country are familiar with having a little mess in front of the bins,” adds Underwood. “With this new dry formulation you will have a much cleaner area for storing pre-treated urea.

“Another thing dealers like is,  they can pre-treat on the in-bound side, so they’re not waiting on the manufactures’ ability to deliver product. With NutriSphere-N’s ability to dry quickly, they also have the opportunity to treat urea and apply it directly to the field. The flexibility of product application gives them added control based on their own fertilizer schedules.”

The NutriSphere-N liquid formulation also saw success when deployed in combination with liquid fertilizer and herbicide programs, according to Underwood. Going forward, the Leawood, KS-based manufacturer will continue to focus on providing retailers with technical product support as well as growing its product portfolio.

Leave a Reply

Crop Inputs Stories

Pam Marrone
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Enters Biostimulants Market With Launch Of Haven Anti-Transpirant
March 23, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. is expanding beyond biopesticides and crop protection and into the biostimulant market by commercially launching Haven Read More
Nutrients for Life Foundation Teacher
FertilizerNutrients For Life Foundation Celebrates 10 Years Teaching Fertilizer Education
March 23, 2017
Those in agriculture know fertilizer is a vital ingredient to grow strong, productive crops. In fact, fertilizer is responsible for Read More
Corn Field
Crop InputsUltra Yield Micronutrients Acquires Kronos Micronutrients
March 16, 2017
Ultra Yield Micronutrients, Inc. ”Ultra”, an affiliate of Cameron Chemicals, Inc., is pleased to announce that it has acquired the Read More
Soybean Field
Seed/BiotechBayer Invests $8.1 million In Soybean Advancement In The Midwest
March 16, 2017
Growers in Illinois and across the Midwest now have the added benefit of a state-of-the-art soybean research facility, increasing accessibility Read More
Trending Articles
AdjuvantsA New Weed-Control Era Begins: But First, One Last Obstacle
March 4, 2017
There is trepidation, there is reluctance, and there is excitement. Ag retailers feel it all about the new dicamba and Read More
LIFT Academy video screenshot
Crop InputsLIFT Agriculture Academy: A Q&A With West Central Distribution’s Dean Hendrickson
March 1, 2017
West Central Distribution recently launched its LIFT Agriculture Academy, a new, premiere training and professional development resource for West Central’s ag Read More
Farmer and aptop
Matt Hopkins10 Warning Signs Your Website Is Grossly Outdated
February 8, 2017
Your Website is often a visitor’s first impression of your ag retail business. A positive first impression can set the Read More
AgriSync
Matt Hopkins17 Agriculture Apps That Will Help You Farm Smarter In 2017
December 9, 2016
Ag professionals are working smarter, not harder, than ever before. Smart farming technologies have enabled them to reduce costs, maximize Read More
R4023 Sprayer, John Deere
CropLife 100Ag Retail Equipment Report: The Green Party Continues
December 7, 2016
In the annual race for sales in the ag retail equipment marketplace, the color schemes for participants are a little Read More
Mike Stern
Precision AgClimate Corp. CEO Talks Retailer Support For Digital Ag
December 1, 2016
CropLife Magazine’s sister publication, AgriBusiness Global, recently sat down with Mike Stern, CEO of The Climate Corp., following the Monsanto subsidiary’s Read More
Latest News
UncategorizedPrecision Ag, Iowa Water, and GM Corn Updates
March 24, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj look at the state of precision agriculture, the dismissal of the Des Moines Water Read More
Pam Marrone
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Enters Biostimulants Market Wit…
March 23, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. is expanding beyond biopesticides and crop protection and into the biostimulant market by commercially launching Haven Read More
Nutrients for Life Foundation Teacher
FertilizerNutrients For Life Foundation Celebrates 10 Years Teach…
March 23, 2017
Those in agriculture know fertilizer is a vital ingredient to grow strong, productive crops. In fact, fertilizer is responsible for Read More
ManagementThink You Know Water? Take WinField United’s R…
March 22, 2017
Water is among our most precious resources, and arguably the hardest working, with just one percent available for human use, Read More
Corn Field
LegislationTFI Hopes Court Dismissal Is ‘Final Chapter’…
March 20, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) released the following statement from President, Chris Jahn on the March 17, 2017, federal court dismissal Read More
Wheat Growers
Industry NewsWheat Growers CEO Dale Locken To Retire
March 20, 2017
CEO Dale Locken has announced that he plans to retire from Wheat Growers. Locken has served almost 15 years as Read More
Bayer Monsanto
Eric SfiligojBayer-Monsanto: Life, LibertyLink, And The Pursuit Of R…
March 20, 2017
As the calendar officially turns to spring, life is in full renewal mode. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and Read More
Corn Field
Crop InputsUltra Yield Micronutrients Acquires Kronos Micronutrien…
March 16, 2017
Ultra Yield Micronutrients, Inc. ”Ultra”, an affiliate of Cameron Chemicals, Inc., is pleased to announce that it has acquired the Read More
ManagementSnowstorms, Asset Sales, and Soybeans Prices
March 16, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the weather, precision ag, crop protection company mergers, and commodity prices in this Read More
Soybean Field
Seed/BiotechBayer Invests $8.1 million In Soybean Advancement In Th…
March 16, 2017
Growers in Illinois and across the Midwest now have the added benefit of a state-of-the-art soybean research facility, increasing accessibility Read More
CHS
CropLife 100CHS Acquires Western Co-op Transport Association
March 16, 2017
CHS Inc., North America’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, has purchased Western Co-op Transport Read More
Young corn plants in soil
HerbicidesBest Management Practices To Control PPO-Resistant Weed…
March 14, 2017
Weeds resistant to the class of herbicides called protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO) inhibitors are spreading at a faster rate than weed Read More
Photo credit: The United Soybean Board/The Soybean Checkoff.
Eric SfiligojFungicide Resistance On The Horizon
March 13, 2017
For many years now, the agricultural market has struggled to keep ahead of an ever-growing number of herbicide-resistant weeds. According Read More
Management2017 Commodity Classic Review
March 10, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss what happened at the recent Commodity Classic in San Antonio. Read More
Farmer using AgriSync
ManagementMajor AgriSync Update Aims To Extend Ag Experts’ Power …
March 10, 2017
AgriSync announced a major update to its leading collaboration and service management tool for professional ag advisors and their farmer Read More
Agrible Pocket Spray Smart App
EquipmentNew Agrible Pocket Spray Smart App Alleviates Spraying …
March 10, 2017
There’s a new app to help farmers decide when to spray their fields. Pocket Spray Smart is a free iOS Read More
BPIA logo
Crop InputsBiological Products Trade Association Changes Name, Exp…
March 9, 2017
The Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA), formerly the BioPesticide Industry Alliance, is the new name of the rapidly growing U.S.-based Read More
BBI MagnaSpread Salford BBI
Equipment14 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2017
March 9, 2017
Application equipment manufacturers stressed flexibility and accuracy with this year’s crop of fertilizer spreaders. From AGCO’s TerraGator TG9300B and Case IH’s 810 Read More