As growers prepare for another harvest, it’s important to consider how nitrogen stabilization not only supports healthy plant growth but also fosters environmental stewardship.
“Nitrogen management is critical to grow healthy corn crops and to build a more sustainable world,” says Tiffany Galloway, U.S. product manager for nitrogen stabilizers, Dow AgroSciences. “Stabilizing nitrogen reduces the amount of nitrogen loss into the environment, which is a beneficial farming practice on multiple levels.”
The Dow AgroSciences nitrogen stabilizer portfolio, which includes N-Serve, the original nitrogen stabilizer, and Instinct II, supports conservation efforts by reducing leaching of nitrogen into groundwater and by limiting denitrification, the escape of nitrogen as a greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. By managing nitrification, Instinct II and N-Serve protect a grower’s largest input investment and ensure nitrogen is available when the plant needs it the most. Instinct II and N-Serve also are the only nitrification inhibitors registered by the U.S. EPA.
“Since 1980, the amount of nitrogen used per acre has decreased by approximately 25%,yet growers continue to produce higher corn yields,” Galloway says. “By stabilizing nitrogen, growers have been able to use their applied nitrogen more efficiently, keeping it in the root zone longer for maximized yield.”
Nitrogen stabilizers slow the conversion of ammonium-N to the nitrate form, providing a better opportunity for corn to uptake the nutrient from the soil. As a result, research shows that fewer nitrates are lost into the groundwater or surface water through field drainage.
“By keeping the nitrogen in the ammonium form longer, the corn plant can get the nitrogen it needs to grow stronger and healthier,” Galloway says.
Most nitrogen loss occurs in May and June when corn is small and there is plentiful rainfall, Galloway says. This is when yield is most often lost because of leaching and denitrification. More than 10 percent of nitrogen can be lost in three days of saturated soils through denitrification, with an additional 10 percent lost every day it stays saturated.
When applied with anhydrous ammonia, N-Serve reduces leaching and denitrification. Instinct II ensures nitrogen is available in the root zone during key stages of corn growth when used with liquid nitrogen, manure or dry fertilizer blends.
Instinct II and N-Serve also support the 4R program as part of environmentally sustainable farming practices. The 4R program is a concept to use the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, at the right time, with the right placement. The 4R framework takes an innovative approach that provides educational tools, advocacy support and implementation recommendations for crop nutrient stewardship. The program advocates management practices to increase production, boost farmer profitability, enhance environmental protection and improve sustainability.
For information on protecting nitrogen when and where it matters most, visit NitrogenStabilizers.com.