What about the inhibitor?

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Urea with urease inhibitor has been available on the Polish market for some time now. Is it a good idea to experiment with this fertilizer?

More expensive per kilo of nitrogen

As a result of the urease enzyme, dynamic urea hydrolysis occurs, producing sensitive ammonium carbonate. This compound quickly decomposes into ammonia in gas phase and CO2, while at the same time nitrogen escapes into the atmosphere and is lost. An addition of the above mentioned urease inhibitor to urea is supposed to slow down this process. Let's take a look at the prices of such products, however. The cost of urea with urease inhibitor on the market is 2012 PLN/ton, while the retail price of ammonia fertilizer 46N is 1750 PLN/ton, and ammonium nitrate 34,4N is 1420 PLN/ton. Consequently, the cost of one kilogram of nitrogen-based fertilizers is: ammonia – 3,8 PLN, ammonium nitrate – 4,12 PLN, urea with urease inhibitor – 4,37 PLN. We would thus expect that the high price must be paid for a fertilizer which has been thoroughly tested and is more efficient.

What about the inhibitor?/fot. photopin.com

And yet…

Unfortunately, there is no reliable research which proves the positive influence of “green” urea with urease inhibitor on the quantity of the crops. In particular, there is no research which would justify the intensive marketing campaign promoting this product. In the opinion of “PUŁAWY”, the companies which sell this mix refer to untrustworthy research, which do not take into account the necessity of repeating the test, a minimum 3-year observation period of the weather conditions, location and the region where the measurements are made.

…what about sowing and the quality of corn?

Apart from the doubts concerning the methodology of the research, we need to consider the economics of the fertilization process. This means the cost of using fertilizers bought at retail prices and expenses connected with sowing and the labor of a tractor with a broadcast seeder. Overmore, the influence of this fertilizer on the quality of corn and the raw gluten content remains unknown. Those questions are so important that we ought to have known the answer before the fertilizer hit the market.

What about the inhibitor?/fot. photopin.com…and the speed of urea decomposition and nitrogen loss?

We ought to remember that is depends on the environmental conditions: sun exposure, wind, soil humidity, air humidity and pH of the soil, as well as the proportion of organic matter in the soil. Urea (nitrogen-rich amide) may not be an alternative to ammonium fertilizers because they are fundamentally different from the moment of manufacturing. It is necessary to stress that according to the Good Agricultural Practices Guidelines, urea ought to be covered with soil so as to reduce nitrogen loss. In comparison, if RSM solution is used, a solution containing ammonia and urea and nitrogen in three phases, we do not need to wait for the dissolution of granules because the amide nitrogen in RSM is already liquid and may be introduced to the soil quickly, reducing nitrogen loss. If we wish to try out a novelty, we had better pick a tried and tested product like RSM, whose use has been widespread in France and Germany.