With a large part of the Corn Belt in a drought weather pattern, many producers have concerns about how much of their surface-applied nitrogen is still available for the growing crop. There are a number of farmers asking whether the nitrogen protectant product they used has been effective in keeping their applied nitrogen in the soil profile. The nitrogen cycle is extraordinarily complex and, as is well known, nitrogen can be very mobile and elusive. There are several tools to help manage some of the nitrogen challenges. Understand though: we are still highly dependent on Mother Nature to enable nutrient availability and uptake by the crop.

In a drought situation, the primary concern for the loss of surface-applied nitrogen comes from the mechanism of volatilization. The risk of loss can come from ammonium-forming products such as urea or UAN. Volatilization occurs commonly when surface-applied, or shallow incorporated, nitrogen can be lost to the atmosphere in the ammonia form. Conditions that enhance this occurrence include a moist surface soil that is rapidly drying, increasing the soil pH further promoting volatilization. Utilizing nitrogen protectants cannot change the existing environmental conditions, but they can be valuable to shield against loss during the occurrence of these events.

Nutrisphere-N for UAN and N-Charge G for Urea are nitrogen use efficiency products that can be easily added to commercial nitrogen fertilizers to improve crop use efficiencies. Both products supply a unique technology defined as a polymer exchange resin. When added to nitrogen fertilizer, this exchange resin complexes with the ammonium form of fertilizer, keeping it in that form until the growing crop needs it. When these complexes occur, the micro-environment around the nitrogen has a lower pH. This limits biological activity in the micro-environment of the applied fertilizer, making plant uptake more efficient. These combined effects will benefit the applied nitrogen with a timely availability for efficient plant uptake when the plant needs it the most.

Trident is a nitrogen stabilizing product that can reduce the potential loss of nitrogen through volatilization, nitrification, and denitrification. Trident contains two active ingredients, NBPT and DCD, which provide industry proven modes of action. Trident’s third active ingredient is a unique Verdesian patent pending solvent/co-polymer technology that maximizes the performance of the stabilizer. The co-polymer, when activated in the soil, will complex with the Ammonium form of nitrogen promoting nitrogen use efficiency. Trident’s three modes help get the absolute most from your applied nitrogen fertilizer.

As in-seasonal applications of nitrogen continue, based on local weather conditions, it is still an important value consideration to add a nitrogen stabilizer. Trident can protect from a standpoint of three nitrogen loss mechanisms. Nutrisphere-N and N-Charge G can drive nitrogen use efficiency by complexing with the ammonium form of nitrogen. The goal is to minimize nitrogen loss to the environment while maximizing nitrogen efficiency, maintaining its availability, and increasing its uptake by the growing crop.