Two nitrogen stabilizers, N-Serve and eNtrench from Dow AgroSciences are now approved for use in canola, corn and wheat in Canada. Both products can be applied with fertilizer in fall or spring to protect farmers’ fertilizer investment.

N-Serve and eNtrench nitrogen stabilizers work by slowing the activity of the Nitrosomonas bacteria — a temperature sensitive soil bacteria that converts ammonium to nitrites — for up to 10 weeks in warm soils (>10 degrees C). By slowing this conversion, these nitrogen stabilizers reduce the risk of loss due to leaching and denitrification so nitrogen is in the root zone when the crop needs it, the company says.

“Using a nitrogen stabilizer makes sense on many fronts,” says Darren Dillenbeck, Portfolio Marketing Leader with Dow AgroSciences. “It protects your nitrogen investment, improves yield potential and helps manage workload all while minimizing environmental impact.” The company adds that these products have been available for use in the U.S. for over 35 years.

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N-Serve is designed for use with anhydrous ammonia and just like anhydrous, must be injected or immediately incorporated into the soil. eNtrench is designed for use with liquid fertilizers, including manure, and dry fertilizers such as urea. Both products can be applied with a fall or spring fertilizer application.

Most nitrogen loss occurs in May and June when the crops are still young and rainfall is greatest. As much as 10% of available nitrogen can be lost in three days of saturated soils when the lack of oxygen allows for gassing off. If the soils stay saturated longer, another 10% per day can be lost. In heavy, tile-drained soils, as much as 50 pounds of nitrogen a year can be lost in the run-off. And in sandy soils, each inch of rain moves nitrate nitrogen approximately a foot – well out of reach of the root zone.

 

Applying nitrogen in the form of anhydrous ammonia in the fall is convenient and cost effective, too. Due to market dynamics, nitrogen prices in the fall tend to be lower – 18% lower on a 15-year average in Canada.

 

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