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4 Benefits of Slow-Release Nitrogen

Posted on April 20, 2023

Applying your entire nitrogen program before planting is not the most ideal use of nitrogen. By splitting nitrogen applications, growers can manage nutrients before critical growth stages, which helps improve overall crop health and efficiency.  

Here are 4 benefits of applying slow-release nitrogen to your crops:  

#1: Enhance Nitrogen Uptake

With slow-release nitrogen fertilizers, nitrogen is released gradually over time, which allows plants to absorb the nutrient at a rate that supports growth. This helps to prevent the loss of nitrogen due to leaching or runoff, which can occur when using traditional fertilizers. 

#2: Reduce Fertilizer Application Frequency

Slow-release nitrogen fertilizers can provide a consistent source of nitrogen to crops for an extended period, especially when it is applied in the soil. This reduces the need for frequent applications of fertilizer and saves growers time and money in their fertilizer applications. Best of all, slow-release nitrogen reduces the risk of over-fertilization and helps promote healthy soils and soil biomes.  

#3: Improved Soil Health

Improving soil health is top of mind for many growers. Slow-release nitrogen fertilizers can help to improve soil health by promoting the growth of beneficial microorganisms that break down organic matter in the soil. This can enhance soil structure, water retention, and nutrient availability, which can lead to higher yields and improved crop quality. 

#4: Reduced Environmental Impact

Slow-release nitrogen fertilizers align with 4R Nutrient Management principles. The use of slow-release nitrogen minimizes the risk of nitrogen runoff in waterways and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. This is because the nitrogen is released slowly, which lessens the risk of leaching and runoff into waterways, and also decreases the amount of nitrogen that is lost to the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas. 

Slow-Release Nitrogen Application Information

Slow-release nitrogen products may be foliar sprayed or injected through irrigation systems on all crop types to correct nitrogen deficiencies and extend the nitrogen release period for improved efficiency. It may be applied as a concentrate or dilute solution by ground or aerial equipment. Apply with sufficient water for adequate plant coverage, especially during periods of low humidity and high temperatures. 

Soil Application:

The best results can be attained when slow-release nitrogen is banded beside or between the rows of crops during planting or at sidedress before the maximum nitrogen is needed by the crop. The amount of slow-release nitrogen to use is dependent on the need of the crop and the amount of slow-release nitrogen desired in the fertilizer mix. 

Benefits of soil application: 

  • Nitrogen is released later in the growing season when the crop needs it the most 

  • May be used alone or blended in any proportion with many other liquid fertilizers 

  • Reduces nitrogen leaching 

  • Fewer greenhouse gas emissions when applied in the soil compared to other nitrogen sources 

Foliar Application:

Continue your fertility program with scheduled foliar applications. Foliar applications of Super 72™, Super 25B™, Over Pass 22-0-2, or Over Pass 10-2-10 can add yield and quality, provide more uniform maturity, and help crops quickly overcome nitrogen deficiencies. 

Benefits of foliar application

  • No ammonia volatilization for excellent safety on plant tissues 
  • High temperature application possible with a low spray volume 
  • Adheres to plant leaves for extended foliar activity 
  • Increases overall nitrogen absorption 
  • Improves translocation and remobilization 
  • May act as a carrier for micronutrients 

Working to Suit Crop Needs

Nitrogen undergoes volatilization and denitrification throughout the growing season, which leads to losses. Consider using Super 72™, Super 25B™, Over Pass 22-0-2, or Over Pass 10-2-10 to reduce these environmental losses and improve efficiency while maximizing yields.  

Check out this guide to learn more about applications across a wide variety of crops and application methods. For more information about slow-release nitrogen and other crop nutrients from The Andersons, fill out our contact form and a member of our team will be in touch.  

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