Fall Nitrogen Anhydrous or Urea?
When the bean harvest is finished farmers begin applying fertilizer for the next year's corn crop. Dry phosphorus and potassium is spread and hopefully the nitrogen can be applied too. When I was growing up I remember the anhydrous ammonia rigs pulling the white nurse tanks across the fields. In recent years there has been a lot of interest in applying nitrogen in the fall in the form of dry granular urea.
Nitrogen in the form of urea works great in the spring but what about applying it in the fall? I sure was hoping that the research would show that it could be applied in the fall too. The Coop can spread urea much faster covering more acres than pulling an anhydrous ammonia rig through the field. The question is, will the nitrogen in urea form be as stable in the soil as anhydrous ammonia?
Unfortunately the research shows that urea nitrogen is more likely to be lost than anhydrous ammonia when applied in the fall. The University of Minnesota Extension Service has a nice blog up on their Crop News website section taking about what the research shows written by Daniel Kaiser and Fabian Fernandez. Check it out!