Spring application of ureabased fertilizer is a great way to cover a lot of acres fast Protecting that urea from urease enzymes in the soil will help keep what you paid for where you applied it

Spring application of urea-based fertilizer is a great way to cover a lot of acres fast. Protecting that urea from urease enzymes in the soil will help keep what you paid for where you applied it.

New player in nitrogen management

BASF rolls out Limus nitrogen management which will be available for the 2015 growing season. With fall application stalled, spring fertilizer application will become important.

Crop protection company BASF has a long history with nitrogen. The firm can reach far back in its history to two company chemists - Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch, without whom modern farming could have been set back for some time. The two chemists came up with the Haber-Bosch process that allowed them to harness nitrogen to create ammonia, which allows farmers to apply nitrogen-based nutrients. Without nitrogen getting top level yields in corn would be challenging.

Now BASF is innovating in nitrogen again, this time with Limus nitrogen management, a urease inhibitor which includes two active ingredients to make sure applied urea-based nitrogen products stay where they belong - on the ground. "We saw the opportunity to enhance this marketplace with a new offering," says Nick Fassler, product manager, BASF. "What sets Limus apart is that it uses two active ingredients and we found that this combination provided the most performance against the urease enzyme in the soil."

Fassler notes that the one-two punch on urease offered by Limus provided longer performance in the company's test trial work. He also notes that nitrogen management is a growing market. "Growers are looking to optimize their fertilizer investment," he says. "We've seen a shift from one application to a timely application providing nitrogen as the crop needs it."

Limus works in the spoon-feeding system helping make sure any applied urea or UAN using the system doesn't volatilize too quickly. Fassler notes that you can lose more than 40% of surface-applied urea due to volatilization within a two weeks of application. The key is to keep that urea protected until a rain event can move it into the soil where it can get to work.

Volatilization is a worry for both dry urea you broadcast on the crop and liquid UAN you drip on top of the soil as a sidedress application. Limus has been shown to cut ammonia losses by more than 90%, according to Fassler. "That was shown in trials where we left urea on top of the soil for 30 days. Usually you'll get a rain event in that time," he says.

And in replicated research, BASF reports than crop yields rose an average 6% using the product.

The surprise cold snap that has brought a lot of fall fertilizing efforts to a halt this year will have a lot of farmers focusing on spring nitrogen application. Limus nitrogen management is a new tool that will be available for you to consider. If urea is part of the mix for your operation, Limus nitrogen management offers another tool to consider. "In our discussions with growers we're finding that more are working to apply nitrogen in the spring and in the crop," Fassler notes. "They're aware that nitrogen can be a 'leaky system' too."

Learn more about Limus and how it works.

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