Article •  10/06/2021

Nitrogen losses through heavy rainfall can be prevented

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The cold, dry spring that was followed by very wet weather has made it a difficult season for maize growers, but it has also highlighted the important role nitrogen stabilisers can have.

In many places, a significant proportion of applied nitrogen will have been lost due to the deluges that followed the dry spell. In periods of high rainfall nitrogen is vulnerable to denitrification (greenhouse gases), and if not leached, is washed deeper down into the soil where it may be inaccessible to the crop. However, use of a nitrogen stabiliser such as Optinyte means more nitrogen remains in the soil and is available to the plant as it starts to grow.

Optinyte technology works by slowing down the conversion of ammonium to nitrate, preventing nitrogen loss through leaching and denitrification. Optinyte has been shown to reduce nitrogen losses by up to 50% through leaching and by 45% through greenhouse gases, delivering a clear environmental benefit. As well as these significant environmental benefits, because nitrogen is kept in the soil for longer, Optinyte can significantly improve crop quality and yields.


Corteva’s Colin Bowers explains more:

“It is often wrongly assumed that dry weather means there is less need for a nitrification inhibitor, as there is less chance of the nitrogen being lost through leaching. However, as we’ve seen over recent weeks, the dry weather was replaced by a deluge of rain and there will have been a lot of N applications that have simply been washed away. This has both a financial and an environmental impact.”

“Wet spring weather is one of the reasons the use of stabilisers such as Optinyte is high amongst US maize growers – to stop N being lost through spring downpours. Whilst it’s too late to reverse things this season, it's an important lesson for next year that could save growers wasting expensive N applications and help protect the environment by reducing nitrate levels in water,” Colin concludes.

Corteva Nitrogen stabiliser products feature Optinyte technology and are sold under the N-Lock and Instinct brands.  Nitrogen stabilisers can help farmers meet both the demand for reducing nitrogen use on farms and nitrate levels in water, both of which are key elements of the continued drive to improve the sustainability of agriculture.  




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