18 Feb 2010

Enhanced Fertilizer Efficiency – Fertilizer Products

Presented at GRDC Advisor Updates in Wagga Wagga, Ballarat and Dubbo February 2010.

Adrian Johnston, PhD, IPNI Asia/Oceania, Saskatoon, Canada

Rob Norton, PhD, IPNI Australia/New Zealand, Horsham, Victoria


Innovations in fertilizer technology have provided farmers with new options to both improve fertilizer use efficiency and increase potential profits based on the cost of the technology. It is critical that farmers and advisors understand what potential gains these technologies can provide as some support improvements specific to particular environments or crop management systems.

· Controlled release, or coated, fertilizer technology has been shown to provide a significant improvement in N uptake by crops, and reduce N losses, in high moisture environments. Little to no advantage has been captured from these technologies when used in dryland farming, or when surface broadcast without abundant rainfall to move them into the soil.

· Urease inhibitors are likely provide the best support to minimize N volatilization with surface broadcast urea. The effect is temporary, providing about 10 days of stabilization prior to breakdown. However, this can provide improved safety to a farmer when surface applying urea ahead of forecast rainfall.

· Nitrification inhibitors can be of value in higher rainfall areas where retaining N in the ammonium form could reduce leaching as well as denitrification.

Managing low rates of micronutrients can be a major challenge, given the large number of formulations available. Selecting a formulation which has been shown to work, and following the application guidelines and timing carefully, can help in optimizing the crop response.
Enhanced Fertilizer Efficiency PPT.pdf (size: 1.81 MB)

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