FIVE THINGS YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT USING UREA FERTILIZERS
1. Urea Hasn’t Always Been the Primary Source of Crop Nitrogen
Other chemical compounds have been used as popular fertilizers over the last century. Ammonium nitrate (N2H4O3.) is one such compound and has an NPK rating of 34-0-0. Urea, on the other hand, has an NPK grade of 46-0-0, making it more economical to transport. Ninety percent of synthetic urea produced now is for fertilizers.
2. Impurities and Improper Use of Urea Fertilizers Can Damage Plants
As with any source of nitrogen, urea itself can damage plants: nitrogen impairs or completely impedes seed germination, and too much nitrogen can give crops a “burn.”
3. Existing Soil Bacteria Break Down Urea Fertilizers
Thereafter, through a process called nitrification, ammonia is oxidized to nitrite. Nitrite is oxidized to nitrate by nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB).
It is both ammonium and nitrate which are the forms of nitrogen that are most readily absorbed by plants.
4. Urea Fertilizers Impact Soil pH
Thus care must be taken to neutralize excess acidity, by using compounds like Effective Calcium Carbonate (ECC).
5. Healthy Plant Growth Depends on Quality, Not Quantity
Thus while urea fertilizers are on the whole a climate-smart and economical choice, care must be taken in their application in order to provide the maximum benefit to your crops with a minimal impact on the environment. Using SMART! Agriculture tools can help in making those choices.