Urea coating machine may buy farmers time

The late start to spring and the expected mad rush to apply fertilizer has prompted Matt Gosling to experiment with a new urea fertilizer coating machine.

He hopes the new machine may extend the fertilizer application season.

Gosling of Premium Ag Services tweeted recently that he was “ready to treat some fertilizer and maybe some seed.”

It looked like a typo, but Gosling said he plans to treat his urea fertilizer with a nitrogen-stabilizing product to give him more time between fertilizer applications and seeding.

Urea fertilizer that is top dressed should ideally be applied one to three days before seeding to limit the amount of nitrogen loss from volatilization.

Treating fertilizer with products such as Agrotain or Arborite may extend the time between applying fertilizer and seeding by a week or more, he said.

“With the nitrogen stabilizing product, I am hoping it helps a lot of farmers that don’t have fertilizer storage.”

Gosling said the system, if it works, may allow farmers to apply nitrogen in the fall or earlier in the spring to help speed up seeding because they don’t need to worry about refilling with fertilizer.

“They don’t have to worry about things being a logistical nightmare.”

Nitrogen stabilizing products are not new. Some urea is already coated with a polymer-type coating to stop it from disappearing, but many farmers simply band the urea beside the seed.

Gosling imported the special machine from the United States and hopes to try coating urea on his own farm this spring.

“I am going to be my own guinea pig.”

He said he might add it as another service to his consulting and custom application business if it works.

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