Additive prevents nitrogen loss at high application rates

The kind of slow release nitrogen protection producers take for granted at moderate fertilizer rates is now available for high volume UAN above 35 gallons per acre.

Earlier this year Verdesian Life Sciences launched NutriSphere-N HV for American farmers. While the formulation is similar to that used in the NutriSphere-N, it has been intensified to earn the HV suffix, which designates it as high volume.

Verdesian says the new HV stabilizer was developed in response to growers’ requests for an additive that allows safe application of higher rates of liquid nitrogen, particularly in corn.

The new formulation maintains three characteristics of the original:

  • It has protection against volatilization, leaching and denitrification.
  • It can be blended in advance with UAN in the storage tanks.
  • It protects nitrogen regardless of application timing, so it can go down ahead of the seed, with the seed or as in-season top dressing.

Dry conditions in Western Canada this year are similar to recent conditions in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. Verdesian’s Michael Berry said NutriSphere-N in those areas helped prevent nitrogen loss.

“If UAN has been knifed in, it’s sitting there waiting whether you’re in a dry year or wet year. You know it’ll be stable and stay in the ammonium form longer because that’s what the product is designed to do,” said Berry.

“The HV is specifically for UAN, of course. Some of our formulations for urea are a polymer coating on the prill itself. So when you’re applying urea on standing crops, you’ll see reduced burning because of the water soluble coating.

“Corn is obviously the biggest marketplace for us in the States, but we look at this as a nitrogen product, not a corn product. It’s relevant whenever you want to put down high rates of nitrogen, regardless of the crop.”

Berry said there are two main application windows for UAN with NutriSphere-N. Some growers knife it in before planting, for convenience and speed. However, side dressing between rows is the most common application.

Berry said protecting a granule by wrapping it in a polymer coating is relatively easy to understand compared to wrapping up a droplet of UAN.

“You can’t wrap up the liquid. Basically we create a zone of protection in the soil micro-environment around each nitrogen molecule. That’s where the interactions happen to cause the ammonium nitrogen to convert over to ammonia or go through the process of nitrification and convert into nitrites and nitrates.

“It’s all about charges. NutriSphere-N has a very high negative charge of minus 1,800 and it’s loaded up with calcium. In the soil you have three positively charged elements that attach themselves to the surface of the NutriSphere-N treated nitrogen molecule.

“Nickel is the fuel sources for urease, an enzyme which helps convert ammonium to ammonia for volatilization. Copper fuels nitrosomonas, a bacteria which helps convert ammonium to nitrite. Iron fuels nitrobacter, a bacteria which helps convert nitrite to nitrate.”

Berry said the high negative charge of the stabilizer sequesters the positively charged nickel, copper and iron and temporarily prevents them from fueling the enzymes and bacteria that slow their work on the nitrogen molecule.

NutriSphere-N has been tested in more than 400 trials with universities, independent research facilities and on farms, and on more than 34 million acres of crop land.

Verdesian is applying for Canadian registration of NutriSphere-N HV. For more information, contact Michael Berry at 816-604-7559 or visit

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