Farm Progress is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Serving: West
Shallow incorporation of urea not recommended

Shallow incorporation of urea not recommended

New study shows no incorporation is better than shallow incorporation.

There’s a surprising nugget of information in the latest North Dakota Crop and Pest Report about ammonia volatilization after shallow incorporation of urea.

Urea is spread by an applicator. Shallow incorporation (1 inch or less) is not recommended.

“My colleagues in the soil fertility world have often assumed that shallow (inch or so) incorporation of urea was better than no incorporation at all,” Dave Franzen, North Dakota State University Extension soils specialist wrote. “A recent publication out of Quebec destroyed this assumption and found that even in a slightly acid soil, ammonia volatilization from urea was about four times more during the first 10 days after application when incorporated an inch deep, compared to not incorporating the urea at all (Rochette et al., Journal Environmental Quality, 2014).”

“This means that both surface and lightly tilled urea down to a depth of 2 inches should have a urease inhibitor (Agrotain and its NBPT containing brothers and sisters/Limus-NBPT+NPPT) to prevent ammonia volatility for about 10 days,” Franzen continued. “If urea is applied to the surface, it is better to leave it alone rather than incorporate it in a no-till/strip-till system. Conventional till systems should set the cultivator 3-4 inches deep.”

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.