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Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 2002-2004
INDUSTRY AT WORK Studies Show Ure ase Inhibitor Boosts Yields Nutrient management is receiving both national and international attention. The U.S. Congress recognized its importance in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding was increased to $9 billion through 2007, a hefty jump from the previous farm bill. In addition, nutrient management was specifically mentioned in the bill's "Statement of Managers." Included in this statement was a recommendation for use of urease and nitrification inhibitors, which reads as follows: INHIBITOR TECHNOLOGY: To make efficient use of urea and ammonium fertilizers, reduce nitrate runoff, leaching, and the emission of ammonia University and agribusiness studies affirm the beneficial effects inhibitors have in raising crop yields. and greenhouse gases. The incorporation of urease inhibitors and nitrification inhibitors into urea and ammonium containing fertilizers should be recommended as a best management practice. Urea-based fertilizers make up almost half the world's nitrogen (N) market. Continued growth is expected owing to urea's high-analysis safety and its ability to be applied as a dry or urea containing solution. Studies have shown that urea- containing fertilizers can lose up to 30 percent or more of their N if not incorporated within 72 hours by tillage or rainfall. Volatilization occurs when urea hydrolyzes, that is it reacts with soil moisture and breaks down. The enzyme urease, which is produced by soil microbes, facilitates the reaction. A product we market called Agrotain (NBPT) inhibits the urease enzyme, making volatilization virtually impossible for up to 14 days. Nitrification inhibitors block microbial conversion of NH4 to NO3, thereby maintaining applied N in the NH4 form. Since only NO3 is subject to leaching and denitrification, nitrification inhibitors can reduce these losses. These inhibitors are tools producers can use to manage field applications of N as part of their total nutrient management programs. In the past, farmers adopting residue management techniques usually were forced to find alternatives to N fertilizers. With our product, growers can surface-apply urea-containing fertilizers according to their schedule and expect minimal loss. The inhibitor Early Spring 2003
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