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Farmers can cut nitrogen loss with new N-Protect

Farmers can cut nitrogen loss with new N-Protect

Farmers facing warm and dry conditions and who need to minimise losses of nitrogen into the air, have a new tool in the toolbox thanks to Ravensdown.

The co-operative’s new N-Protect has a urease inhibitor coating around the urea granule to reduce nitrogen loss to the atmosphere, otherwise known as volatilisation. This can lead to more growth-giving nitrogen kept available for the plant enabling production gains in a critical season for farmers facing El Nino conditions.

“Our advice has always been that there are several ways to ‘skin the N-loss cat’. These range from good management practice to urease inhibiting products like new N-Protect,” explained Lloyd Glenny, Fertiliser Product Manager at Ravensdown.

Several sectors will benefit from the choice that N-Protect brings, according to Lloyd. “Cropping and pasture-based farmers in the drier areas such as the east coast and the warmer parts of both islands have been asking us to provide more choice and N-Protect brings that choice.”

The choice aspect is vital as there is still a role for straight urea according to Lloyd because, in many scenarios, the premium paid for coated urea products like N-Protect is simply not worth the cost per tonne.

“As a co-operative which puts the shareholder first, uses up-to-date soil science and the farm’s actual needs to make a recommendation, Ravensdown launches N-Protect with a caution that urease inhibitors are unlikely to be suitable in every situation,” explains Lloyd.

N-Protect is currently being sold for $625 compared to $575 per tonne for uncoated urea. “Advice from certified nutrient management advisors can quickly demonstrate whether that $50 premium is paying for itself in terms of N kept available to the plants. This is an example where access to trusted advice really pays,” concluded Lloyd.


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