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The right dose

The aim of fertilization is to provide optimum nutrition to crops at all stages of their life cycle in order to meet yield and quality targets. Regularly applying fertilizer makes it possible to maintain soil fertility.

Applying the right dose is essential for efficiency in fertilizer units, and therefore for economically sustainable production. Applying too little or too much fertilizer is not desirable; it can reduce yield, compromise quality, and adversely affect the margin generated from farming.

The right dose is a key aspect of integrated fertilization, which is made viable by a wide range of Borealis L.A.T products. Our formulas are rich in nutrients that are directly available to plants. Further, our farming tools help you calculate the right dose, maximising your agricultural efficiency.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT DOSE
CHOOSE THE RIGHT DOSE
PREVENT VOLATILISATION
PREVENT VOLATILISATION
REASONING METHOD FOR N & S
REASONING METHOD FOR N & S
REASONING METHOD FOR P&K
REASONING METHOD FOR P&K
USING THE RIGHT FORM OF NITROGEN IS IMPORTANT

Volatilisation can affect all fertilizers containing a significant proportion of urea and ammonia nitrogen. Urea and urea ammonium nitrate solution (UAN) are highly sensitive to ammonia volatilisation. The nitrogen that escapes into the air is lost and not available for plant nutrition!

This means that nitrogen fertilizers containing nitrate such as those from Borealis L.A.T are more effective!

Ammonia volatilisation adversely affects the environment and the efficiency of the fertilizers used. It is therefore important to select the right form of nitrogen.

AN ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN

The right form of nitrogen matters:

Reducing ammonia emissions protects the environment and human health. After deposition, ammonia contributes to soil acidification, and degradation. Most ammonia emissions can be attributed to farming; around three quarters comes from livestock effluent, and the rest from the application of mineral fertilizers (mainly urea).

Selecting fertilizer with a low volatilisation potential offers guaranteed efficiency and precise dosing. 

UNDERSTANDING AMMONIA VOLATILISATION

Ammonia volatilisation is the process whereby NH4+ turns into its gaseous form NH3 and is released into the atmosphere. It occurs at the surface of the soil from an ammonia nitrogen source such as urea fertilizer (urea, nitrogen solution) or livestock effluent. 

Nitrogen loss through ammonia volatilisation is closely related to soil conditions (pH, exchange capacity, porosity, water content etc.) and local weather conditions (rainfall, temperature, wind speed, humidity of the atmosphere, etc.). The chemical make-up of the mineral fertilizer (rich in urea nitrogen and ammonia nitrogen) and its form (liquid or solid) are important parameters that determine ammonia volatilisation.

PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL INFLUENCES

Physical-chemical processes are involved:

  1. Increase in the ammonia stock in the field: Volatilisation depends on the proportion of nitrogen in the fertilizer that could be present in the form of ammonia.
  2. Transfer between soil layers: The transfer of ammonia into deeper soil layers reduces its presence at the surface. Thus, any factor that improves nitrogen infiltration reduces volatilisation (e.g. incorporation of fertilizer into the soil).
  3. Physical-chemical balance: The proportion of ammonium and ammonia in soil depends on the physical and chemical properties of the soil such as pH, temperature, and cation exchange capacity (CEC). Hydrolysis of urea temporarily increases the pH of the soil and thus ammonia volatilization.
  4. Transfer into the atmosphere: This depends mainly on wind speed, but also on other weather and soil surface conditions.
An integrated and optimized application of nutrients also considers nutrients in the soil, organic matter and crop residue.
ESTIMATING NITROGEN REQUIREMENTS
Adapted fertilization strikes a balance between the nitrogen demand of the crop on the one hand and the nitrogen supply from the soil on the other. An imbalanced supply needs to be compensated for by mineral or organic fertilization. The image of a scale is traditionally used. If the supply is below the demand of the crop, the target yield is not reached and the gross margin for the farmer is reduced.
The requirements of the plant depend on the species, variety and target yield. They are related to the intended level of biomass, which determines the economic result of the crop. The calculation method is provisional, and is worked out before the crop goes into its phase of intense absorption (at the end of winter for wheat) using hypotheses on the production expected from the plot and the dynamics of the supply of nitrogen by the soil. In order to make a more exact calculation, the nitrogen residue (stock of mineral nitrogen already available at the end of winter) should be measured.
ESTIMATING SULPHUR REQUIREMENTS

Sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions from industry have been reduced by more than 80% in the past 25 years and with that the atmospheric deposition of sulphur.  For this reason, crops today need to be fertilized with sulphur.


The crucial moment is at the end of winter, when the soil temperatures are still cold and mineralization or organic matter slow. In these conditions the supply of sulphur from organic matter may not be sufficient. Further, sulphur is very mobile in the soil and is sensitive to leaching during high winter rainfalls. Therefore, sulphur needs to be taken into account to achieve balanced plant nutrition. Sulphur fertilization in spring is important for high yields and a later sulphur application can improve protein content. Sulphur is very important for  nitrogen metabolism and sulphur deficiency reduces efficiency in nitrogen use.

Phosphorus and potassium fertilization is optimized in the long- term, based on the crop rotation. The method for PK fertilization considers four criteria:

  • Crop requirements
  • P and K content in the soil
  • Fertilization history 
  • Restitution of crop residues