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Source: Dow AgroSciences news release

Do you want Mother Nature to dictate your season, or do you want to keep nitrogen available to corn plants regardless of weather?

Early spring rains can reduce nitrogen availability during key times of early plant growth by converting it to a form subject to loss from leaching and denitrification. Regardless of soil type, up to 70 percent of applied nitrogen is lost below ground through leaching or denitrification, says Eric Scherder, Ph.D., field scientist, Dow AgroSciences.

"Corn takes up a significant amount of nutrients between the V5 and V8 growth stages or up to 75 days after emergence," Scherder says. "Since these early stages of plant growth play a large role in determining yield, farmers need to use proven measures to ensure nitrogen is available in this significant moment of a plant's development."

Growers' most effective line of defense in reducing the loss of spring-applied nitrogen is using a nitrification inhibitor, such as Instinct or N-Serve nitrogen stabilizers, that extends nitrogen availability in the soil up to eight weeks.

For example, if growers apply urea on May 1, corn will emerge about two weeks later. By the V10 phase of corn, nitrogen has been in the soil for eight weeks. Without extending nitrogen availability, there isn't much left in the ammonium form, Scherder says. Instinct and N-Serve prevent conversion of ammonium to nitrates, reducing the risk of loss.

No matter soil type, rain drives N loss
Rain can drive nitrogen lower into the soil profile. For farmers working with light-textured soils, one inch of rainfall can push nitrates six to eight inches lower in the soil profile, beyond the reach of corn roots.*

In states like Iowa where heavy soil types with more organic matter are common, nitrogen is especially susceptible to loss through denitrification.

Brian Kruse, agronomist and custom applicator from Farmers Feed & Grain in St. Ansgar, Iowa, recommends his customers use N-Serve and Instinct with their fertilizer applications to make sure they aren't wasting the nitrogen they purchase. In 2016, Kruse's anhydrous ammonia application customers unanimously chose to use N-Serve to protect their nitrogen investment by keeping it available longer.

"[Growers] can maximize their bushels and get better efficiencies out of their nitrogen using stabilizers to do that," Kruse says. "We truly buy time with N-Serve. We buy ourselves six to eight weeks of protection from rains and from leaching."

By extending nitrogen availability using tools proven to work in the soil, growers can boost profit, says Kenny Johnson, product manager, Dow AgroSciences. On average, Instinct and N-Serve nitrogen stabilizers increase revenue $21 per acre, according to field trials.**

"It's so important that growers understand that the majority of nitrogen is lost from the soil, below ground, and how to prevent that loss," Johnson says. "More than 40 years of research and 1,000 field trials have proven that Instinct and N-Serve products extend nitrogen availability in the soil for maximum yield."

Instinct nitrogen stabilizer maximizes nitrogen and profit when used with UAN, urea and liquid manure. N-Serve works with anhydrous ammonia applications in fall and spring.

By visiting, farmers can input their fertilizer type and calculate the maximum profit they can achieve with an application of Instinct or N-Serve.

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