Demand for protected urea continues to increase

Driving this trend are several key factors: the role of protected urea (urea + urease inhibitor) in lowering ammonia volatilisation rates post the application of nitrogen fertiliser; the confidence amongst farmers that specific protected urea products are now seen to perform exceptionally well in local growing conditions; protected urea as a nitrogen source tends to be better value than Calcium Ammonium Nitrate (CAN).

Moreover, the availability of ‘sustainability bonuses’ for dairy farmers committing to low emission production systems, linked to verified carbon audits will often include a protected urea use element.

Protected Urea provides the opportunity to effectively apply urea throughout the growing season; urea fertilisers remain stable in the soil, irrespective of the ambient temperature.

According to the Department of Agriculture, Environment nd Rural Affairs (DAERA), switching from straight urea to protected urea will reduce total ammonia fertiliser emissions in Northern Ireland by 32%.

Trials confirm that urea + NBPT offered a reduction in ammonia losses of up to 84% compared with straight urea, whilst maintaining similar agronomic yields to CAN and reducing nitrous oxide emissions by up to 73%.

Total annual grass yields are comparable between CAN, urea or protected urea coated with an inhibitor. However, protected urea can deliver a significant financial saving per unit of Nitrogen when compared to CAN.

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