In soil, nitrogen from ammonium or urea is subject to nitrification. Bacteria transform the element in soil in a comparatively short time through microbiome oxidation, first to nitrite and finally to nitrate. Nitrate nitrogen has an especially high loss risk since it moves freely in a soil solution. Especially in wet soil and following intense precipitation, the fertiliser seeps deeper into parts of soil that the plants can no longer reach, also resulting in higher denitrification losses. Furthermore, plants cannot extract sufficient quantities of nitrogen in nitrate from. Depending on the concentrations in a soil solution, plants are effectively force fed. The result is often so-called luxury consumption, a temporary oversupply with unwanted consequences such as laid grain and increased pest infestation. For these reasons, nitrogen supply through nitrate fertilisation requires several partial applications, making it expensive without totally eliminating the risks.
In nitrogen-stabilising fertilisers from the ALZON® product family or with PIADIN® for manure, added nitrification inhibitors delay the conversion of the stable but ever-available ammonium nitrogen into nitrate nitrogen with a high loss risk. In soil particles, ammonium nitrogen is available for conversion and absorption, but it cannot be washed out. Absorption by plants results in the positive effects of ammonium-based nitrogen supply. With increasing decomposition of the nitrification inhibitors, this ammonium supply also includes an adequate amount of nitrate. Since plants can absorb nitrogen equally well from both ammonium and nitrate, it is possible to achieve an efficient and proportional supply of nitrogen. Once absorbed into the roots, plants can use nitrogen to produce proteins. The absorption takes place in equilibrium to the synthesis of carbohydrates in the shoot. According to SOMMER (2000), this optimal form of plant nutrition makes it possible to synchronise the usage rate of protein conversion with carbohydrate production. The nitrogen requirements of plants and nitrogen absorption are therefore proportional to the plant's growth rate. Shoots and roots have the greatest growth potential when harmonious equilibrium is achieved. Furthermore, nitrogen loss via nitrate and nitrous oxide is reduced. Depending on temperature, soil type and pH value, the vast majority of nitrogen remains in the stable yet ever-available ammonium form in topsoil, while nitrate also remains available. Therefore, both nitrogen forms can provide balanced and harmonious plant nutrition, resulting in larger and better quality yields.
In addition to that, it is a known fact that the nitrogen form in the soils affects the root development of the plants. RÖMHELD (1986) demonstrates that ammonium-based plant nutrition results in significantly intensified secondary root growth as well as a decrease in the pH level of the rhizosphere. Following these processes, the plant can take up water and nutrients better than before. Additionally, further nutrients such as phosphorus and micronutrients (e. g. Mn) are being mobilised and become available to the plants.
Through the delayed implementation of ammonium nitrogen, fertiliser nitrogen remains in a stabilised form in topsoil and is safeguarded against unwanted nitrate storage at deeper soil levels. In the context of an ammonium-based plant nutrition, nitrogen applications can be combined, saving you several work steps. Since the stabilised nitrogen can be used earlier and in higher quantities, it is especially useful in areas with early summer dryness due to use of winter moisture by roots. Regardless of weather conditions, it is in the right place and at the right time. This makes nitrogen stabilised fertiliser ideal for both humid/wet and for dry areas and significantly reduces weather-related growth risks. Supplying the plants with nutrients on time and in accordance with their needs improves the size and quality of the yield and results in improved nitrogen efficiency.
RöMHELD, V. (1986): pH-Veränderungen in der Rhizosphäre verschiedener Kulturpflanzenarten in Abhängigkeit vom Nährstoffangebot Kali-Briefe 18 (1) , S. 13-30
SOMMER, K. (2000): Cultan - Leitfaden für die Praxis, Stahlbau Küppers GmbH, S. 4-12.