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Urea is widely used in fertilizers as a source of nitrogen (N) and is an important raw material for the chemical industry. Friedrich Wöhler discovered that urea can be produced from inorganic starting materials, which was an important conceptual milestone in chemistry in 1828. The agricultural industry widely uses urea, a white crystalline solid containing 46 percent nitrogen as an animal feed additive and fertilizer. Here, we’ll focus on its role as a nitrogen fertilizer. Buy Urea 46%N Fertilizer

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In the past decade, urea has surpassed and nearly replaced ammonium nitrate as a fertilizer. This has brought up new questions about urea and how to use it.

You can purchase fertilizer urea as prills or as a granulated material.

In the past, it was usually produced by dropping liquid urea from a prilling tower while drying the product. The prills formed a smaller and softer substance than other materials commonly used in fertilizer blends.
Today, considerable urea is manufactured as granules. Granules are larger, harder and more resistant to moisture. As a result, granulated urea has become a more suitable material for fertilizer blends.

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Advantages
You can apply urea to soil as a solid, solution or, for certain crops, a foliar spray.
Usage involves little or no fire or explosion hazard.
Urea’s high analysis – 46 percent N – helps reduce handling, storage and transportation costs over other dry N forms.
Urea manufacturing releases few pollutants to the environment.
When properly applied, it results in crop yield increases equal to other forms of nitrogen.

Efficiently using urea
Nitrogen from urea can be lost to the atmosphere if fertilizer urea remains on the soil surface for extended periods of time during warm weather.
The key to most efficiently using urea is to incorporate it into the soil during a tillage operation. You can also blend it into the soil with irrigation water. As little as 0.25 inches of rainfall is sufficient to blend urea deep enough into the soil so ammonia losses won’t occur.

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Losing urea to air
Urea breakdown begins as soon as it’s applied to the soil. If the soil is totally dry, no reaction happens.
But with the enzyme urease, plus any small amount of soil moisture, urea normally hydrolyzes and converts to ammonium and carbon dioxide. This can occur in two to four days and happens more quickly on high pH soils.
Unless it rains, you must incorporate urea during this time to avoid ammonia loss. Losses might be quite low in the spring if the soil temperature is cold.

The chemical reaction is:

CO(NH2)2 + H2O + urease → 2NH3 +CO2 (urea)

The problem is the NH3, because it’s a gas. However, if it’s incorporated, it acts the same as incorporated anhydrous ammonia. Also, half of 28 percent liquid N is urea. The same thing happens with this half as with regular urea.

Urea do’s and don’ts

Store separately from ammonium nitrate.
Do not use small, fast-moving augers to move the urea.
Don’t exceed a spreading width of 50 feet when urea is applied.
Don’t place urea in direct contact with corn seed.
Keep rates of nitrogen applied together with small grain in drill to 10 pounds on dry soils and 20 pounds when soil is moist.
Apply urea on sod crops when atmosphere temperature is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
When broadcasting urea on soils of high pH (above 7.5), incorporate the material into the soil as soon as possible.

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