New urea inhibitor cuts ammonia emissions

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Timac Agro UK has launched a new urea inhibitor, Excelis Maxx, proven to reduce nitrogen losses by up to 90% and therefore improve nitrogen efficiency.

Rules on the use of inhibited urea fertilisers were confirmed by Defra last year, with applications to crops after 1 April 2024 needing to be inhibited, if containing more than 1% urea, to slow the release of ammonia.

Nico Papworth, commercial director at Timac Agro UK, says the innovative product combines the inhibitor, NBPT (N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide), with a patented microbial activator to increase nitrogen efficiency and reduce ammonia emissions. “The NBPT in Excelis Maxx in combination with the unique Rhizovit complex inhibits urease enzyme activity to allow time for it to be utilised by the plant and the soil, while increasing the efficiency of N already in the soil.”

Excelis Maxx can be applied as a coating to urea granules or incorporated into liquid urea to comply with the upcoming legislation.

Urease inhibitors reduce nitrogen volatilisation by slowing down the conversion of urea to ammonia, making treated urea more efficient, as more nitrogen is retained in the soil for plant use.

Mr Papworth suggests this can cut down the amount of subsequent nitrogen applications required. Excelis Maxx unique patented microbial activator complex, Rhizovit, which works in combination with NBPT to stimulate soil microbial life, further enhancing the availability of the soil’s natural nutrient reserves.

“Excelis Maxx has also been proven to increase the value of this treatment, is in its ability to penetrate the urea granule for extended protection. It penetrates the granule by up to 100% more than other inhibitors on the market, which means the level of protection is consistent throughout the treated urea,” he adds.

Typically, NBPT inhibitors can be sensitive to oxidation once they have been exposed to air, which affects the efficacy of the inhibitor and the nitrogen itself. To prevent this, the addition of garlic-based phenolic extracts (antioxidants) helps to stabilise the product and extend the shelf life of the treated urea by over 2 months once opened or in a bulk environment.

“Growers need look beyond meeting immediate legislative requirements, selecting options that promote soil health, crop performance and are economically viable,” Mr Papworth concludes.

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