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Effect of urea granule size on ammonia volatilization from surface applied urea

, : Effect of urea granule size on ammonia volatilization from surface applied urea. Fertilizer Research 11(1): 87-96

Urea powder and granules of varying size (1 to 8 mm diameter) were surface applied to a ryegrass/white clover pasture. Evolution of NH3 was measured using a continuous air flow enclosure method. At 30 kg N ha-1, the percentage of urea-N lost as NH3 from powder or granules of 1-2, 3-4, 5.6 and 8 mm diameter was 18, 17, 20, 22 and 32 respectively. As the particle size increased, the rate of urea hydrolysis decreased and delayed the time at which the maximum rate of volatilization occurred. Mineral-N and soil surface pH measurements confirmed that during the period of volatilization, urea moved less than 30 mm from the application point. For the powder and 3-4 mm granule treatments, when the application rate was increased from 30 to 300 kg N ha-1, the percentage of urea-N volatilized increased, but at any particular rate there was no significant difference in percentage loss between the powder and 3-4 mm granules.


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