Polymer-coated urea makes sense in certain situations

Photo property of University of Minnesota

Farmers are looking to stretch every dollar spent on fertilizer this year.

University of Minnesota Extension nitrogen management specialist Fabian Fernandez says one option is polymer-coated urea.

“That’s one type of nitrogen source that can be beneficial to minimize the potential for loss, but it is more expensive than urea.”

Polymer-coated urea protects granules from early season N loss, meaning farmers might not need an in-season application. 

But Fernandez tells Brownfield it costs about 20 cents more per-pound of nitrogen.

“So it is certainly not something you would just apply on every acre and as a full amount, but it is a source of nitrogen that you could use to blend with urea or to target areas of the field.”

He says research shows in wet years polymer-coated urea is often worth the added cost, but in dry years it’s not. 

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