Nitrogen as an input represents a significant portion of the crop production budget; so making that N available for crops in an efficient way has proven to be increasingly important to growers. That’s where enhanced efficiency products have come into the N management picture in agriculture in recent years.

“In the agricultural marketplace, there are two dominant enhanced efficiency technologies,” says John Kruse, research agronomist, Koch Agronomic Services. “One is coated urea fertilizers, and the other is stabilized nitrogen.”

Kruse says while these technologies have been around since the early 1990s, only recently have they become more widely used in agriculture as growers become more consolidated and start to look for ways to be more efficient.

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Whether a grower uses a polymer-coated urea (controlled-release N) or N stabilizers, the goal of investing in either technology is to prevent N from being lost. The following breaks down both technologies to highlight how each works and in which situations each type of product is best utilized.