Dow AgroSciences is in the final stages of bringing a yet-to-be-named nitrogen stabilizer to the market.

This new product uses a patent-pending microencapsulation process that allows it to be applied much like a foundation herbicide. “This product can be tank mixed with your favorite product, so growers who combine a foundation herbicide application with 28 or 32% UAN [urea ammonium nitrate] in the spring can use this product to stabilize the nitrogen in UAN,” says Adam Manwarren, product manager with Dow AgroSciences.

The product contains the same active ingredient that is in N-Serve nitrogen stabilizer — nitrapyrin. When applied to the soil, the stabilizer helps control Nitrosomonas soil bacteria, the bacteria that begin the conversion of ammonium-N to nitrate-N. This process, called nitrification, changes nitrogen from the positively charged ammonium-N to a negatively charged nitrate-N, which can contaminate groundwater through leaching.

“The product sits on the surface but, once incorporated, starts to work by preventing the conversion to nitrate and keeping the nitrogen available to the corn plant,” Manwarren says.

He predicts the product will be popular with producers during spring UAN and manure application. “While nitrogen stabilization is often viewed as a way to keep nitrogen in the root zone that can be used by the corn plant, we also see this product as helping to control nitrate problems in groundwater,” he says. “That is especially beneficial for growers spreading manure on the soil.”

Under a special use exemption, growers in Iowa are using the product this season on approximately 2,000 acres. “We will have demonstration plots out this summer and fall in both the UAN and manure application markets,” Manwarren says. The product should be available for sale throughout the Midwest in spring 2009, pending federal and state registrations.