Ammonium nitrate [photo] 

Ammonium Nitrate

N-Gas in a nutshell

Under normal pressure and temperature, ammonia is a gas lighter than air with a suffocating smell. It is stored, transported and applied under high pressure.

N-Gas as a fertilizer is applied using special equipment supplied by Omnia. This equipment consists of a special high-pressure container mounted on a tine implement. Application is by means of tubes which run from the container to behind the tines to a depth of about 20 cm in the soil. The spacing of the tines depends on the time of application and the row width of the crop.

Because N-Gas is volatile, it is important that the furrow made by the applicator tine is compacted by means of a press wheel. If the gas is applied to a depth of 15 to 20 cm, it cannot escape unless the soil is so hard and dry that large clods are formed which cannot be sealed by the press wheel.

The actual depth to which application is done will depend on soil texture and available soil moisture.

Generally speaking, any time that is suitable for the application of N is also suitable for NH3 application. But usually N-Gas is applied any time from June after the maize has been harvested and the soil has been tilled.

Some farmers are concerned about harming beneficial microbes with the application of 
N-Gas. However, as N-Gas is applied at a depth of 20-30 cm, the microbes in the topsoil will not be affected. The topsoil is also where most beneficial microbes can be found.