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Protected Urea - Cost Efficient N

08 July 2020
Type Media Article

Protected urea (ProUrea) is urea which is treated with a urease inhibitor. The urease inhibitor can be either a) coated onto the outside of the fertiliser granule or b) incorporated into the urea granule melt during manufacture.

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Why Protected Urea for Grasslands?

Protected Urea has lower nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions compared to CAN & lower ammonia (NH3) losses compared to urea. Never has pressure for agriculture to reduce these losses been greater and protected urea is a practical cost effective solution.

Grass Yield & Performance?

Teagasc research demonstrates that protected urea consistently and reliably produces top yields under spring and summer growing conditions (Figure 1).

Fig. 1 Average relative grass yields for CAN and Protected Urea (Urea+NBPT) across 6 grassland sites and 30 fertiliser application dates

How much is a kg of Protected Urea-N?

At present protected urea gives a cost saving of 14% compared to CAN.

Considerations when spreading Protected Urea?

  1. Set up and calibrate fertiliser spreader correctly, check bout width due to lower bulk density. If you can spread urea you can spread protected urea
  2. Fertiliser with 80% of granules 2 to 4mm in size

When to apply Protected Urea?

  1. Use protected urea as main straight N / N & S source
  2. Protected urea can be applied in spring, summer & autumn (within spreading period dates) (see figure 2)

Fig. 2 N recovery efficiency of protected urea matches CAN over the season

Where can I get a list of protected urea products?

At present 18 product options are available from six fertiliser manufacturers. (See list on next page)

Find out more here 

Protected Urea – Why now?

View short video here