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Urea Fertilizer

A Prelude
Introduction and scientific invention of Urea is identified as a life changing event in the history of agriculture. Urea is the world’s most common nitrogen fertilizer and has been used uniformly in all the agricultural lands of the world. Never before this, agriculture had seen such booming heights in production as well as prosperity.

The last decade has seen urea as a superb replacement to ammonium nitrate and has unleashed new unsurpassed production records. The white, crystalline solid comprises of a proportionate compound mixture of more than one nutrients and contains 46% nitrogen. Farmers have identified with this chemical fertilizer as a great ladder to huge success in agro revolution.

 

Chemical Introduction
With the chemical formula (NH2)2CO, urea is identified as an organic compound in the worldwide chemistry. Carbamide, is the scientific name given to this revolutionary fertilizer by the International Nonproprietary Name (rINN). Urea is known worldwide by a variety of names like carbamide resin, isourea, carbonyl diamide, and carbonyldiamine.

Urea is the first ever organic compound to be artificially synthesized through chemical processes and that too with the help of inorganic compounds. Friedrich Wohler carried out the chemical research in 1828 and was left stunned at his discovery. He concluded that potassium cyanate when treated with ammonium sulfate gives out urea. the discovery gave a start to the organic revolution.


Urea is a soluble compound and easily gets along with water. The chemical structure of urea helps it to be soluble enough as the hydrogen bonds with water molecules, each forming two bonds with oxygen. The planar structure further enhances its astonishing molecular point symmetry. Commercially it is manufactured with the help of ammonia and carbon dioxide.

 

Agricultural usage
Extensively used as a chemical fertilizer, urea releases nitrogen into soil which is thereafter taken in by the plants.

On a commercial basis, urea is available as prills or as a granulated fertilizer. The large granules are crystalline white and are highly resistant to moisture and thus facilitate long time storage as well. Today these granular shaped crystals of urea are blended with most of the fertilizers.

 

How does Urea operates in the soil?
When applied as a foliar spray or even as granular spread above the soil layer, urea gets dissolved simultaneously owing to its reaction with air and water.

When properly applied, urea results in effective crop yields as it is an excellent source of nitrogen and nitrogenous compounds.

Once applied to the soil, urea undergoes vital transformations and breaks up into ammonium form and this total process is dependent on soil moisture.

As soon as urea dissolves in the soil, it forms around it a zoning layer of high pH and ammonia concentration turning the soil to be acidic and toxic at the same level. Though most of the soil types kill the toxicity by making it neutral.

Taking into effect all these effects it is highly advisable to broadcast urea immediately into the soil and should be kept at a distance from the seeds.W

Keep an alert while applying so as to urea fertilizer should not touch the seeds. And especially the corn seeds should never be placed with urea and its components.

Application of Urea
Urea can be applied in various forms, it can be spread in bulk alone or can also be mixed with other fertilizers before application.

However Urea should be preferably spread alone so as to avoid unevenness in the field.

In case of preparing blended mixtures with other fertilizers the best ones to suit its density are monoammonium phosphate (11-52-0) or diammonium phosphate (18-46-0). When blended together, these are easily spread uniformly across the cultivated land.

Advantages of Urea Fertilizer
When applied in measured proportions and through precise methodology, urea works wonder for all crops and increase4s the yields by great proportions

As urea comprises of 46% N, it can be easily stored, transported and handled safely. There are no explosion hazards caused by urea fertilizer

The nutrient composition rendered by urea enhances the productivity of the soil and enriches its nutrient constituency. Providing each plant with relevant elements needed, urea sustains plant life.

Disadvantages
Urea releases harmful pollutants during its manufacturing process. The manufacturing involves emission of pollutant gases in the air.

It exerts higher concentrations of ammonia in the soil making it even more acidic and thus retards the soil of its natural fertility.

Cautions
During storage, make sure that it is never stored in the vicinities of ammonium nitrate.
Never use small, fast-moving augers to move the urea.

  • Maximum width for application of urea should be 50 feet and not more than that.
  • Keep away from corn seeds and never enhance their direct contact as the results are not favorable.
  • When urea is applied on acidic soils of higher pH i.e above 7.5, it should be incorporated into the soil as soon as possible.
  • Urea is a high moisture absorbent therefore it should be stored in sealed and well enclosed bags.
  • Avoid direct contact with urea fertilizer as it may prove to be hazardous to skin and when inhaled might cause severe allergic reactions.
 
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