AGROTAIN® PLUS is a fertilizer additive intended to reduce ammonia volatilization. Targeted specifically for liquid manure or UAN (urea ammonium nitrate) fertilizers, AGROTAIN® PLUS contains the nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide (DCD) as well as the urease inhibitor NBPT.
Like AGROTAIN®, AGROTAIN® PLUS slows urea hydrolysis to reduce ammonia losses, but the DCD can also increase nitrogen efficiency by depressing the activities of the Nitrosomonas bacteria over a period of time, therefore delaying the bacterial oxidation of the ammonium-ion (NH4+) into nitrite (NO2-), which is then transformed into nitrate (NO3-) by Nitrobacter and Nitrosolobus bacteria.
Nitrification inhibitors, including DCD, have been used regularly in agriculture to slow down this typically rapid conversion of ammonium-N to the nitrate form.
AGROTAIN®, AGROTAIN® PLUS, and SUPERU™ are related products manufactured and marketed by Koch Agronomic Services. All three products are sold to agricultural producers with the claim that they will improve nitrogen use efficiency and thus improve productivity. The expectation is that when N is limiting, effective urease and nitrification inhibitors will improve crop yield.
NutrientStar reviewers found no published research results from field scale strip trials for AGROTAIN® PLUS.
Chemistry trials can provide information concerning the effectiveness of a product in laboratory and greenhouse settings but do not provide information related to a products’ effectiveness in the field. Early laboratory experiments demonstrated DCD’s ability to limit nitrification (Reddy 1964) and early field trials showed that DCD could be as effective as nitrapyrin (another nitrification inhibitor) in limiting nitrification, while also being more soluble in urea (Ashworth and Rodgers 1981; Malzer et al. 1989).
An intensive an extensive review of the literature was completed to assess the effectiveness of AGROTAIN® PLUS to increase yield of corn. All the research was completed on small plots. Plot sizes varied, but no plots were larger than .15 acres in size.
The average yield increase measured for AGROTAIN® PLUS when AGROTAIN® PLUS-treated UAN was compared with non-treated UAN was 2 bushels/acre, with a 95% confidence interval range from -2 to 6.5 bu/acre.