AGROTAIN® is an additive targeted to fertilizers that contain urea. The purpose of AGROTAIN® is to reduce ammonia volatilization after fertilizer application.
The active ingredient, NBPT, functions as a urease inhibitor. Urease inhibitors reduce the speed of conversion from urea in fertilizer to ammonium (enzymatic hydrolysis), which can then either rapidly convert to gaseous ammonia and be lost to the air or convert to nitrate (NO3-) and be subject to leaching losses. By staying longer in the urea form, the fertilizer can more slowly become available to plants, increasing the chance of being there when needed by the crop.
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.
The maps below show trial locations for corn and wheat. The trial locations have been superimposed over the Technology Extrapolation Domains (TED) Framework. The TED Framework is described further on the AGROTAIN® and TED Framework page.
An intensive and extensive review of the literature was completed to assess the effectiveness of AGROTAIN® to increase the yield of corn and wheat. All the research was completed on small plots.
In corn, the average yield increase measured for AGROTAIN® when AGROTAIN®-treated granular urea or liquid urea ammonia nitrate (UAN) was compared with non-treated urea or UAN was 10 bushels/acre, with a 95% confidence interval of 7 to 13 bu/acre.
The average wheat yield increase measured for AGROTAIN® when AGROTAIN®-treated granular urea or liquid urea ammonia nitrate (UAN) was compared with non-treated urea or UAN was 3 bushels/acre, with a 95% chance of obtaining a yield increase of 1 to 5 bu/acre. Notably, these results were not uniform across types of wheat. Most notably one study of Durum wheat found a large increase in seed yield when urea was treated with AGROTAIN®.