The Effect Of Urea Application On The Nutrient Behaviour In Soils Of Kenya

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Date
1991
Authors
Edward M.I
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State University Of Ghent
Abstract
Urea is a slow release nitrogen fertilizer. In the soil, it hydrolyses to ammonium carbonate [(NH4 ) 2C03). The reaction is catalyzed by the enzyme urease found in most bacteria, actinomycetes and fungi, as well as in the crop residues. When urea is hydrolysed in the soil, the ammonium carbonate produced causes a marked increase in the soil pH and free NH3 can be released above pH 7. The accumulated ammonium and the high pH can cause seed and seedling injury, accumulation of nitrite at toxic concentrations and nitrogen gaseous losses through ammonia volatilization. Due to its high N content (46 % N), ease of handling, and recent technological improvements, urea is predicted to gain an even greater percentage of the total N fertilizer sales in the future (Beaton, 1978). Presently only anhydrous ammonia is a less expensive nitrogen source than urea.
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