Article •  8/31/2021

Tips for Customers: Fall Nitrogen Applications

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Anhydrous tanks in field

In just a few weeks, fall nitrogen applications will be underway across the Midwest. Now is the time to make sure you’re ready to help your customers get the max out of their fall fertilizer.

Fall Nitrogen Application Reminders

The recommended fertilizer types for fall applications are anhydrous ammonia and manure. Here are four reminders for both application types:

  1. Do not fall-apply on coarse or sandy soils.
  2. Perform soil tests for customers to make sure you’re not overapplying or underapplying nitrogen.
  3. Wait until the soil temperature is consistently between 50 and 32 F.
    • Temperatures greater than 50 F can speed up nitrogen loss.
    • The soil will not absorb nitrogen once it’s frozen.
  4. Protect customers’ anhydrous ammonia applications with N-Serve® nitrogen stabilizer and/or manure applications with Instinct NXTGEN® nitrogen stabilizer.
    • The suggested use rate of N-Serve with fall anhydrous ammonia is 1 qt./A.
    • The suggested use rate of Instinct NXTGEN with fall manure is 24 to 48 oz./A.


Nitrogen is one of the most important factors to determine a good corn yield. It’s also one of the most expensive inputs for your customers each year (and costs have risen sharply in 2021). So protecting that investment with a proven nitrogen stabilizer, such as N-Serve or Instinct NXTGEN, is imperative this fall.

Anhydrous Ammonia Application Prep

As you know, it’s important to have equipment ready to roll quickly once the ground is fit for fall nitrogen applications. One of the most important pieces of equipment to prepare ahead of anhydrous ammonia applications is your pump for N-Serve. Here is a quick checklist from Corteva Agriscience with eight steps to make sure your pump is ready:

  1. Flush the system with kerosene.
  2. Check for — and fix — leaking fittings or seals.
  3. Check for and replace worn or leaking hoses.
  4. Check the relief valve setting on the pump. It should pump up to, and relieve at, 200 to 225 psi.
  5. Clean the filter screen in the strainer basket. A clogged strainer basket is the most common problem with pumps that are not pumping the correct volume.
  6. Check the power and tank vent.
  7. Calibrate the pump to ensure a proper amount is dispensed.
  8. Fill the pump with N-Serve and keep it full during the season. Don’t let the pump dry out.


Manure Application Prep

As with anhydrous applications, getting your equipment ready ahead of time is a best practice for successful manure applications. Here are three steps to check off your list:

  1. Flush out pumps and applicators.
  2. Look over pumps and applicators for any loose or damaged parts, hoses or connections. Replace anything that appears to be broken or damaged.
  3. Calibrate equipment to make sure the pump dispenses proper amount of Instinct NXTGEN and the spreader dispenses the right amount of fertilizer.


The right time for nitrogen applications relies heavily on Mother Nature, and it’s hard to know when exactly she’ll be ready. Taking a few preparation measures now can ensure you’re ready to go at a moment’s notice and meet your customers’ fall nitrogen needs.

Instinct NXTGEN® is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Do not fall-apply anhydrous ammonia south of Highway 16 in the state of Illinois. Always read and follow label directions. 


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