What is N-Lock™?
- N-Lock is for farmers who want to keep nitrogen available in the root zone for longer and optimise their yield
N-Lock ensures the efficient use of nitrogen in cereals, oilseed rape and maize giving higher income and lower nitrogen losses
- Recent farmer trials have shown average yield increases of +9% in maize and +4.7% in winter wheat
N-Lock can be used through existing farm sprayers, or added to slurries
N-Lock – what factors affect yield?
- 3 key factors driving yield
- light, moisture and nitrogen availability
- Yield can be limited by a number of factors though
- N-Lock will only help where nitrogen deficiency is the key limiting factor for yield.
How N-Lock works
N-Lock helps keep nitrogen in the ammonium (NH4+) form for a longer period of time by inhibiting the bacteria that convert ammonium to nitrite (NO2–). As ammonium is positively charged it is attracted to the negatively charged soil particles, and hence is not washed out of the rooting zone. Nitrite and nitrate (NO3–) however are negatively charged and can be easily washed down the soil profile away from the roots of the crop. Therefore N-Lock keeps more nitrogen in the rooting zone for longer, which means that crops can optimise their yield potential.
Why use N-Lock?
- The amount of nitrogen in the root zone of the soil plays a key role in delivering maximum yields at harvest
- Current RB209 gives N Max of 150 kg for maize – this is not enough for modern varieties / husbandry methods
- Maize requires more than 50 % of nitrogen post flowering
- Up to 60 kg nitrogen can be lost pre-flowering
- Applying late nitrogen is difficult without crop damage / specialist equipment
- N-Lock keeps a balance of ammonium and nitrate for maximum yield
- You only need 1 extra tonne of maize to cover the cost of N-Lock
How to use N-Lock – Maize
- apply muck / digestate and plough in (February – April)
- Option 1
- Apply before pre-drilling cultivations +/- glyphosate
- incorporation – soil movement to a depth of 50 mm and min tine spacing of 20 cm
- If N-Lock is not physically incorporated to 50 mm, then 12 mm of rainfall is required within 10 days of application
- Option 2
- Mix with pre-em herbicide or liquid fertilisers if rain is imminent
- Option 3
- Wait until rain is forecast and apply alone (can be sprayed in then rain) at 100 L/ha water volume
How to use N-Lock – Cereals and Oilseed Rape
- apply using a farm sprayer
- Rainfall (12 mm within 10 days of application) or several nights of heavy dew is needed to get the N-Lock into the soil
- Can be applied in the rain (when applied alone)
- N-Lock can be applied with T0’s in winter cereals (see tank mix list)
- N-Lock is best applied near to the main spring fertiliser application (typically March time, or early April further north).
Where should you use N-Lock?
- Use where nitrogen losses can be high, such as permeable soils, or soils prone to waterlogging
- Use on high potential crops where maximum nitrogen efficiency is required
- Use as an aid to organic manure management
- Use where a regular supply of nitrogen to the plant is required throughout its growing cycle
A demonstration of N-Lock