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Which Form Should You Use?
Solid, Liquid And Gaseous Fertilizers By F. TODD TREMBLAY National Plant Food Institute THE CLIMATE AND SOILS of Mon tana and northern Wyoming vary wide ly from one area to another. The crops grown in the area are also quite diver sified. It is necessary to have a variety of fertilizer materials available to satis fy the crop requirements in the differ ent areas. The principal nutrient requirements for the crops to date have been for nitrogen (N) and phosphate (P205). Potash (K20) may also become a limit ing factor in plant growth for certain crops. Field test demonstrations, soil tests and plant analysis are good meth ods to determine the proper rates and ratios of fertilizer needed for top yields. When the proper ratio of N, P205 and/or K20 has been determined by one of these methods, there will be appropriate fertilizer grade available to meet the farmers needs. Some of the important solid, liquid and gaseous forms of fertilizer listed below with a brief description of their important characteristics. NITROGEN SOURCES Anhydrous Ammonia (NH3)—Manu factured from nitrogen (N) in the air and hydrogen (H) from natural gas or electrolysis of water. 1. Contains 82 per cent N. 2. Is a liquid under pressure and a gas at normal pressures. 3. Must be injected into the soil at least 6 inches with special equipment or nitrogen losses will occur. 4. Can be used in irrigation water, an are but must not be applied through sprink ler systems or serious nitrogen losses will result. 5. An efficient source of nitrogen where labor saving equipment can be properly utilized. Aqua Ammonia (NH40H) — solution of anhydrous ammonia in water. 1. Contains 20-25 per cent N depending on dilution. 2. Material is volatile (is lost to air) under normal conditions but only slight pressure is needed to contain it. 3. Must be injected into the soil from 4-6 inches. 4. Some other materials such as sul jm 1; äjfsgi * Mf* $ ■' * ■ i ■ ■ % /, , ; , 1 3 9SÊ '■ V f : - % V-' This type of equipment is used for injecting anhydrous ammonia into *he soil. WSsSmmSsm m&m fm? fur, zinc and molybdenum can be mix ed with it and applied simultaneously. Ammonium Nitrate (NH4N03)—Man ufactured by reacting ammonia with nitric acid. 1. Solid form containing 33.5 per cent gas N 2. One half of nitrogen is rapidly available nitrate (N03) form and half in slower available ammonium (NH4) form. 3. Very soluble in water and volatile (good for irrigation systems). 4. Liquid form contains 20-21 per cent N—used for direct application. Ammonium Sulfate (NH4)2S04—Man ufactured by reacting ammonia gas with sulfuric acid. L Solid containing 21 per cent N in the ammoniacal form. 2. Contains 24 per cent sulfur (S one non m m ■m m 9 sap** m *.-'v mm * .4 R'-xÇ; mm * - V Dry fertilizers are conveniently applied witn nroadcast type spreaders. Urea CO(NH2)2—Manufactured by reacting ammonia and carbon dioxide together under certain conditions of temperature and pressure. 1. Solid containing 42 - 46 per cent N in urea form. 2. Most concentrated dry form of nitrogen. 3. Organic type of nitrogen which can be used as a leaf feeding source of N for certain crops. Urea—Ammonium Nitrate Solution made by dissolving dry urea in liquid solution of ammonium nitrate. 1. Contains 32 per cent N in liquid form—non-volatile. 2. Contains urea, nitrate forms of nitrogen. 3. Aldrin, 2-4-D, and certain other terials can be mixed in and applied simultaneously. 4. Excellent for application in irriga tion systems. PHOSPHORUS SOURCES Treble Superphosphate—42 - 45 per cent P205—Manufactured by reacting ammonium and ma high grade rock phosphate with phos phoric acid. 1. Contains 42 - 45 per cent available P205 2. Contains 76 - 78 per cent mono calcium phospate and differs principal ly from single super in the amount of gypsum present. . 3. Very important source of phosphate in the West. Single Superphosphate—19 - 20 per cent P205 — Manufactured by reacting rock phosphate with an equal weight of sulphuric acid. 1. Contains 19-20 per cent available P205. 2. Contains about 50 per cent mono calcium phosphate (CaH4fP04)2) and 50 per cent gypsum (CaS04) or 10-11 per cent S. 3. Low concentration of P205 limits area of use because of freight barrier. Phosphoric Acid — H3P04—52-54 per cent P205—Manufactured by reacting sulphuric acid with high grade rock phosphate (green acid). Can also be made by using low grade rock phos phate in electric furnace (white acid). L Contains 52 - 54 per cent available P205. 2. Excellent source of phosphate—re quires special equipment for handling. NITROGEN—PHOSPHORUS SOURCES 11-48-0 Ammonium Phosphate (NH4 H2P04)—Manufactured by allowing ammonia to react with phosphoric acid. 1. Contains 11 per cent N and 48 per cent P205. mmm ir £$ V '' X $•*.*< - ' : ; : : xx: ; ÄWg 0 M ; :r/ ■ mm •P|p V ? J : - : : ■ ■ . i £m II ! ü m$ : * :;ip a f PpLcat i°" **%*"**• 18 somctimes an efficient and rapid method for applying liquid and dry fertilizers. 2. Contains 71 per cent mono-ammon ium phosphate. 3. Contains 8 per cent ammonium sul fate and 4 per cent gypsum. 16-26-0 Ammonium Phosphate-Sulfate NH4H2P04 (NH4)2804 by chemically mixing 11-48-0 with monium sulfate and making a homogen ous pellet. 1. Contains 16 per cent N and 20 per cent P205. 2. Contains 28 per cent mono-ammo nium phosphate and 60 per cent am monium sulfate. 3. Contains 16 per cent sulfur (S). Other Ammonium phosphates 27-14-0, 10-20-0, 6-30-0, 16-48-0, 24-20-0 20- 20-0 Nitric Phosphate — made by reacting nitric acid with rock phosphate and ammoniating the slurry. Contains dicalcium phosphate—also available in other ratios such as 20-10-0. 21- 53-0 Diammoninm Phosphate — made by reacting ammonia with phos phoric acid—dissolves readily—good for irrigation systems. Liquid 8-24-0 — Ammonium phosphate —made by reacting ammonia with Manufactured am phosphoric acid. 1. A non-volatile liquid containing equal mixture of phosphate and diammonium phosphate at pH 6.0-7.0. 2. Miscible with ammonium nitrate solution and ammonium nitrate-urea solutions. an mono-ammonium POTASH SOURCES Muriate of Potash (K Cl) 60 -62 per cent K20—principal source of potash. Sulfate of Potash (K2S04) 50 per cent K20. 1. Contains 24 per cent S as water soluble sulfate ion. 2. Used on crops susceptible to chlor ide toxicity or where exceptionally high rates of potash are to be used. Sulfate of Potash - —Magnesia (K2 S04-MgS04) 1. Contains 22 per cent K20 and 18 per cent MgO. MIXED FERTILIZERS Some of the fertilizer manufacturers are making complete homogenous chemical mixes for the Montana and Wyoming markets. These included 12 ]2-12, 14-14-14, 20-10-10, and other mixes. Prescription type fertilizers such as 6-10-4 can be made by physically blend ing the necessary *'simrle"materials. Minor elements such as boron or farm chemicals such as aldrin can be added to these mixes as required. The materials listed here are avail able or potentially available to the Mon tana and northern Wyoming market. You are advised to consult your local county agents or fertilizer dealer for the type of material that will best suit your local condition. JANUARY 15, 1959—7