Agricultural Consulting Service


Agricultural consulting. Technical audit. Up-to-date business creation turnkey. Business Consulting Consulting Services for agriculture, aquaculture, natural resources, environment, safe energy in industry and home construction


Казахстан, Узбекистан, Азербайджан, Грузия

Russian warship, go fuck yourself!!! Russia "a terrorist state"! As long as the russian federation exists, it is a threat and danger to the whole World! The collapse of the russian federation has already begun! Let's help it now! Glory to Ukraine!!! Sláva Ukrayíni!!!

Home    Contact Us    About Us    Presentation    Success Stories - Our Completed Projects

Geography of our projects    Our competitive advantages   Trainings for Agronomists

Technical audit and Due Diligence of farms, companies and business

Projects Management - business projects and creation of modern farms turnkey

Why investments in agricultural business is profitable   Policy of Confidentiality

Our publications


Last updated: 2022, March 19



UAN and Liquid Fertilizers in Spring – Risk Reduction and Additional Profit!

Urea-Ammonium Nitrate (UAN) and Liquid Complex Fertilizers (LFC) in Spring – Risk Reduction and Additional Profits! How to properly apply UAN and LFC during the growing season?

Dr. Oleksii Orlov, PhD

It is very important to apply fertilizer correctly in the spring - so that you get the maximum financial return from each kilogram of fertilizer! It is liquid fertilizers that are better absorbed by plants. In this article, we will look at the advantages of liquid fertilizers and how to use them correctly!



On the scale of agricultural holdings and even medium-sized enterprises, the correct and more efficient use of fertilizers means hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars of savings and additional income annually! Proper independent technical audit, calculations, development of recommendations and a business plan and support from Agricultural Consulting can help you earn this money!

Contact Agricultural Consulting now!



Photo © Dr. Oleksii Orlov

The modern approach to fertilizing is to apply P and K for tillage or in time of soil tillage, and N is applied in the spring - for top dressing or side dressing in soil, since in this case it is liquid fertilizers that will be most effective!


What range of liquid fertilizers can be used during the growing season?

The most popular types of liquid fertilizers are:

  • Liquid ammonia NH3 (N82) is a very effective fertilizer, but there are limitations

  • Ammonia water (N18)

  • UAN 32 (N32)

  • UAN 30 (N30)

  • UAN 28 (N28)

  • Liquid complex fertilizers LFC

LFC (N10P34)

LFC (N9P30)

LFC (N0P20K23)

LFC (N5P20K5)

LFC (N3P18K18)

LFC (N8P24)

LFC (N6P16K16)

LFC (N8P16S4)

  • other fertilizers


Liquid fertilizers can be applied to any crops: field crops and rice, orchards and berry and vineyards, plantations, irrigation and greenhouses, nurseries, growing tomatoes and cucumbers and other vegetables, growing nurseries, ornamental crops and lawns. They are especially effective with precision fertilization and drip irrigation!


Do not forget that the application of liquid fertilizers by frozen soil is not effective and does not bring additional profit!


The use of liquid fertilizers provides a more rational use of fertilizer investments and yield increase, due to better absorption of nutrients by plants and reduced risks in dry climates!


What liquid fertilizer can be used in spring tillage or spring strip-till?

Some fields are cultivated in the spring, especially fields that have overwintered cover crops, irrigated fields, and fields where Strip-Till is used.

In early spring, when tilling and Strip-Till, the following fertilizers are usually used:

  • Liquid ammonia

  • Liquid complex fertilizers

Liquid complex fertilizers are more accessible and easy to apply, they can be applied with a conventional sprayer and immediately embedded in the soil. Liquid complex fertilizers can also be applied simultaneously with chiselling, Strip-Till or other tillage, using a special barrel with a dispenser that is hung on a tractor.


Photo © Dr. Oleksii Orlov

Application of dry fertilizers is not effective if the soil is dry. In addition, dry fertilizers “draw on themselves” part of the soil moisture. In the photo - a field of wheat, a week after the application of urea by dry soil. Where there was no moisture, the plants are yellow!


What liquid fertilizers can be used to feed growing plants in spring and during the growing season?

In early spring, the following fertilizers are most often used to feed winter crops (for example, wheat and canola):

  • UAN 32

  • Liquid complex fertilizers (with a high nitrogen content)

On soils poor in sulphur, it is very effective to use LFC that contain sulfur, for example, LFC (N8P16S4). Liquid nitrogen-sulphur fertilizers are especially effective for feeding oilseeds - rapeseed (canola), mustard, sunflower on soils that poor in sulfur, and these are the majority of sandy soils.

For feeding corn in the early stages of plants grow, the following fertilizers are most often used:

  • UAN 32

  • Liquid ammonia NH3 (for soil feeding of corn up to 12 leaves, and in this case there are significant regulations and restrictions)


What liquid fertilizers can be used when sowing spring crops?

When sowing spring crops, the following liquid fertilizers are usually used:

  • Liquid complex fertilizers

  • UAN 32 (if only nitrogen is missing in the soil)

  • Liquid ammonia NH3 (if there are special machines)


Photo © Dr. Oleksii Orlov

If the soil surface is dry, then only side dressing in soil will be effective. In the photo - a field during soil fertilization with liquid fertilizers, April 27. This side dressing UAN 32 (300 kg UAN 32, 100 kg ammonium sulfate and water) will enable the wheat to form a excellent yield even if the soil surface is dry!


What liquid fertilizers can be used for late dressing during the growing season of various crops?

For late dressing during the growing season  the following liquid fertilizers are usually used:

  • UAN 32

  • Liquid complex fertilizers (with a high nitrogen content)

For feeding corn at the later stages of plants grow, the following fertilizers are most often used:

  • UAN 32

If you have drip irrigation and have fertigation (fertilization with irrigation water), then liquid ammonia is the most beneficial fertilizer, although this requires special equipment and safety. But in this case, usually the price of 1 kg of the active substance of nitrogen (N) will be the lowest!

If leaf diagnostics shows a lack of any nutrient, then you need to give a fertilizer that contains it as for dressing. And add this nutrition element or some elements in tank mix.

If you have a fertigation system, then you can apply a wide variety of liquid fertilizers, both fertilizers and liquid complex fertilizers!

If you're spraying, don't mix fertilizers and herbicides, fertilizers and surfactants in the same tank mix! This can lead to burns of plants and to the death of the crop!


What are the advantages and features of the use of UAN?

Urea-Ammonium Nitrate (UAN) is the only nitrogen fertilizer that contains all forms of nitrogen:

  • Fraction of NO3- (25% of total N) is immediately available for uptake by plants

  • The NH4+ fraction (25% of total nitrogen) can also be taken up directly by most plants, but is rapidly oxidized by soil bacteria to form of NO3-

  • The remainder of the urea (50% of total nitrogen) is hydrolyzed by soil enzymes to form NH4+, which is subsequently converted to NO3- under most soil conditions.

UAN solutions are extremely versatile as a source of plant nutrition. Due to its chemical properties, UAN is compatible with many other nutrients and agricultural chemicals and is often mixed. UAN possible to mix with solutions containing phosphorus, potassium and other essential plant nutrients. Liquid fertilizers can be mixed to exactly meet specific needs, depending on the soil or crop and crop yield level.

UAN solutions are usually applied to the soil below its surface, sprayed on to the soil surface, applied as a strip to the surface, added to irrigation water, or sprayed to the leaves of plants for foliar feeding. However, UAN can damage foliage when sprayed directly on some plants, so UAN may need to be diluted with water.

Thus, UAN provides not only rapid assimilation of nitrogen immediately after its application, but also prolonged plant nutrition with nitrogen.
This is very important in dry climates, when the surface of the soil dries quickly and the opportunity to re-apply may no longer be possible. At a temperature of about 20°C, the prolongation is about a week, at 10°C - about two weeks (depending on other conditions).

UAN should be applied so that the fertilizer dissolves in soil moisture. Only in this case nitrogen will be available to plants.

The application rate of UAN 32 ranges from 100 to 300 l/ha, depending on the application method. When spraying already vegetative plants, the rates should be minimal, with soil side dressing, maximum rates can be used.

On winter canola (rapeseed), the doses of UAN in the early spring dressing are usually 200-250 kg/ha (adding sulfur in the form of ammonium sulfate is effective).

On winter wheat, two top dressings are usually used: the 1st - in early spring, 100 kg / ha, the second during the booting period - 150 kg / ha, if there is a possibility of side dressing in soil, application according to the flag leaf can also be used.

The total nitrogen rate for wheat for a yield of 7-8 t/ha is 170-190 kg N/ha, for a yield of 10 t/ha it is at least 200-250 kg/ha (depending of conditions).

With a large single dose, severe burns of plants can be caused, and a strong decrease in yield! It is necessary to apply liquid fertilizers by several times and correctly when planning high yields and high nutrient application rates!


What methods are used to fertilize with liquid fertilizers?

UAN is most often applied using a sprayer. It is better to use special hoses and special large-drop nozzles. But hoses give the best effect, because in this case UAN solution goes directly on soil surface near the root zone


The most common liquid fertilizers are applied by the following methods:

  • Surface application (top dressing) by a sprayer with special large-drop nozzles (the most simple and common method)

  • Surface application (top dressing) by sprayer with hoses / tubes

  • Surface application (top dressing) with special y-drop tubes

  • Side dressing (soil application) with "syringes" / special injector applicator

  • Side dressing (soil application) by traditional disk applicator (the most common and effective method for corn and others row crops)

  • Side dressing (soil application) by a cultivator - plant-feeder

  • Side dressing (soil application) by a modern cultivator for precise mechanical weeds control

  • Late side dressing (soil application) in tall crops with Nitrogen Toolbar applicators and self-propelled sprayers

  • Fertigation by drip irrigation

Modern inter-row cultivator with liquid fertilizer barrel


Photo Poynter Family Farms

Side-dressing with liquid fertilizers with a modern applicator using a constant CTF tramline is one of the most effective methods of applying liquid fertilizers. At photo: Poynter Family Farms side dressing corn with 28 nitrogen fertilizer located in midwest Indiana! We are using a Fast 8224 with a John Deere 8360RT


Photo © Dr. Oleksii Orlov

The device of the disk applicator for side-dressing


Photo © Dr. Oleksii Orlov

One of the most common and effective methods is the application / injection of liquid fertilizers with “syringes” - this is special injectors. This side-dressing is effective for grain crops. But by this methods some part of fertilizers will be on soil surface!


Photo 360 Y-DROP

The use of tubes / hoses greatly improves the efficiency of liquid fertilizer application and reduces leaf and plant burns. When using hoses and special y-drop tubes (pictured), it should be borne in mind that despite the fact that these are liquid fertilizers, they still pour on to the surface of the soil and moisture is needed for them to be absorbed by the roots


Photo Propozitsiya

Application of UAN with tubes / hoses using a sprayer

Photo © Dr. Oleksii Orlov

Applying UAN with a trailed sprayer


Photo © Dr. Oleksii Orlov

When the soil surface is dry (1-2 cm of dry soil on the surface), a good effect is the use of a spring harrow before applying UAN to ensure that UAN enters moist soil and the soil surface will be cleared of dead leaves after winter


When liquid fertilizers will be especially effective?

There are several cases where liquid fertilizers will provide the highest return of investments and provide much higher returns than dry fertilizers:

  • Early spring top dressing of UAN for winter wheat and rapeseed in dry conditions, when only one application of fertilizer can be done in still wet soil. In this case, the advantage lies in the combination of immediate and prolonged action of UAN. Saltpeter from UAN will provide immediate and fast action, and urea will provide prolonged action!  The increase in yield from the use of UAN, in this case, can be very significant!

  • Sowing spring crops with liquid complex fertilizers containing phosphorus and nitrogen in a row / near row. Liquid fertilizers in this case provide an additional increase in yield due to better absorption of phosphorus and better development of the root system - this ensures more friendly seedlings and a faster start of growth and development of crops. Compared to dry fertilizers, FCS have a higher potential for phosphate migration in the soil: orthophosphates (AP) - about 1 cm, polyphosphates (APP) - about 7-15 cm

  • Side Dressing (soil application). Application of liquid fertilizers with a special applicator for  wheat along the flag leaf or at the end of tillering, and side dressing of corn or sunflower, as well as other crops.


Photo © Dr. Oleksii Orlov

When applying liquid fertilizers with a sprayer, they can be applied evenly and without overlaps and gaps (pictured), which is difficult to achieve using a simple top dress spreader ("watering can"). The photo shows a yellow stripe on a field with wheat - this is the place where nitrogen fertilizers did not get by top dress spread


In the photo - adjustment of a self-propelled sprayer for the top dress application of UAN in order to feed winter wheat during the spring start of vegetation


What are the advantages of liquid fertilizers, including complex liquid fertilizers (LFC)?

The main advantages of using liquid fertilizers:

  • It is very important that compared to foliar fertilizers, liquid fertilizers that are absorbed through the roots have a much higher efficiency and give a much greater increase in yield! The fertilizer application system must be planned so that 95% of the nutrients are absorbed by the roots of the plants! The exception is the poor absorption of some nutrition elements through the roots on acidic soils, for example, the application of molybdenum into the soil, on acidic soils is ineffective

  • When making UAN or LFC, you can additionally add any soluble nutrients to the solution, for example, trace elements that are lacking in the soil and which are very necessary for plants

  • When applied simultaneously with sowing and in case of dressing, as well as during fertigation, nutrients, insecticides and growth stimulants, biological fertilizers, etc. can be dissolved

  • With early feeding of winter crops and when sowing with in a row application of liqid fertilisers, a faster and more friendly start of growth and development of seedlings is ensured, due to the presence of phosphates and nitrogen available to plants, which is very important for the rapid development of crops in spring, especially in conditions of spring drought

  • Unlike dry fertilizers, liquid fertilizers require much less moisture for dissolution and assimilation by the roots, dissolve better in the soil and do not “pull moisture onto themselves”, which happens when urea is applied. This effect is especially strong in the case of soil top dressing with liquid fertilizers and when sowing in dry conditions

  • Dew or pre-watering when there are drops of water on the leaves reduces burns from applying liquid fertilizers. And when applying dry fertilizers - in the presence of drops, leaf burns intensify

  • Liquid fertilizers, especially in case of side-dressing (soil application), are better absorbed by plants - the absorption rate can be up to 90%, compared to dry fertilizers that spreaded by soil surface, which are may be absorbed by 30-80% (depends from conditions). This is very important now, in time of the highest price of fertilizers, since the financial losses due to inefficient use of fertilizers can be very significant!

  • One of the most important advantages of liquid fertilizer is that liquid fertilizer can be applied by sprayer without the need for additional machines, as well as simplification of application, logistics as well as more even distribution across the field!






Contact us for creation, development and support of projects and creation of a business turnkey


Contact Us






© All rights reserved. Copyright protection and site rules

© Agricultural Consulting Service. Technical audit of agribusiness. Agricultural business projects and agricultural companies turnkey. Consulting services for agriculture, aquaculture, natural resources, environment, safe energy in industry and home construction. Increasing the profitability of business, obtaining additional profits