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University of Minnesota Extension

Fertilizer urea

Quick facts

The agricultural industry widely uses urea, a white crystalline solid containing 46 percent nitrogen, as an animal feed additive and fertilizer. Here, we’ll focus on its role as a nitrogen fertilizer.

In the past decade, urea has surpassed anhydrous ammonia as the main source of nitrogen fertilizer in Minnesota. This has brought up new questions about urea and how to use it.

Basics of fertilizer urea


Applying and storing urea


Urea do’s and don’ts

  • Store separately from ammonium nitrate.
  • Don’t use small, fast-moving augers to move the urea.
  • Don’t exceed a spreading width of 50 feet when urea is applied.
  • Don’t place urea in direct contact with corn seed.
  • Keep rates of nitrogen applied together with small grain in drill to 10 pounds on dry soils and 20 pounds when soil is moist.
  • Apply urea on sod crops when atmosphere temperature is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • When broadcasting urea on soils of high pH (above 7.5), incorporate the material into the soil as soon as possible.

Reviewed in 2021

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