Differences Between Granular And Liquid Fertilizers

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By Brandon

You know just as well as the next farmer that fertilizer is essential for promoting healthy crop development that results in excellent yields. When it comes to nitrogen, how you purchase fertilizer can have a significant influence on the success of your crop as well as your financial situation.

According to expert, “urea prices firmed strongly through harvest 2017 to a 21.4% premium to anhydrous ammonia.” Since then, urea prices have decreased marginally while anhydrous prices have increased, bringing the price differential down to barely 6%. This is because UAN prices have chosen to follow anhydrous rather than urea prices.

Consider the benefits and drawbacks of using liquid fertilizer for pastures versus liquid fertilizer before making a final decision.

Granular Fertilizer


  • More convenient to store
  • Crops may be fed for a longer period during the season thanks to slow-release granules.
  • More effective in terms of the application prior to planting


  • A high concentration of salt can cause damage to the leaves and direct the roots away from the nutrients they need.
  • Why Stable nutrients like phosphorus, which are unable of being transported in water like liquids, are unable to reach the plant’s roots anymore directly?
  • The amount of nutrients contained in each granule is not consistent.

Liquid Fertilizer


  • Less difficult to manipulate when mixing and applying the product.
  • Provides uniform application
  • May be utilized both as a starter and for applications during the season
  • Possibility of application in a single pass throughout the growing season by combining with crop protection goods


  • Converting machinery able to manage liquid fertilizer may be an expensive endeavor.
  • More sensitive to volatilization and loss

Ammonia Without Water Presents A Unique Set Of Challenges.

Even though anhydrous ammonia (NH3) has the potential to be a good source of nitrogen, there are a lot of conditions that must be met before it can be used. The Penn State University Extension offers several suggestions as well as some warnings.

Take into consideration the make-up of your soil. According to Penn State, if rocks or topography are responsible for the injection knives emerging from the ground, then NH3 will be promptly lost to the sky. If the field conditions are really difficult and rocky, it is probably advisable to investigate other possibilities.

The soil moisture can affect the row closure behind the knife. The soil’s moisture content can affect the ability of the soil to seal. This will cause nitrogen to be lost to the atmosphere.  Additionally, water is necessary for the transformation of NH3 and NH4 into NH4, which can then be taken up in the particles of soil.

It is possible that the timing of your application of nitrogen fertilizer will be more difficult with this option than it will be with others because of the distinctive qualities of your soil. Anhydrous ammonia, on the other hand, has the ability to assist in providing nitrogen to crops in a form that is relatively simple for the plants to use provided that the appropriate conditions are fulfilled.