Kensington North Watersheds Association

No Proof of Benefits by Using Feed Grade Urea

Evaluation of Feed Grade Urea (46% N) as a Foliar Nitrogen Source

Robert Coffin, Wendy Hollis, Michelle Burns, Stephen Moorehead, Brian Douglas (trials conducted in 1999 by Cavendish Farms research personnel. Report published in Proceedings of North-East Potato Technology Forum, 2000)

From the Abstract: The use of feed grade urea by potato growers is common in PEI. Growers feel that foliar sprays of urea may help to prevent foliage senescence during periods of dry weather. The usual rate is 3-4 pounds of product per acre, often applied 4-6 times during the season. Urea is often applied in tank mixes with other pesticides. Urea generally has been compatible with a wide range of pesticides. The cost of urea is considerably less than brand name foliar fertilizers. Previous research at Cavendish Farms has not been able to substantiate cost recovery for most foliar fertilizer programs.

The writers are unaware of any detailed evaluations with urea as a foliar fertilizer for potatoes. The objective was to compare the yield and quality response from Shepody and Russet Burbank potatoes to different rates of urea. The experimental design of the experiments was to apply urea at three rates (2.5, 5, and 10 pounds of product per acre) in comparison to untreated checks. A total of 5 applications were made on July 28, Aug. 4, 12, 20, 27 , using 30 gallons of water per acre at 40 psi. Four replications were established for each treatment. The data from each replication was summarized (table attached here). Potatoes were graded to contract specifications.

In summary, foliar applications of urea did not significantly affect tuber yields, fry colour, specific gravity or tuber defects.

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