Improving formulated nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium compound fertilizer using zeolite
Ammonia volatilization from urea and ammonium containing compound fertilizers cause higher cost of fertilization in agriculture. In this study, an incubation experiment was carried out to compare the effect of different ratios of compound fertilizer amended with clinoptilolite zeolite on NH3 volatilization, soil exchangeable NH4 and available NO3 contents on Bekenu Series (Tipik Tualemkuts) with surface-applied urea without additives. Treatments with zeolite significantly reduced NH3 loss when compared with urea without addictives. They also improved retention of exchangeable NH4 and NO3 and this was possible because zeolite favoured formation of ammonium and nitrate over ammonia. There is a potential for compound fertilizer with zeolite to improve nitrogen efficiency by lowering ammonia volatilization and increasing accumulation of exchangeable NH4 and NO3.
Key words: Ammonia volatilization, compound fertilizers, clinoptilolite zeolite, soil exchangeable ammonium, available nitrate.