ENTEC® is an ammonium stabiliser for nitrogen fertilisers. ENTEC fertilisers help limit nitrogen losses, assisting your crops to use nitrogen more efficiently.
Nitrogen loss through leaching and denitrification can account for up to 60% of applied nitrogen fertiliser depending on soil type and seasonal conditions.
By minimising nitrogen losses, ENTEC can provide a more sustained nitrogen supply to the crop in line with crop needs, resulting in yield and quality improvements.
- ENTEC helps protect against nitrogen losses for improved crop uptake and potentially higher yields
- ENTEC gives crops access to ammonium nitrogen for better growth and greater phosphorus, copper and zinc uptake
- ENTEC reduces nitrate flushes for more consistent, quality produce
- ENTEC gives crops a more continuous supply of nitrogen with potentially fewer applications for better workload efficiency on farm
ENTEC fertilisers were developed in Europe, and have been used for over a decade to help limit the entry of nitrate in ground and surface waters.
In water protected areas of the Piemonte region in Italy, European Union legislation (the ‘Nitrate Directive’) forbids the use of nitrogen fertilisers like urea or ammonium nitrate for a 5½ month period from mid-September to February inclusive. The duration of this period with no nitrogen application is reduced to only 2 months when using ENTEC fertilisers.
Download the ENTEC brochure.
Australian farmer experiences with ENTEC fertilisers:
Benefits of ENTEC
ENTEC products provide numerous potential benefits including:
- Improved marketable yields
- Enhanced crop quality
- Improved crop utilisation of applied nitrogen
- Reduced leaching of nitrogen from the root zone
- Reduced gaseous nitrogen losses
- Potential for reduced labour costs from reduced frequency of applications
- A more accurately matched nutrient supply to meet crop demand
- Potentially lower nitrate content in produce
How ENTEC works
ENTEC stabilises applied ammonium nitrogen in the soil for a number of weeks after application. In the ammonium form, nitrogen is less susceptible to losses due to leaching, or gaseous losses into the atmosphere through denitrification under wet conditions.
Containing the active ingredient 3,4-dimethyl pyrazole phosphate, ENTEC fertilisers work like a sleeping pill on the nitrifying bacteria in the soil. Nitrification is the process whereby nitrifying bacteria in the soil breakdown nitrogen fertiliser from ammonium nitrogen to nitrite then nitrate nitrogen. Nitrate nitrogen is susceptible to loss through leaching and denitrification.
Unlike slow release coated fertilisers, the nutrients in ENTEC fertilisers are available to the plant, however the nitrogen is held in the more stable ammonium form for a period of time to assist in reducing nitrogen losses. ENTEC suppresses the nitrification process for a period of time, reducing the activity of nitrifying bacteria. ENTEC does not reduce bacteria populations in the soil or leave harmful residues in soils or harvested crops.
How long ENTEC is active in the soil depends on soil temperature and other soil conditions.
Average soil temperature (°C)
where fertiliser is placed
Expected duration of ammonium stabilisation (time for 50% of ENTEC stabilised nitrogen to be nitrified to the nitrate form)
10 weeks +
12 - 18
4 – 10 weeks
19 - 30
4 weeks or less
When should I use ENTEC?
ENTEC is suitable wherever there is a risk of nitrogen loss through leaching or denitrification. Light and sandy soils are particularly susceptible to leaching, whilst denitrification losses can occur whenever soil moisture is high, even in heavy clay soils.
When considering when and how to use ENTEC, take into account:
- your soil type
- soil temperature (which affects the expected duration of ammonium stabilisation)
- time from application until intended harvest
- likelihood of a rain event or irrigation
- crop type and plant nitrogen requirements in the growth cycle
- if improved quality of harvested produce is of benefit to you
A number of ENTEC decision trees have been developed to assist you in deciding if ENTEC is appropriate for use in your situation.
We suggest you trial ENTEC fertiliser alongside your normal fertiliser program to see the benefits for yourself. Talk to your accredited ENTEC adviser today to discuss how ENTEC fertilisers could improve your cropping system.
ENTEC fertilisers are available from ENTEC accredited Incitec Pivot Fertilisers distributors.