Liquid nitrogen (N) has been around a long-time, but has gained popularity in recent years.

At Drummonds’ recent winter tillage conference, Brian Reilly, agronomy service manager at the company, gave a run down on the product that Drummonds offers.

The company invested hugely in a liquid nitrogen plant in Drogheda, which allows custom-made mixes to be made for farmers. For example, boron could be added to a batch to be sprayed on oilseed rape.

Brian explained that Drummonds sells a UAN product, which is a blend of urea and ammonium nitrate. It is a soil applied fertiliser, not a foliar fertiliser.


Brian said that the product is highly accurate and efficient, as nutrients are readily available and when sprayed on, the farmer has more flexibility, as they can apply on a breezy day for example.

Spraying on nitrogen avoids any loss of product into hedges and boundaries. It allows for the use of GPS, auto steer and variable rates.

The Drummonds agronomist said that a yield increase of 7% to 8% can be seen on headlands where liquid nitrogen is used, and this is one of the biggest benefits as Ireland has small fields and big headlands.

Brian added that as long as the sprayer is calibrated as it should be, it ensures that the same amount of product goes out at the end of the boom and the middle of the boom.

The sprayer also allows for a wide working width and faster work without worrying about wind, striping or overlaps.

As a result of improved efficiencies, Brain said that nitrogen rates can be cut by 10% to 15%.

Fertiliser blends

Drummonds' product N-Rich has 24% N and 3% sulphur. However, they can produce different blends for farmers. Other elements can be added, provided they are compatible in the mix.

Stabilisers can also be added. This allows farmers to treat nutrient deficiencies specific to their farming system.