Revolutionizing Sugarcane Farming: Enhanced Efficiency Fertilisers Reducing Nitrogen Losses

With growing pressure on cane growers to reduce nitrogen applications due to Reef Regulations, enhanced efficiency products, such as Impact Fertilisers  N-Protect, could be the answer to getting the most out of your nitrogen investment this season.

Did you know that growers typically suffer 40-60% nitrogen loss on all surface-applied urea applications through volatilisation, denitrification, and leaching (Agriculture Victoria, 2023)?

A recent Sugar Research Australia study identified cost-effective increases in nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) and a reduction in nitrogen losses when using enhanced efficiency fertilisers (EEFs). Enhanced efficiency fertilisers (EEF) are designed to reduce nitrogen losses to better match nitrogen supply to crop demand over the growing season. EEF’s include controlled-release fertilisers, ammonium stabilisers/nitrification inhibitors and urease inhibitors.

What are Nitrification inhibitors?

Nitrification inhibitors work by suppressing the bacteria that help convert ammonium to nitrate, this can reduce leaching as well as denitrification.

Impact Fertilisers N-Protect is a nitrification inhibitor that is uniformly applied to urea which can be applied to crops as a straight or in a blend. N-Protect promotes efficient plant nitrogen uptake and reduces the risk of leaching and denitrification. 

How does N-Protect work?

N-Protect treatment stalls microbes which convert urea to plant-available nitrate. This keeps nitrogen in the stable ammonium form for longer to better match nitrogen availability with plant uptake, also helping to minimise risk of leaching whenever rainfall or irrigation bring on increased chances for nitrogen loss. This risk is more likely in the tropical sugarcane regions.

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Connellan, J. (2022) Study finds enhanced efficiency fertilisers show increased nitrogen efficiency and maintain productivity, Sugar Research Australia. Available at: (Accessed: April 6, 2023).

Price, G., 2006. Australian soil fertility manual. 3rd ed. Mel­bourne: CSIRO Publishing, p.28.

Agriculture Victoria (2023) Nitrogen Fertilisers - improving efficiency and saving money, Agriculture Victoria. Agriculture Victoria. Available at: (Accessed: April 14, 2023).