Ammonia volatilization losses in Tanzania grass fertilized with urea

Gaseous losses are the main factors affecting the efficiency of nitrogenous fertilizers in pastures. To evaluate NH3-N volatilization losses in Tanzania grass fertilized with urea in autumn, spring and summer, a completely randomized design with repeated measurements over time and fifteen replicates was used. Plots were represented by urea levels (50; 100 and 150 kg ha-1 N) and subplots by time after fertilization (1; 2; 3; 6; 9; 12 and 15 days). The interaction between fertilization leveland time after urea application was significant for the accumulated NH3-N volatilization. Urea application leads to higher percentage N losses in the first three days after application. The average cumulative NH3-N loss for the three occasions (different seasons of the year) was 28%, 20% and 16% of N applied for fertilizer doses of 50; 100 and 150 kg ha-1of N, respectively. The season of the year influenced NH3-N loss pattern and volume, with the lowest values recorded in spring, followed by summer and autumn. The cumulative NH3-N volatilization loss varies from 78 to 90% up to the third day after application of the total N-NH3 loss.