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46-0-0 urea turns into bricks?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by americanlawn, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,852

    Most 46-0-0 urea products are water soluable (little if any slow release -- maybe as much as 20 or 25 % slow if you buy the good stuff), but after a very short while, the bags get hard as a rock and impossible to spread through a hopper. Years ago when we used 46-0-0, my guys were slamming down these bags on the street to break them up.......then we hoped the screen in the hopper would keep the rest of the chunks out:laugh: , but that was a pipe dream. Stacking pallets three high made matters even worse. On humid days, we were cleaning our impellers several times a day. Then there were the bags left over the following spring.:hammerhead:

    46-0-0 is a fine winterizer fert, but we prefer some sort of SCU (slow release) for the above reasons, plus much less dust -- especially if we have lots of precip before winter so it doesn't wear off too soon. Then there's the potash issue. Many upper Midwest universities recommend potash for late fall.

    BTW I remember buying urea for $4.00 per 50 pound bag off railroad cars.:laugh:

    My two cents worth.
  2. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,466

    If you have a spray rig you could do liquid applications.
  3. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,057

    All our 46-0-0 comes in a plastic lined bag and as long as it is kept in a dry place it doesn't collect moisture. Definitly don't want it to sit around for a long time.

    How long does is take to set up on you?
  4. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,795

    i started using 36-3-10 20 percent scu for that little extra p and k taht can be utilized when it is not too cold and it is cleaner and still works well without the overkill on new spring growth. late fall urea was killing me in spring when it came time to mow it. we put it down at 3lbs now instead of 4
  5. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,852

    After about a month, the urea tends to go into brick mode. Then there's next spring when we try to use up the leftovers early.

    We're like grassman -- using balanced, slow-realease stuff to avoid application probs as well as being able to use up the leftovers next spring.
  6. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 2,517

    I just got some 46-0-0 Anderson's brand. They sold me 50 lb. plastic and paper bags of the same stuff. I'll tell you one thing, I bet each of the paper bags only weighs 45 lbs. now and the rest of it is in the bed of my truck and garage floor. Everyone of them leaked:rolleyes:
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,225

    Does it get humid in Des Moines? LOL.

    I have the same problem with my high urea content blends. Like 50 pound bricks. I throw them on the ground. Then stand on the bag and walk back and forth. It helps. For the hardest bags I use them in the tank--just throw it into the tank.
  8. FdLLawnMan

    FdLLawnMan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,182

    I have used straight urea for he past three years with none of the problems that were spoken about in this thread. I buy it from Lesco so I am sure it is more expensive but it pours right out of the bag. I don't have one broken bag or any laying on the floor. The spreader does does get it little sticky but if you stay on top of it by cleaning it after every other fill, takes 15 seconds, I have no problem. If the urea is applied at the proper time, when the grass stops growing and the soil doesn't freeze for 3 to 4 weeks the plants have converted it all to carbohydrates. I tried an experiment last year, half my lawn with 21-3-21, 75% slow release and the other half with 46-0-0. The urea half greened up a little sooner in the spring but other than that they looked the same, but it sure was a lot cheaper per 1k to use the urea. If the soil has adequate amount adding additional P or K really has no benefits. If someone could show me a study that disproves this I would love to see it.

    Mike I
    Mike's Total Lawn Care
  9. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,214

    Ha, funny this came up. Started winterizing today and had serious drama.

    I buy my fertilizer in bulk in my truck bed, take it home and put it in 500# barrels, and then work out of 5g buckets. Well, the barrels have never given me any trouble, but I've been hauling a dozen buckets in my truck for about 5 weeks waiting to start my winterizers.

    Finally begin today, and 9 of the 12 buckets are petrified and have liquid in the bottom!! I don't know if there was an ammonium sulfate residue from my blended fert. in the buckets, or if that many of my buckets magically leak, but it totally crapped my day up. Had to drive back home, empty every single bucket and then reload them, leaving a good 350# of urea that looked like sugar crystals in a barrel.

  10. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,057

    The 46 will suck up moisture from the air. Guarantee your buckets didn't leak.

    Again, if out in the open where moisture is....it will set up. If kept in a sealed bag or container it will stay "fresh" for a very long time.

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