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Have your agronomic questions answered by a Farm Journal agronomist. E-mail us directly at, and we’ll respond on this blog to provide an interactive dialogue.

How Soon Can I Plant After Applying NH3?

Oct 08, 2010

Question: I would like a way to safely determine when I can safely plant into strips after I have applied NH3. This past year I waited two weeks, but I would like to plant sooner. I tried a pH test but could not find a kit that tested high enough. 

Answer: We would not recommend planting on strip-till with spring-applied anhydrous ammonia. The risk for seed and root injury is too great. Receiving rainfall between when the anhydrous ammonia was applied and when you plant will help the situation. The sooner the ammonia is converted to nitrate will also create a less toxic situation. Consider using the strip-till tool as a tillage pass to create a good environment emergence and root growth while keeping your fertilizer pass separate. If possible, consider applying the nitrogen in a combination of placements such as starter fertilizer on the planter, weed-n-feed, and sidedress. A timely planting date is a critical to achieving high corn yields; don’t let your fertilizer program direct your planting date. 
This blog is provided as an interactive way for you to have your questions answered by our Farm Journal Agronomists. E-mail your nitrogen, soil fertility, soil density, planter set-up, scouting, and other questions to:
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