Ammonium nitrate is an important fertilizer with the NPK rating 34-0-0 (34% nitrogen).It is less concentrated than urea (46-0-0), giving ammonium nitrate a slight transportation disadvantage. Ammonium nitrate's advantage over urea is that it is more stable and does not lose nitrogen to the atmosphere. During warm weather, urea is typically to only be applied before imminent rain to minimize nitrogen loss.
Ammonium nitrate is a dry granular material manufactured by reacting nitric acid with anhydrous ammonia. The reacted material is concentrated, prilled and coated to prevent caking. In ammonium nitrate, one-half of the nitrogen is in the nitrate form, and the other half is in the ammonium form.
Low density ammonium nitrate is used extensively in the mining industry and is intentionally made very porous to allow for the rapid uptake of liquid fuel oil. The prill is coated with a paraffin which makes the AMMONIUM NITRATE difficult todissolve and use for other applications. Consult your Dyno Nobel representative for additional details.
Ammonium nitrate is the preferred form of nitrogen fertilizer when it is to be applied on the soil surface and not incorporated. It does not volatilize as free ammonia, except on high pH soils. Ammonium nitrate use has declined in recent years and is being replaced by urea, which is less expensive and easier to store and maintain. Under the right conditions, ammonium nitrate can become explosive