Armament’s Beneficial Impact

closeup of armament molecule


Foliar-Pak Armament, our leading soil carbon technology, is making a difference in growers’ programs across the United States. The patented, biodegradable nutrient enhancer protects specific nutrient ions from interactions, antagonisms, and tie up in the soil, thus easily delivering nutrition to the plant in compromised soils. It’s shown effectiveness in soils with high pH, low pH, high phosphorus, high bicarbonates, high clay content, low CEC, and low organic matter. These are all situations where nutrients are tied up or unavailable and where Armament has been very successful at freeing up these nutrients for better plant uptake.

Let’s take a look at Armament and how it impacts nitrogen use. When a urea prill is applied and begins to break down at the soil surface, the free urea is under strong influence from a ubiquitous enzyme called urease. This enzyme converts urea to ammonia and carbon dioxide. Because ammonia is a very gaseous substance and very volatile, it will be lost to the atmosphere quickly, especially under high pH and temperatures. For growers, this loss of nitrogen becomes a waste of resources and money. For the plants, it’s a lost opportunity as well.


Armament increases the nitrogen use efficiency of fertilizers. Granular urea coated with Armament provides a physical barrier, which reduces the rate of ammonia volatilization. Reduced ammonia volatilization means that less nitrogen is lost to the atmosphere and more stays in the soil. A slower conversion rate of urea to ammonia creates a higher amount of conversions to ammonium, a more stable form of nitrogen.

foliar pak with armament

Ammonium nitrogen is a cation that absorbs readily to the Armament molecule. Over time, the ammonium is delivered to the root for plant uptake. Our recent research collaborating with Purdue University shows Armament on urea prills reduced volatilization by 65% over the first three days after application. This has a drastic impact on the overall nitrogen use efficiency of nitrogen fertilizers.

That’s not the only way Armament influences a soil occurring dynamic to increase nitrogen use efficiency. As previously mentioned, when plain urea is applied to the soil, it’s rapidly converted from urea to ammonia to ammonium. The quick conversion creates a rapid buildup of ammonium nitrogen in the root rhizosphere. The buildup is so fast that potassium ions can easily be booted off the cation exchange sites and be susceptible to leaching, never to be used by the plant. Armament prevents this from happening by slowing the rate of urea conversion to ammonium and increasing CEC’s effect in the upper root zone. This allows more potassium and ammonium to be held in the root zone.

Need a little more convincing Armament is you for? Give this customer experience with the actual tissue tests a read.

In this situation, we used tissue testing on a prominent southern Ohio golf course to determine how effective one liquid application of Armament products could be. The superintendent was not entirely pleased with the course’s overall turf quality and felt like he was missing out on something nutritionally. After spending time with the superintendent and discussing his recent applications, it was felt that a soil application of Foliar-Pak Armament P, Armament K, and Colonise Bio could make a difference. The same day of the discussion, we also submitted a tissue sample from his greens to AgSource.

The series of events played out this way:

  • On Thursday, May 28, 2020, the superintendent’s course was visited, and tissue samples were sent in for analysis.
  • Friday, May 29, 2020, Armament P, Armament K, and Colonise Bio were applied and watered-in.
  • Over the weekend, the superintendent noticed a nice color response.
  • Thursday, June 4, 2020, the superintendent decided to take a follow-up tissue sample from his greens that received the Armament application.

The tissue test results from before the treatment and after the treatment are below. After the application of Armament products, you can see an uptick in the plant uptake. As expected, the phosphorous and potassium concentrations increased (an application of both was made to the turf).test 1test 2

The exciting news about the tissue results was how Armament increased the availability and uptake of other nutrients. Most notably, nitrogen, magnesium, calcium, sulfur, zinc, copper, and boron were low in the first tissue test but increased to satisfactory levels after the Armament was applied.

There are many options for growers when it comes to using Armament technology. Armament Concentrate, Armament K, Armament P, Colonise Bio along with Grow-In, and Play-On are a few of the most popular ways to insert beneficial soil technology into a program. Granular fertilizers impregnated with Armament are another way to use the technology.

Curt Geron headshot
About the Author Curt Geron

I am a Foliar-Pak territory manager and the lead for Foliar-Pak product development. I’ve been with EnP Investments, the manufacturer of Foliar-Pak, for almost nine years. In addition to my responsibilities at EnP, I’ve worked as golf course superintendent and owner/operator of a lawn care company. With B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agronomy from The Ohio State University, I developed a passion for plant science and fertility. If you would like to learn more about the science behind our products or discuss practical applications for using our products to improve turfgrass and plant health, let’s connect.

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