[NAFEX] Ammonium vs. Nitrate

reveland at bresnan.net reveland at bresnan.net
Tue Jan 16 18:41:46 EST 2007

The article referenced said that ammonium makes tomatoes taste better than 
ammonium nitrate makes them taste when the choice of fertilizers is either 
A: Ammonium or B: Ammonium Nitrate. Now I am looking to buy some Ammonium as 
referenced in the article. What I want to know is where can I purchase some 
Ammonium (not Ammonium Nitrate). Does it come in 40 lb. bag or maybe in a 10 
ounce bottle at the nearest K-Mart. In the article they talk about ammonium 
as if it is something that can be readily purchased. I was thinking perhaps 
they are using anhydrous ammonia, but anhydrous ammonia is a dangerous 
chemical that is not used to fertilize already growing crops in a field, but 
rather is applied at planting time. It could however be used in a hydroponic 
setup although anhydrous in pure form always presents a danger to the 
applicator (boiling point is -28 C. and it is highly corrosive). What form 
of Ammonium do you suppose they used in the article.

Rodney Eveland

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Stephen Sadler" <Docshiva at Docshiva.org>
To: "'North American Fruit Explorers'" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2007 3:54 PM
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Ammonium vs. Nitrate

> You're not going to find isolated ammonium; its electrical charge makes it
> want to combine with another ion. Ammonium (NH4) is a protonated amine of
> ammonia (NH3).  You can find ammonium salts, but not just the cation
> ammonium as a solid.  A chemist can make an ammonium solution, but it 
> won't
> be ammonium in water, and the ammonium won't precipitate out except as a
> salt.  It's very reactive, and shouldn't be played with.
> Ammonia should be commonly available, it's used as a glass and floor
> cleaner.  Or are you looking for nitrogen amendments for soil?  Those, 
> too,
> are commonly available.
> ~ Stephen
> -----Original Message-----
> From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of O'Barr, R. D.
> Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2007 2:40 PM
> To: reveland at bresnan.net; North American Fruit Explorers
> Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Ammonium vs. Nitrate
> Ammonium is an adjective.
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: <reveland at bresnan.net>
> To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2007 9:08 AM
> Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Ammonium vs. Nitrate
>> It was meant to be nonsensical. Can you tell me where I can buy some
>> Ammonium? Ammonium nitrate is used in huge quantities as an explosive
> where
>> I live and you don't need dynamite to set it off. Just mix it with some
>> diesel fuel and then it can be set off with the primer from a rifle
>> cartridge, but I am more interested in learning where to purchase some
>> Ammonium. I have never seen it on the shelves of a store anywhere.
>> Rodney
>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>> From: "Jim Fruth" <jfruth at uslink.net>
>> To: "NAFEX" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
>> Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2007 7:15 AM
>> Subject: [NAFEX] Ammonium vs. Nitrate
>> > Rodney,
>> >    Your are mixing terms to the point of being nonsensical.  Ammonium
>> > Nitrate is just that, Ammonium (NH4) + Nitrate(NO3).  Conscientious
>> > fertilizer dealers often don't sell it to just anyone because it is the
>> > stuff that was the primary ingredient for blowing up the Federal Courts
>> > Building in Oklahoma City.  Uniform delivery people can be too 
>> > terrified
>> > to
>> > have it in their truck - I had it delivered once and the driver was
>> > relieved
>> > that it hadn't blown up yet - telling him that it needed another
>> > ingredient
>> > AND dynamite to set it off failed to quell his fear.
>> >    Anyway, if you are fertilizing with any form of nitrate, adding just
> a
>> > smidgeon too much can burn your plants just as fast as urea will.
>> > Ammonium
>> > is best because it is not available to plants until after soil bacteria
>> > convert ammonium to nitrate.  Soil bacteria provide a slow release of
>> > nitrate which is unlikely to ever burn plants.
>> >
>> >
>> > Jim Fruth
>> > Brambleberry Farm
>> > Pequot Lakes, MN  56472
>> > www.bberryfarm.com
>> > (218)568-8483 [Store]
>> > (218)831-7018 [My Cell]
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