MORE INFORMATION ON MYSTERY ORGANISM ON FERTILIZER

July 5, 2013

On June 26, I posted the two pictures below about what appeared to be a strange organism growing on urea pellets.  Several experts at Iowa State looked at the pictures and could not determine what the problem was.  Last week, we received a sample of the material.  To everyone's surprise, this was not an organism at all, but a formation of chemical crystals that appear to be biological but are in fact chemical in origin.  They are even green in color and look exactly like an organism.  We have no idea what conditions can lead to the formation of these crystals of this type on urea.  If anyone has any further insights, let me know.
 

Fertilizer Organisms

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Nick Christians Professor

Nick Christians, Ph.D. – University professor of turfgrass management, Iowa State University, Department of Horticulture, Ames, IA, and adjunct faculty, Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, IA. Dr. Christians received his B.S. from the Colorado State University ...