Determine the effect on barley of adding Huma® X-Tend® B to split applications of different rates of nitrogen fertilizer. 


Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizer (EEF) additives improve crop production. Humates have been shown to improve crop yield. The Huma® EEF additive X-Tend® B is a concentrated Micro Carbon Technology® product with high levels of organic acids and nutrients that is formulated to be blended in liquid fertilizers or to be impregnated onto dry fertilizers. 

Materials & Methods 

Barley (cultivar: ABI Voyager) was grown at the agricultural research facility of the University of Idaho in Aberdeen, Idaho. The trial was conducted as a randomized complete block with four replications. The crop was grown under five different fertilizer regimes (Table 1) with 0, 45, 90, and 135 lb/urea-N per acre. The urea-N applications were split in two for 45, 90, and 135 lb N/ acre and in three sequences for a 90 lb N/acre strategy (Table 1). 

Table 1. Application and Timing of Urea, With and Without X-Tend B.

Each set of urea fertilizer had two scenarios. For the first scenario, the urea fertilizer was not coated with any material. Then urea granules were coated with X-Tend® B at 2 quarts per ton for the second scenario. The two-way split applications were applied at planting and mid-to-late tillering stages. The three-way split application for 90 lb N/acre was done at planting, mid-to-late tillering, and at flag leaf emergence (Table 1). The method of applying urea is explained in Table 1. Overhead watering was used to irrigate the crop. Barley was planted on April 20 and harvested on August 20. 


Figure 1. Barley Yield, With Urea or Urea + X-Tend® B.

Table 2. Treatment Cost and Net Return Difference Between Barley Treatments with Urea and Urea + X-Tend® B


Coating urea granules with X-Tend® B increased barley yield under all three different nitrogen levels in various split scenarios (Figure 1.) The improved yield difference was lowest for the 20/25 split at 45 lb N/acre, and it was highest for the three-way split at 90 lb N/acre. The yield increase due to coating urea with X-Tend® B translated into higher net gain per acre (Table 2). The return on investment (ROI) of applying X-Tend® B to urea in the three-way split application of 90 lb N/acre on barley was 38:1.