Following the surface application of granulated urea to grassland, high ammonia (NH3) losses of up to 30% have been reported. The addition of a urease inhibitor (UI) to urea granules could be a way to abate these losses. Field experiments were conducted at two intensive grassland sites in 2007 and 2008 to evaluate the potential of the new UI N-(2-nitrophenyl) phosphoric triamide (2-NPT; concentrations of 0·75, 1·0 and 1·5 g N/kg) to reduce NH3 emissions resulting from the application of granulated urea. Ammonia losses were continuously measured on plots fertilized with urea, urea + 2-NPT, calcium ammonium nitrate and a control (0N). The measurements were made with a dynamic chamber system. All measurement periods were started after a period of precipitation with a following rainless period being forecasted. Results over measurement periods of 10 days following fertilization are presented. Ammonia losses following the application of granulated urea varied between 4·6 and 11·8 kg N/ha, corresponding to 4·2 up to 14·0% of the applied nitrogen. The addition of 2-NPT to urea granules at three concentrations significantly reduced NH3 losses by 69–100%. Comparable losses of NH3 were observed for urea containing the UI 2-NPT as well as calcium ammonium nitrate, and were not significantly different from the control treatment. No relationships between losses, meteorological factors and soil moisture were observed. The addition of the UI 2-NPT to urea granules applied on grassland effectively reduced NH3 losses.