Blog > April 2020 > Nitrogen Recommendations and Efficiency

Nitrogen Recommendations and Efficiency

April 16, 2020

4.16.20 | Nitrogen and Nitrogen Use Efficiency v2 from Central Valley Ag on Vimeo.

When we sit down with a grower to try to build a good recommendation for corn, we need to ask some questions:

1) What are your yield goals?
2) What was the previous crop?
3) Do we have a large amount of carryover nitrate we should consider?
4) How much N can mother nature give us through the mineralization of organic matter?

We can take these answers and formulate a base recommendation for nitrogen. Sometimes that recommendation is appropriate. Sometimes we have unusually high loss rates and should supplement that base recommendation with additional nitrogen. Other times we can see opportunities to limit loss and become even more efficient with the nitrogen we apply. One of the best ways to become more efficient is to spread out nitrogen across multiple applications.

One of the best visuals to help a grower is a graph showing the amount of nutrients the corn plant takes up during the growing season by growth stage. Below we have that graph for many crop nutrients from the University of Illinois. For nitrogen, we see rapid uptake taking place from V8 through tassel and even into brown silk. To maximize N use efficiency, we hold back some of the N we normally apply before the growing season and apply it during or just before this period of rapid uptake. Soil texture makes a difference here. Sandy soils do not hold nitrogen as well as soils with more clay in them. In these sandy soils, we should plan on even more applications then we do in medium and heavy texture soils.  

It’s difficult to make a good plan for a grower without sitting down with his or her soil test results and building a fertility plan based on their system. To be most efficient with your application of nitrogen, sit down and visit with your Field Sales Agronomist. Walk them through your current program and system and look for opportunities to maximize both efficiency and yield. It’s always better to build a fertility program than to just purchase fertilizer.

By Tim Mundorf, Nutrient Management Lead

Corn Nutrient Uptake and Partitioning
Source: University of Illinois
Posted: 4/16/2020 9:21:29 PM by Kelli Reznicek | with 0 comments
Filed under: agronomy, fertilizer

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