Measuring Crop Response to Timing of Split Nitrogen Application with Recommendations Based on Multiple Nitrogen Management Tools

Brian Ahrens

With so many options on the market of nitrogen models and tools, it is a natural tendency to avid change. There is a sense of security to continue with management strategies that have been regularly used in the past. This is especially true if there seems to be no major issues or yield loss. The problem with this is the expectations and demand that are coming down the road for those in the ag industry based on the proposed regulations, what was done in the past may no longer be allowed. Based on some of the regulations that have already been proposed, in order to be compliant the way nitrogen is managed by most will likely have to change.

Split applications of nitrogen is considered a best management practice (BMP)> Applying nitrogen at more than one timing minimized risk, including nitrogen loss and economic investment based on the cost of the nitrogen source and rates used. The traditional nitrogen program that has been to apply a base rate of anhydrous ammonia stabilized with N-Serve. The anhydrous is applied with variable rate technology based on yield potential and soil characteristics. While side-dressing has been experimented with in the past, 15 gallons of UAN is what is normally used for the remainder of the crop’s nitrogen needs. With the new technologies now available for management nitrogen, research on these specific tools should be done to see if improvement can be made on the current nitrogen plan.