Nitrogen Use Efficiency with Split Application of Nitrogen on Fields with Manure History

Doug Starks

As greater focus is placed on nutrient reduction strategies, identifying better methods of nitrogen management becomes more critical than ever. Relying on some of the standard historical nitrogen management practices will no longer be an options as they may not be accepted as a best management practice moving forward. An impulsive reaction may be to assume that nitrogen rates will have to be drastically reduced, but what is really needed is to just look at managing nitrogen differently. The objective of this project is to analyze and compare multiple innovative nitrogen management strategies against the current nitrogen program used on the farm which has extensive manure history. By utilizing a different nitrogen program, the goal is to identify which practice will most improve nitrogen use efficiency across the farm operation.

Extensive grid soil nitrate tests will be taken and analyzed with Central Advantage’s NitrateNow program, Adapt-N and ammonium testing at a certified lab. This will help determine a baseline of nitrogen in the soil that is available to the crop, the rate that should be applied, and aid in the decision making process of timing of application by split applications. Multiple fields will be evaluated with this research based on current nitrogen management for fields with and without fall manure application.