Research Category: Innovation Grants

Real Time Liquid Manure Testing and Nutrient Management

(2018)
A.J. Krusemark

This proposal is intended to test the nutrient analysis of hog manure in order to adjust application rate on a load-by-load basis with a goal of applying the manure using a variable rate prescription.
Building on the information learned through nitrogen management trials in 2017, this project will focus on improving the precision of application rates of injected liquid hog manure to minimize risk of nitrogen losses. Application rates will be targeted to achieve required phosphorus levels,

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Eliminating Soil Erosion Using a Three Crop Rotation and Extensive Cover Crops

(2018)
Brock Olson

The objective of this project is to develop a crop rotation that significantly reduces nitrate loss and soil erosion compared to the traditional corn-soybean rotation while maintaining profitability in Southeastern Minnesota. A proven method to decrease soil erosion and nitrate loss is through the use of cover crops. Cover crop use in northern mid-west states is more difficult due to the shorter season; the cover crop that has proven itself fairly reliable in this cold climate is winter rye.

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In-season Potassium and Nitrogen Applications Based on Crop Demand Curve, Soil and Tissue Sampling

(2018)
Kevin Poppel

As an essential nutrient potassium (K) plays a critical role in corn plant development and chemical processes. As a result of the number of roles it plays in the plant, potassium uptake and utilization often interacts with the availability and uptake of other nutrients. Potassium specifically affects the uptake of nitrate nitrogen into the plant. According to research done by the International Plant Nutrition Institute, higher yields and nitrogen utilization is improved with adequate potassium levels.

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Economic and Agronomic Study of Various VRN Programs

(2018)
Les Anderson

The purpose of this project is to evaluate some of the Variable Rate Nitrogen programs against a check to see if they can reduce the amount of N per bushel of corn produced and to see if there is enough economic return to pay for the program. The field is about 68 acres in size, naturally well drained with no tile, and is very uniform consisting of mainly one soil type, with soybeans as the previous crop.

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Evaluating Optimum Inter-seeding Dates for Soil Health and Weed Control

(2018)
Matt Alford

The goal of this project is to evaluate the optimal time to inter-seed cover crops while simultaneously applying nitrogen. While this practice has become more popular, very little field-scale research has been conducted to determine how early we can inter-seed cover crops to maximize their benefit while still maintaining yield. This project will evaluate how different inter-seeding dates can affect weed control, cover crop production and corn yield. Identifying these things can improve farmer’s efficiency as well as maximize cover crop production.

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Applying Sulfur during Side-dress Nitrogen Application and Testing for Optimum Rate

(2018)
Brian Ryberg

We are interested in working with Sulfur and its effects on Nitrogen uptake. We have seen a definite advantage to using more Sulfur and we are wondering if we could see more benefits in our banded situation with our strip till system. There is an obvious relationship between Sulfur and Nitrogen on yield. We would be testing different levels of Sulfur or ATS (ammonium thio­sulfate) added into our 32% solution at side dress time around V-5 to V-6.

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Field Day

(2018)
Dan Coffman

2018 Field Day to showcase innovation grant projects, conservation tillage and cover crop components as well as other local innovation grant projects managed by fellow grant recipient Keith Hartmann. Given that the majority of Nicollet County is conventional tillage and cover crops are almost unheard of, this event would be an opportunity for other farmers to see and hear about the benefits of cover crops and conservation tillage practices.

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Novel Algae Bioreactor for Nutrient Removal from Subsurface Drainage Water

(2017)
University of Minnesota/Dr. Satoshi Ishii

Many corn growers in Minnesota install subsurface (tile) drainage to remove excess water from their fam1land. While this practice greatly enhances agricultural productivity, it can also cause leaching of excess inorganic nutrients, especially nit rate, from soil to surrounding water environments. Nutrient pollution is of concern for human health and aquatic ecosystem function. Several approaches, such as constructed wetlands and woodchip bioreactors, have been used to remove nutrients from subsurface drain water.

However,

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BioElectroChemical Reactor for Treating Agricultural Drainage Water

(2017)
University of Minnesota/Dr. Jeff Strock

Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) contamination of surface waters from non-point source agricultural pollution are a serious concern nationwide, as well as in the Midwestern US, including Minnesota. Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico has been an issue since the mid 1980’s, and is largely attributed to nutrient enrichment of marine waters by N and P entering the Gulf from the Mississippi River. A federal task force recommended a 45% reduction in N and P loads entering the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi River in order to reduce the long-term average area of the Gulf hypoxic zone to 5,000 km2 or less (Green et al,

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Nanoscience to Predict Nitrogen Mineralization in Soil

(2017)
University of Minnesota/Dr. Jeff Strock

Nitrogen mineralization has been difficult to assess. Many attempts have been made to develop indices of N mineralization, but the methodologies to do so have been elusive. These attempts have included laboratory methods of chemical extractions (Keeney, 1982) and incubation studies (Stanford and Smith, 1972); field methods of buried bag ion exchange resins (Eno, 1960) or membranes (Schnabel, 1983; Qien et al., 1993), soil nitrate-N testing (Magdoff et al., 1984); and plant tissue testing during the growing season (Rice and Havlin,

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