Research Category: Innovation Grants

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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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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Economic Benefit of Variable Rate Nitrogen Programs

(2017)
Samuel Peterson

Split application of nitrogen has gained popularity with growers on corn acres as a way to potentially increase nitrogen efficiency, crop yields, net profit, as well as decreasing nitrogen loss. This typically means applying a portion of nitrogen pre-plant, followed by a seasonal application (top-dress) at the V4 to V7 growth stage. Recently, a number of VRN systems have been developed to further refine the rate of nitrogen applied during the top-dress application. The rate of top-dress nitrogen depends on a number of factors: yield history,

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Drip Irrigation and Nitrogen Management

(2017)
Brian Velde

The demonstration site has been in a corn soybean rotation with conventional tillage. The field is well drained and has been grid sampled for fertility levels. The field has 13 years of yield data and RTK is used for planting consistency. The demonstration site is currently permitted for 58 acres of irrigation or 9.6 million gallons of water per year to be pumped from the Yellow Medicine River with the MNDNR permit # 2016-0797. A drip irrigation system CAD design has been designed by Maxwell Irrigation.

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Cover Crop Seeder on Side-dress Toolbar

(2017)
Brian Ryberg

We are seeking to remodel and add equipment to our current 36 row side-dress bar for applying 28% nitrogen to our corn crop. We would like to add a cover crop system to this applicator to apply seed mixture in between our corn rows to get established and then flourish as corn canopy dries down in the fall. We are also designing this applicator to be a “strip freshener” for our strip tilled rows in the spring by being able to offset the hitch 11nches to work with our 22 inch rows.

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Inter-seeding Cover Crops while Side-dressing Nitrogen

(2017)
A.J. Krusemark

This proposal is intended to monitor the nitrogen requirement and overall fertilizer cost contrasting fall applied hog manure with side-dress nitrogen, strip till with side-dress nitrogen, and conventional tillage with side-dress nitrogen. To do this several nitrogen modeling tools will be utilized (Adapt-N, Encirca, and Climate FieldView).

The test will provide results regarding the accuracy and usability of several commercially available nitrogen modeling tools. Deliverables will include cost analysis of each method of nitrogen use Cost/Pound of Nitrogen,

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Rate and Prescriptions Study

(2017)
Andy Linder

With all the different types of applicators of nitrogen on the market, I want to study the efficiency of placement, rater and timing. I want to find that I can cut my nitrogen rates without sacrificing yield. Find the least pounds of nitrogen applied per bushel produced.

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