Advertise Follow Us
NITROGEN (N) IS ONE of the biggest influencers on corn yield. In fact, University of Illinois plant physiologist Fred Below called it the second most important factor in his “Seven Wonders of the Corn Yield World,” ranked just behind weather.
But it can be challenging to work with. Thanks to the complex nature of the N cycle, it can change form and become inaccessible to the crop. Through the process of nitrification it converts into nitrate and is susceptible to leaching through the soil, or denitrification which results in loss to the atmosphere when the soil is saturated. Soil organic matter, moisture and temperature all impact the N cycle.
Because of this potential for N loss, some growers are turning to advisory tools to better understand how much N the crop needs throughout the growing season. At the 2020 National Strip-Tillage Conference, University of Minnesota (UMN) soil scientist Brad Carlson explained the current tools available on…