Nitrogen deficiency in corn has been a huge problem across the Midwest for the past 3 years (an estimated 1.5 billion bushels have been lost), and 2011 is shaping up to continue that trend.

Nitrogen Watch is a Web feature to help corn producers and ag service providers identify the locations with the highest probability of nitrogen deficiency.

Producers and ag service providers in these regions should prepare for rescue nitrogen fertilizer applications in the case that nitrogen deficiencies develop.

Nitrogen Watch 2011 launched on May 16, and can be found here. Radar-based precipitation maps form the basis for Nitrogen Watch.

High rainfall can lead to loss of previously-applied nitrogen fertilizer, resulting in nitrogen deficiency. Cross-hatching is used to identify areas in Missouri and in the Midwest that are on track to get enough rainfall by the end of June to cause widespread N deficiency in fields with all N applied before planting.

Currently, all of Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky are on track to have N deficiencies, along with most of Illinois and Michigan and the southeast region of Missouri. Not all of these areas will develop N deficiency problems, depending on future precipitation.

The Nitrogen Watch page will be updated weekly through the end of June to reflect current conditions based on accumulated rainfall.