Is Managing Nitrogen For Corn Getting More Difficult?
Jeff Vetsch who is a Scientist at the Southern Research and Outreach Center at Waseca wrote a blog in the University of Minnesota crop-news that caught my attention. There is no doubt managing nitrogen fertilizer in corn has gotten more difficult because of all the heavy rain! Annual precipitation has been trending higher across Minnesota especially in south-central and southeast Minnesota the last few years.
"In 2016, when Minnesota set the state's annual precipitation, Waseca recorded over 56 inches. In 2018, Caledonia and Harmony both recorded over 56 inches. Last year, several weather stations in the region reported 50+ inches in three of the last four years." There is a good chance this trend will continue so farmers will need to try and plan how to better manage nitrogen applications!
There was one study Jeff did looking at split applications of Nitrogen, A portion of the nitrogen was put on in the spring before planting. The remainder of the nitrogen was applied in season when the corn was 10 inches tall. In 25 percent of the research sites, a split application of nitrogen increased corn yield by 11 bushels an acre.
Split application of nitrogen increasing corn yield 25 percent of the time may not be huge, but note a split application of nitrogen never reduced the corn yield. Read the blog written by Jeff at the University of Minnesota Extension crop-news blog!