Evaluation of Variable Rate Nitrogen Technologies for Corn in Minnesota


Start Date: 2014

Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Vetsch

Organization: University of Minnesota, Southern Research and Outreach Center

Status: Ongoing

Background Information:

Improving nitrogen (N) use efficiency in crop production is important for obvious economic and environmental reasons. Nitrogen fertilization of corn usually provides the greatest return on investment of any crop input; therefore, farmers and their agricultural advisors must insure adequate N is available for the crop to maximize yields and economic returns.


Crop rotation, N source, N rate, time of N application and the use of N stabilizers are all factors considered when making N recommendations. Generally, N application timing and N rate are the most scrutinized of these management decisions.


The objectives of this research project are 1) to demonstrate and evaluate soil-based (PSNT) methods for making in-season N rate adjustments (recommendations); 2) to evaluate the method’s ability to integrate climate and landscape based variability at the field scale; 3) to compare this PSNT approach for making N recommendations to a conventional preplant application by measuring grain yield, N removal, residual soil nitrate and economic return; and 4) to determine if the PSNT approach will improve N management for corn in Minnesota.

Key Findings:

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