Urea and Urea Additives as Fertilizer Sources for Corn Production in Minnesota

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Start Date: 2016

Principal Investigator: Fabian Fernandez

Organization: University of Minnesota, Department of Soil, Water and Climate

Status: Ongoing

Background Information:

Urea is increasingly an important nitrogen (N) source in Minnesota. Approximately 43% of our farmers use urea as their major N source. In the southwestern, south-central and west-central areas approximately 45% of the N is applied in the fall, 50% is applied in the spring, and 5% is applied at sidedress. While most of those that use urea as the major N source apply it in the spring, approximately 4% do the major application with urea in the fall and there are others that apply some of their N as urea in the fall as this application is part of the listed Best Management Practices. However, in recent years, due in part to wet spring conditions, fall urea applications have resulted in yield reduction. We will evaluate fall and spring applications of urea to determine their feasibility and calculate the economic optimum N rate for fall and spring applications when corn follows corn and corn follows soybean. Further, we will investigate the role of placement (band vs. broadcast and incorporated) and of a nitrification inhibitor to improve management of this important source. A robust 15 site-years database will be generated to provide guidelines on urea management in Minnesota.

Project Objectives:

©2017 Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council of Minnesota