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Developing Distinct Levels of Precision Nitrogen Management Strategies and Technologies for Corn in Minnesota

Study author: Dr. Yuxin Miao, University of Minnesota, Precision Agriculture Center, Department of Soil, Water, and Climate
Years of study: 2019-2021
Locations: Monticello, MN, and Wheaton MN

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The objective of this research was to develop and evaluate a remote sensing and calibration strip- based in-season corn (Zea Mays L.) nitrogen (N) recommendation strategy guided by unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), aerial or satellite remote sensing platforms. Three commercial farm fields in Minnesota, USA were selected to evaluate the proposed in-season N recommendation technique at the corn growth stage of around V8. The results indicated that 60-90% of the block-specific optimum N rates (ONRs) based on any two different platforms were within 10 kg ha-1 of each other using the recommendation method. Overall, the calibration strip method successfully increased N use efficiency (NUE) at all three sites, while maintaining yields comparable to applying farmer N rates at two of the three site-years.

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