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Effects of Nitrogen Application Timing on Corn Production and Soil Quality

Start Date: 2013
Principal Investigator: Paulo Pagliari
Organization: University of Minnesota, Department of Soil, Water, and Climate
Status: Complete

Background Info

This research investigates the effects of splitting a single recommended rate of N that maximizes corn production into multiple applications throughout the season. Single fall and single spring applications were tried in addition to splitting into applications at preplant, V-6 and silking stages. The research also examines the effects of splitting an N application throughout the season on microbial activity; and whether the total amount of N required for maximum corn yield can be reduced by applying small amounts throughout the growing season. This research has been conducted for three consecutive years at three locations with different soil types. Plant tissue and soil samples (0 to 4 inches) during the corn years have been collected at seven times during the growing season for assessment of nutrient uptake and soil biological and chemical properties.


Evaluate in-season corn development, grain yield, nutrient use efficiency, and soil microbial activity using different N management systems at 3 locations (Lamberton, Waseca, Becker)

Key Findings

In 2016, splitting N application at all locations had the greatest yields when equivalent N rates were compared. At Becker and Waseca, the split application led to best yields observed even when compared to the fall application and spring application. At Lamberton, similar yields were observed for the spring application regardless of split of full application at once.

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