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A little nitrogen can go a long way
Date:9/3/2008

s in both years generally followed the order of historical yield zones, though at Site 1 in 2003 average grain yields were not different among yield zones. Uniform nitrogen and seed density management resulted in high yields for all four site years, and site-specific management strategies resulted in no or small yield increases. Only at Site 1 in 2003 were there small but statistically significant yield increases with variable rate nitrogen management. There were no significant effects of seed density on yield, nor any interactions between seed density and nitrogen rate.

Fertilizer nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) was high in all site-years and well above national averages. NUE was particularly influenced by the amount of residual nitrate-nitrogen present in the soil profile prior to planting. At Site 1, NUE tended to be highest with the strategy that combined variable rate nitrogen with uniform seed density. At Site 2 in 2003, there was no advantage to variable rate nitrogen in NUE, while in 2004 a variable rate strategy which applied more nitrogen in high-yielding areas of the field resulted in the highest NUE.

At Site 1 in 2003, variable rate nitrogen management increased the gross economic return above fertilizer costs. However, for the other three site-years, there were no significant effects of site-specific management on profitability.

The conclusion of the study was that, using the strategies the researchers selected, they could not demonstrate consistent significant economic benefits to site-specific management. One site-year did indicate an economic benefit to site-specific management, but this was before costs associated with collecting and analyzing site-specific information were included. However, this economic analysis was conducted using 2004 values of grain and fertilizer.

With significant increases in the price of fertilizer and the value of grain in 2007 and 2008, the value of using site-specific management is lik
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Contact: Sara Uttech
suttech@agronomy.org
608-268-4948
American Society of Agronomy
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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