Maximize Nitrogen Fertilization Practices

Ensuring nutrients are available to the crop during the growing season starts with making the right agronomic and economic decisions. And dealers and growers who implement best management practices when it comes to nitrogen fertilization can boost yields and improve their bottom line.

This was the subject of CropLife Media Group’s webinar, “Maximize Nitrogen Fertilization Practices,” presented by Dr. Ron Heiniger, professor of crop science at North Carolina State University, and Jake Sanders, vice president of market development at Specialty Fertilizer Products (SFP). The two experts offered insight into managing nitrogen application to maximize yield and presented solutions for protecting that nitrogen from volatization and leaching. (View Webinar on-demand)

A Stepwise Approach

How much nitrogen should I apply? Answering this question is a challenge for many growers and dealers, Heiniger said.

“Determining how much fertilizer should be applied to a crop can be broken down into three parts: crop nitrogen requirement, nitrogen available in the soil, and fertilizer use efficiency,” he said. “The problem is these components can remain unknown at the time of planting. Plus, there are several factors that impact this process, like weather, genetics, pest damage and soil water-holding capacity.”

Successful nitrogen management in corn production requires a well, thought-out plan, Heiniger said.

“We can improve our efficiency by taking a stepwise approach, which takes into account as much information available along the steps of the process,” he said. “It uses this information to tell us how much nitrogen is coming from the soil and how much we need to add to the crop.”

Heiniger said there are four key stages when growers and dealers should address a crop’s nitrogen needs:
1. Planting. The first step of any nitrogen application system occurs at planting time, Heiniger said. “Fifty to 100 pounds of nitrogen at planting improves nutrient use efficiency and leads to higher yields,” he said. “Ensuring adequate nitrogen fertilizer influences ear size and root growth. This in turn improves the plants’ ability to uptake soil nitrogen.”

2. Layby. The layby period is an ideal time to analyze a corn crop’s nitrogen use, Heiniger said. “Let the plant give us an indicator at layby what the soil nitrogen is,” he said. “We can use the information from tissue tests and sensors to help assess what the plant’s nitrogen requirements are at this stage.”

3. Measured release. One of the key components of the stepwise approach is to ensure nitrogen is available throughout the season, Heiniger said. “Often times it can be difficult to apply nitrogen later in the season to take up the slack from what the soil can’t supply,” he said. Controlling the release of nitrogen can be accomplished through nitrogen coatings and additives, such as NutriSphere-N. “NutriSphere-N helps nitrogen to release to the crop when you need it.”

4. Assessment. Conducting a stalk nitrate test at the end of the season is an excellent postmortem assessment of nitrogen management, Heiniger said. “We can use that valuable information when planning for the next season,” he said.

Protecting Nitrogen Applications

During the webinar, SFP’s Sanders addressed a problem that impacts nitrogen’s effectiveness: Poor efficiency.

“We know that up to 50% of your nitrogen can be lost, possibly even more under extreme conditions,” he said. “This occurs through volatilization, nitrate leaching and de-nitrification. NutriSphere-N is designed to overcome these mechanisms of nitrogen loss. We want to keep that nitrogen exactly where we put it, which is available to that crop.”

NutriSphere-N starts with a water-soluble polymer that contains an enormous negative charge. “NutriSphere-N is going to sweep those positive charges out of that urea, and deactivate that enzyme to allow that urease to stay where we put it,” Sanders explained.

In addition, NutriSphere-N provides protection for nitrogen regardless of the timing of application.

“It effectively manages nitrogen without killing microorganisms in the soil and without limiting nitrogen availability through a hard shell coating,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Fertilizer Stories

Crop InputsDuPont Pioneer: Corn Belt P and K Levels Lagging
August 24, 2016
A new DuPont Pioneer study conducted across 12 Corn Belt states demonstrates that growers may be leaving profit potential in Read More
Tissue testing
FertilizerMosaic: 6 Tips For Better Crop Nutrition In Corn
August 16, 2016
Late in the crop season is a good time to assess visual nutrient deficiencies and ensure early- and mid-season deficiencies Read More
Soil
FertilizerSoil Health Experts Gain Ground On Standardized Measurements
August 11, 2016
Soil health experts from across North America plan to integrate more research projects to provide agricultural producers and policy makers Read More
Fertilizer5 Steps For Identifying Nutrient Deficiencies This Summer
August 8, 2016
As the summer growing season unfolds, the quest for ways to protect emerging crops is top of mind for many Read More
Trending Articles
ASMARK 2016 Retailers Live! Tour - CPS
CropLife 100CPS Acquires Texas Retail Operation
August 23, 2016
Crop Production Services (CPS) has acquired the assets of Larry’s Chemical and Spray, Inc., for an undisclosed amount in an Read More
Key Cooperative Marcus Construction Steel Building
Retail FacilitiesMarcus Construction Builds High-Speed Agronomy Center For Key Cooperative
July 7, 2016
Key Cooperative in Grinnell, IA, wanted a state-of-the-art Agronomy Center to better serve its customers. Marcus Construction delivered exactly that. Read More
Heritage Cooperative
Retail FacilitiesKahler Automation Designs State-Of-The-Art Facility For Heritage Cooperative
July 4, 2016
Heritage Cooperative in Marysville, OH, needed an efficient liquid, dry and grain facility to serve the many needs of their Read More
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To Explore IT Solutions
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Eric SfiligojWhat’s Next For Monsanto?
May 31, 2016
For the folks at Monsanto’s headquarters in St. Louis, MO, it has been an eventful few weeks. Back on May Read More
Latest News
MAGIE 2015 Overview
Eric SfiligojThe Read From MAGIE
August 29, 2016
As I write this column, I’ve just returned from the annual Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) in Bloomington, IL. Being Read More
EquipmentAGCO Opens Nominations For 11th Annual Operator Of The …
August 29, 2016
AGCO Corp. is now accepting nominations for 2016 Operator of the Year, which recognizes hard-working applicators across the country. These Read More
CHS St. Paul, MN fertilizer terminal
CropLife 100CHS Completes $10 Million Renovation Of St. Paul Agrono…
August 29, 2016
CHS Inc., North America’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, has completed a $10 million Read More
2016 ShowStopper | Case IH Patriot 4440 Sprayer
Equipment5 Show-stopping Products On Display At 2016 MAGIE
August 26, 2016
For 10 years now, visitors to the yearly Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) show have been tasked with voting for Read More
Crop InputsDuPont Pioneer: Corn Belt P and K Levels Lagging
August 24, 2016
A new DuPont Pioneer study conducted across 12 Corn Belt states demonstrates that growers may be leaving profit potential in Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsCould a Monsanto-Bayer Union Be 2 Weeks from Fruition?
August 24, 2016
Via STLToday.com (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch): Merger talks between Monsanto Co. and Bayer AG are advancing after a series of Read More
EquipmentCase IH Debuts Nutri-Tiller 955 Strip-Till Applicator
August 24, 2016
With strip-till continuing to expand across new acres, Case IH designed the new Nutri-Tiller 955 strip-till applicator to help producers Read More
EquipmentCase Launches Aim Command FLEX, 25th Anniversary Patrio…
August 24, 2016
Case IH announces new AIM Command FLEX advanced spray technology for greater application accuracy, as well as special 25th Anniversary Read More
ASMARK 2016 Retailers Live! Tour - CPS
CropLife 100CPS Acquires Texas Retail Operation
August 23, 2016
Crop Production Services (CPS) has acquired the assets of Larry’s Chemical and Spray, Inc., for an undisclosed amount in an Read More
PrecisionAg Video Conference
Precision AgVideo: PrecisionAg Vision Conference
August 22, 2016
A Strategic Conference Focused on the Future of Farm Digitization and Precision Agriculture Visit precisionagvision.com and register today! Read More
Young Corn Plants
Industry NewsOABA Welcomes Nicole Wallace As Communication & Adm…
August 22, 2016
The Ohio AgriBusiness Association has hired Nicole Wallace as its communication and administrative coordinator. Wallace will help provide comprehensive communication Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsChemChina, Syngenta Receive Clearance From CFIUS
August 22, 2016
China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina) and Syngenta have announced that the companies have received clearance on their proposed transaction from the Read More
ManagementAg Industry Shows and Rumors
August 18, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the upcoming trade show schedule, crop protection merger updates, and content for Read More
MAGIE 2015
EquipmentMAGIE Takes The Pulse Of The Ag Retail Industry
August 18, 2016
Every year, one of the major highlights of my career as an ag journalist is attending the Midwest AG Industries Read More
MAGIE 2015 Overview
EquipmentPride In Professionalism On Display At MAGIE
August 18, 2016
The Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association (IFCA) is proud to partner with CropLife IRON and continue the tradition of bringing Read More
SprayersJenner Ag To Debut 25th Anniversary Edition Case IH Pat…
August 18, 2016
Visitors at the 2016 Midwest Ag Industries Exhibition (MAGIE) in Bloomington, IL, will have a unique photo opportunity, as Jenner Read More
Crop InputsEU Glyphosate Controversy Heating Up Yet Again
August 17, 2016
The battle over glyphosate rages on in Europe, creating a lot of question marks over whether the herbicide will continue Read More
Industry NewsNew Partnership Provides Improved Representation At Ohi…
August 16, 2016
The Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) has retained Belinda Jones of Capitol Consulting Group, Inc. (CCG) for government relations work in Read More