Nitrogen Management Using Climate FieldView

TRIAL OVERVIEW

  • From fall application to spring application, to side dressing, to different nitrogen (N) sources and rates, to different growing conditions year-after-year, the nitrogen practice that best optimizes corn productivity needs to be understood for sustainable operations.
  • The Climate FieldView™ nitrogen management tool provides insight into the N status of a field throughout the growing season to help growers efficiently manage this vital resource.
  • RESEARCH OBJECTIVE

    To evaluate how the Climate FieldView nitrogen management tool may assist growers in managing their N applications and usage in the most profitable way when compared to local standards.

    Location Soil Previous
    Crop
    Tillage Type Planting
    Date
    Harvest
    Date
    Potential
    Yield/Acre
    Planting Rate/Acre
    Huxley, IA Clay Loam Soybean Conventional 04/24/2017 10/17/2017 225 bu/acre 34,000 seeds/acre

    SITE NOTES:

    • A 110 RM SmartStax® RIB Complete® corn blend product was used for this trial.
    • The trial was carried out in 30-inch row spacing, 6 rows/treatment, with 2 replications.
    • The N treatments were based on a grower standard rate of 160 lbs N/acre for the research site. The treatments tested are shown below (Table 1).
    • Treatments Description
      80 PRE* 50% Grower Standard PRE*
      160 PRE* 100% Grower Standard PRE*
      175 NMT PRE* 100% Climate FieldView™ nitrogen management tool (NMT) PRE*
      105 PRE* + 55 65% Grower Standard PRE* followed by 35% side dress at V5
      105 PRE* + 60 NMT 65% Grower Standard PRE* followed by NMT side dress at V5

      Table 1. *PRE indicates that nitrogen was applied pre-plant (before planting).

       
       

      Figure 1. Screenshots of the N status of the three pre-plant (PRE) N treatments as modelled by the Climate FieldView nitrogen management tool. The model was for a target of 10 lbs N/acre at black layer. Red (top) indicates severe deficit, yellow (middle) indicates potential deficit, and green (bottom) indicates some surplus at black layer.

      UNDERSTANDING THE RESULTS

      • The different treatments significantly affected the N availability throughout the growing season (Fig. 1). The 80 PRE treatment showed a severe N deficit, whereas the 160 PRE treatment was on the verge of deficiency. In contrast, the 175 NMT PRE (Fig. 1) and the other split application treatments (not shown here) showed surplus levels of N at black layer.
      • The Climate FieldView nitrogen management tool (NMT) gave application rate recommendations slightly higher than the grower standards in both the 100% PRE and the split application treatments.
      • Split applications out-yielded the 100% PRE applications in both the NMT and the grower standard practice (Fig. 2).
      • The NMT recommendation resulted in higher yields than the grower standard practices.
      • Using the NMT resulted in higher economic returns over the grower standard practice with up to $30 higher net income at the 100% PRE rate, and up to $19 at the split application rate.
      • The treatment with the lowest N rate (80 PRE) had the lowest yields and the lowest income.
       

      Figure 2. Effects of N management on the average yield and profitability of corn.

      WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR FARM?

      • N management in corn production continues to be a subject of much research. This, in part, is due to the complexity of the nitrogen cycle with regards to its availability to plants.
      • Every growing season is different and has a significant impact on the performance of farm inputs. During the 2017 growing season, the research site experienced drought and high temperature conditions interspersed with a few 2-3” rainfalls, a scenario that significantly affects N dynamics in the soil.
      • Climate FieldView™ nitrogen management tool continues to adjust the N status model throughout the growing season as environmental conditions change. This provides real time insights to help growers make informed decisions.
      • Growers are encouraged to invest in tools like this to help with operation decisions, especially those that depend on unpredictable variables, like weather conditions during the growing season.