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first_img Facebook Twitter Facebook Twitter SHARE Choosing The Right Nitrogen Rate For Corn Is Important To Profitability Home News Feed Choosing The Right Nitrogen Rate For Corn Is Important To Profitability By: Jim Bamberato, Bob NielsenPurdue UniversityAlthough nitrogen (N) fertilizer can be costly, it is needed to optimize profit in Indiana cornfields. Applying too little N reduces profit by reducing grain yield. Too much N does not return value and can also damage the environment.Results from 167 field-scale N response trials conducted over more than 10 years underpin current region-based N recommendations. These data-driven N recommendations replaced the old yield-goal based system1, which was proven ineffective. Current recommendations represent the N rate for maximum profit over the long-term, but differences in soil type, management, and weather can result in lower or higher N requirements in any given situation. Rainfall after N application will primarily determine the efficiency of applied N2, with excessive rainfall causing higher N loss and greater need for fertilizer N. Although N applied prior to planting this season has not been subject to conditions promoting N loss in most areas of Indiana, N loss can occur season-long, particularly prior to the V8 growth stage when corn N uptake and water use are relatively low.Economic optimum N rates vary by as much as 40 pounds of N per acre across regions so adjusting the N rate by region is important. Recommended rates can also be adjusted by the price of N fertilizer and the expected value of grain using tabular data in the publication “Nitrogen Management Guidelines for Corn in Indiana”3. With N at $0.40 per pound and corn at $3.25 per bushel, the average N rate needed on fine-textured soils to maximize profit is about 30 pounds per acre less than that needed to maximize yield. On sandy non-irrigated soils, the difference is only about 10 pounds per acre. Using the economic optimum N rate, rather than the N rate needed for maximum yield, would reduce yield 1 to 3 bushels per acre across soil textures and regions. The loss in profit when fertilizing to maximize yield would be approximately $7 per acre for fine-textured soils, but only $2 per acre on sandy non-irrigated soils.Nitrogen rates recommended are for efficient applications of N, such as anhydrous ammonia (AA) within a couple of weeks prior to planting or sidedressed AA or liquid N. Earlier applications of liquid N2 or surface applications of urea on no-till ground4 can reduce profit under certain conditions. By Hoosier Ag Today – May 22, 2020 SHARE Previous articleHow Does Flooding Affect Soybean Germination?Next articlePlanting Forecast: More Moisture Than We Would Like Hoosier Ag Todaylast_img read more

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