Nebraska Soil Scientist Charles Shapiro offers a synopsis of two new publications, both with University of Nebraska authors, that address the question of the nitrogen deficit between soil supply and nitrogen fixation and what affects whether increased nitrogen leads to increased yield.
Dean Stevens well knows the value of getting a bird’s-eye view of his crops to assess plant health, wind damage, and pest threats. Now, with the support of an NCR SARE grant, this southeast Nebraska farmer is using a drone outfitted with crop sensors to assess corn nitrogen needs and respond with variable rate in-season applications.
Nitrogen is a key factor in farm management and economics. One of the most expensive inputs for corn production, it can be easily lost to the environment. One avenue for losing N, as nitrous oxide, has an impact on our climate as a greenhouse gas. Successful strategies for reducing N losses, especially as nitrous oxide, benefit both farmers and the environment.
Following heavy spring rains, farmers may be interested in testing for soil nitrogen availability. This article notes a new publication from Iowa State University on using the Late Spring Soil Nitrate Test (LSNT) as well as other options for assessing soil nitrate.