Optimize your nitrogen investment with precision agriculture technologies | Agriculture


With harvest wrapping up, many are nitrogen fertilizer plans for the yr. In a rising season with excessive fertilizer costs just like the upcoming 2022, various the quantity of nitrogen throughout the subject may end in value financial savings and yield enhance, boosting your general subject revenue. For instance, if components of your subject have excessive or low natural matter, or excessive and low yielding areas, variable fee nitrogen utility can goal the precise wants of the sector with out spending further value in areas that will not repay in yield.

In one subject in 2021, we evaluated eight nitrogen charges starting from 70 to 250 lb-N/ac utilized in contrasting yield zones. Yield for every nitrogen fee and zone had been decided utilizing a yield monitor and the financial optimum nitrogen fee that maximizes revenue was calculated for 2021 and 2022 worth eventualities. The financial optimum nitrogen fee different drastically in numerous parts of the sector primarily based on elevation, which influenced drainage, soil moisture, crop yield, mineralization and nitrogen losses. Using the 2021 worth situation ($5/bu corn and $0.40/lb N), the optimum nitrogen fee was 136 lb-N/ac within the excessive elevation portion of the sector and 243 lb-N/ac within the low elevation portion of the sector. This demonstrates an important alternative to maximise nitrogen effectivity and profitability by various the nitrogen fee on this subject.

The grower’s typical flat nitrogen fee was 190 lb-N/ac. With the 2021 worth situation of $5/bu corn and $0.40/lb-N:

— For zones 1, 2, and three, the grower may have decreased nitrogen fee by a median of 51 lb-N/ac to realize the EONR; for these 30 acres the nitrogen financial savings would end in elevated revenue of $612.

— For zone 4, the grower fee of 190 lb-N/ac was under the optimum nitrogen fee of 243 lb-N/ac. For these 10 acres, this resulted in a nitrogen financial savings of $212. However, this additionally resulted in a yield lack of 21 bu/ac by under-applying nitrogen, which resulted in a $1,050 lack of income. Thus, the discount in revenue on these 10 acres was $838.

— In whole, the financial profit for making use of a variable, optimum nitrogen fee on these 40 acres quite than a flat fee of 190 lb-N/ac was $1,450 for the 2021 worth situation.

— EONR was decrease in all zones with the 2022 worth situation ($5/bu corn and $0.90/lb-N) in comparison with the 2021 worth situation ($5/bu corn and $0.40/lb-N).

Find out what technologies and nitrogen administration methods will work greatest on your farm by working with the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network.

There are many instruments that producers could also be focused on attempting. In 2021, Nebraska farmers working with the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network ( evaluated nitrification inhibitors, crop cover sensors, crop fashions, nitrogen charges, nitrogen timing and organic merchandise. Working with the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network is a good way to learn how completely different technologies will work on your farm. There are quite a few protocols associated to nitrogen administration out there on-line ( via the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network.

Farmers and agronomists who take part within the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network work intently with Nebraska Extension educators and specialists to conduct their trial. Nebraska Extension helps to arrange the trial in a sturdy approach, analyzes the outcomes and produces a abstract report for the grower. Participants are additionally capable of community with others who’re conducting analysis throughout the state on the annual on-farm analysis outcomes replace conferences.

Precision nitrogen administration

Additionally, due to a $1.2 million grant from the USDA-NRCS, producers focused on testing particular technologies — inhibitors, crop cover sensors and crop fashions — could be compensated for the price of evaluating these technologies. Cooperating producers will probably be eligible to obtain as much as $1,200 for eligible know-how prices related with these research. Additionally, contributors within the Precision Nitrogen Management Project will probably be eligible for a $1,300 fee in recognition of their time and useful resource commitments and to mitigate danger of potential yield (and due to this fact potential revenue) loss. The aim of the Precision Nitrogen Management Project ( is to present producers a chance to get hands-on expertise with new technologies that may assist them handle nitrogen extra effectively.

Contact Laura Thompson, Extension educator and director of Nebraska On-Farm Research Network through e mail at or by cellphone at 402-245-2224, or Laila Puntel, soil fertility and precision agriculture specialist, through e mail at or through cellphone at 402-472-6449.