The Purdue University-based Useful to Usable climate initiative is taking some of the guesswork out of crop nitrogen management for more farmers by expanding its Corn Split N tool to include all Corn Belt states.
The free tool helps farmers and advisers manage the application of in-field nitrogen to maximize crop yields and minimize environmental damage. Efficient nitrogen management is critical for earning a profit in present economic conditions, said Ray Massey, Extension professor of agricultural and applied economics at the University of Missouri, a partner in the initiative known as U2U.
"Studies indicate that Split N applications to corn can improve profitability as well as increase risk," Massey said. "The Corn Split N tool helps farmers understand and manage the risk of Split N applications."
Corn Split N integrates historical data on weather and fieldwork conditions with economic considerations to determine the feasibility and profitability of completing a post-planting nitrogen application for corn production.
"U2U has combined corn yield response data from Extension crop fertility specialists together with statistical modeling of days suitable for fieldwork to expand the Split N tool to cover seven new states," said Ben Gramig, associate professor of agricultural and resource economics at Purdue.
Farmers in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio and Michigan can get customized results based on their planting and fertilization schedule, local costs and available equipment.
The tool also has a summarized fieldwork table and crop calendar so farmers can see how schedule adjustments might affect their ability to fertilize on time. Accumulations of growing degree days, or GDDs, and associated corn growth beyond the current day are estimates based on the historical 30-year average GDD accumulation for a user-selected location.
Corn Split N is part of the U2U suite of online tools that help farmers and agricultural advisers manage increasingly variable weather and climate conditions across the Corn Belt. U2U provides historical climate data that helps purchasing, marketing and activity planning throughout the growing cycle.
To access the expanded Corn Split N tool, go to www.AgClimate4u.org.
Useful to Usable is a research and Extension project, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, composed of 50 faculty, staff and students from nine U.S. universities with expertise in applied climatology, crop modeling, agronomy, cyber technology, agricultural economics and other social sciences.