There’s still time to collect samples for the cornstalk nitrate nitrogen test

Fall is the time to evaluate corn nitrogen use efficiency by using the end-of-season cornstalk nitrate test. The test measures nitrate-nitrogen left in the corn plant following maturity.

According to the most recent USDA Crop Progress report released on October 27 just 46% of the nation’s corn was harvested so there is still time to collect samples for analysis. ¬†Ideally samples should be collected 1 to 3 weeks after maturity (black layer), however, over the course of 15 years of utilizing the test I have collected samples up to, and immediately after harvest. Post harvest samples can be collected if the corn header is raised high enough to allow an 8-inch stalk segment to be collected starting 6 inches above the ground. If using a head with shredders samples will need to be collected before harvest. Don’t allow stalks that have been harvested to get rained on before collection or nitrates will start washing out of the stalks.

The video provides a demonstration of sample collection and preparation in order to send to a lab for analysis.

Resilient Ag Conference Videos Now Available

Farmer_Panel_2014In August, over 200 Corn-belt farmers, crop advisors and scientists gathered in Ames, Iowa, to discuss climate uncertainty, impacts on agriculture and what can be done to make the agricultural landscape environmentally healthy and productive. Presentations included the most recent findings by scientists, from 10 land-grant universities and an agricultural research station, who are part of a USDA-supported Cropping Systems Coordinated Agricultural Project, led by Lois Wright Morton, sociology professor at Iowa State. Videos of the conference sessions, including the farmer panel session and remarks by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack; speaker PowerPoints; posters; Resilient Agriculture Magazine; and other conference handouts are now available for viewing/downloading at www.sustainablecorn.org.