Split Nitrogen (N) Decision Support Tool (DST) – Evaluating the Economics of Conservation

Farmers can conserve nitrogen by applying it when corn can most benefit from its application, reducing nitrogen in the water supply by keeping it in the growing crop.  How can they do so? By applying some to get the crop started and the rest after the corn is out of the ground and actively growing.

The Useful to Usable initiative has developed a new tool for use by farmer, farm managers, and crop advisors that evaluates the feasibility of transitioning to or continuing use of split applications of nitrogen during the growing season.BlogPic1

Farmers who do not sidedress nitrogen on an active crop often do so for multiple reasons. One main concern lies in the uncertainty around having the time to get across all those acres when the weather allows one to do so, before the corn grows too large to put machinery in the field. The Split N DST helps with this risk by using local weather data and fieldwork days compiled by the National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS), to estimate how likely a farmer can apply nitrogen at sidedress across all his or her acres. Continue reading