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Improving efficiency by splitting nitrogen application

An agronomist says splitting nitrogen application can help farmers improve efficiency and increase profitability.

Darin Lickfeldt with Verdesian Life Sciences says applying 100 percent of nitrogen prior to planting is not optimal in most cases.  “When you start getting to the edge of the Corn Belt where the soils might not be as good,” he says.  “Maybe the a-horizon (top soil) is kind of shallow or organic matter is a little low – than we definitely recommend into multiple applications.  Usually that means two.”

He tells Brownfield soils with higher organic matter can handle more nitrogen pre-plant.

“But in the less-than-ideal soil than we recommend putting say a third to a half of their nitrogen down as the side-dress treatment,” he says.  “And two-thirds to a half pre-plant.  Now if you get into those more ideal soils – you could go as far as three-quarters of the nitrogen pre-plant and then a quarter of it side-dress.”

Lickfeldt says nitrogen loss from environmental impacts can be up to 50 percent and by utilizing split applications – growers can reduce loss, improve efficiency and maximize their return on investment.

AUDIO: Darin Lickfeldt, Verdesian Life Sciences

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