Thursday, December 06, 2012

Illinois: First Results from Soil Nitrogen Monitoring Project

AgFax.Com - Your Online Ag News Source


The first results from a project to sample soil this fall to see how the dry growing season and low corn yields affected nitrogen levels are now available, said University of Illinois crop sciences professor Emerson Nafziger.

One of the reasons for conducting the study was to see how much nitrogen is in the soil now to estimate the likely nitrogen loss over the winter and early spring.

 

“November was relatively dry in Illinois, and there have been few reports of tile lines running,” he said. “Now that soils have cooled down, the nitrogen, mostly in the form of nitrate, that is in fields most likely will stay in the soil until and unless tile lines run, when we can expect some of it to exit in tile drainage water.”

The second reason was to estimate how much nitrogen is available to next year’s crop, especially if corn is planted in the same fields.

“It’s typical for some loss to take place if we have normal precipitation from fall to early spring, but if this winter is dry, some of the nitrogen there now should be available for next year’s crop,” Nafziger explained. “We can’t know how much will be there in the spring without taking soil samples at that time, preferably close to planting.”

Many people volunteered to take samples. Participants were asked to take 0- to 1-foot and 1- to 2-foot samples at a single site. Site information, including how much nitrogen had been applied in 2012 and what the yield was, was sent with the samples, which were tested for both nitrate and ammonium. About 130 sites have been sampled to date in the U of I part of this project.

Nearly all of the samples were taken following corn in 2012, many from fields where 2012 yields were low due to dry weather. Previous sampling work, while not as comprehensive as this study, has typically shown nitrate-N levels of less than 10 ppm.

Although a large number of samples came from central Illinois, there was a good distribution from east to west. Average nitrate-N levels in the top foot of soil were 26, 16, and 18 ppm in northern, central, and southern Illinois, respectively, and ranged from near zero to 89 ppm. The 89 ppm sample, from a field in the northern part of the state with a reported yield of 175 bushels per acre, was the only one with a value above 50 ppm and is probably an outlier.

The data from the sampled fields reflect the dry growing conditions over much of the state in 2012. Some of the fields in southern Illinois yielded little or nothing, while several fields in central and northern Illinois yielded from 180 to 200 bushels per acre.

Average nitrate-N levels in the 12- to 24-inch samples were 16, 12, and 18 ppm in northern, central, and southern Illinois, respectively. These values are as high as those in the top foot of soil in southern Illinois and not much less than in the top foot in central Illinois.

The weighted average of nitrate-N in the top 2 feet of all fields sampled was 136 pounds of nitrogen per acre. Nafziger said that, while the sampled fields probably do not accurately represent all fields in Illinois, 12 million acres of corn with 136 pounds of nitrogen in the top 2 feet indicates that some 800,000 tons of “labile” (able to move and be taken up by plants) nitrogen are in Illinois fields now.

As expected when water limits yields, the amount of nitrogen used in a field did not seem to affect its corn yield. A few fields with very high nitrogen rates had low yields. The association between the amount of nitrogen applied and the amount present in the fall was, however, not strong. Low yields were not associated with high amounts of leftover nitrogen.

Finally, nitrogen removal in the grain was estimated by subtracting 0.75 pounds of nitrogen per bushel from the amount of nitrogen applied as fertilizer. The results were not helpful for predicting the amount of remaining nitrogen.

How can it be that the combination of low yields due to dry conditions and high application rates of nitrogen fertilizer seem unrelated to the amount of soil nitrogen found after the season?

“This shows how complex the nitrogen interactions are in the soil,” Nafziger said. “In a year such as 2012, there is little nitrogen loss, uptake ends early as the crop stops taking up water, and fall rainfall can produce new flushes of mineralized nitrogen long after crop uptake stops. We think that soil moisture was the main factor determining both yield and the amount of nitrogen in the soil and that these two factors had independent effects in the tough year that was 2012.”

Nafziger hopes that fields sampled this fall can be sampled in the spring of 2013 to see how much nitrogen remains. Where corn in 2013 will follow corn in 2012, nitrate-N present at planting should be available to the 2013 crop unless high loss conditions prevail after planting.

Tags: ,


Leave a Reply

Name and Email Address are required fields. Your email will not be published or shared with third parties.

Sunbelt Ag News

    U.S. Rice: Planting Decisions Stalled; Alternative Crops Considered1-30

    AgFax Cotton Review: Harvest a Mixed Bag for Texas Growers; India Sells Off Stockpiles1-30

    Rice Market World: Prices Low – But More Positives Than Negatvies1-30

    AgFax Grain Review: Neonics Use Critical; Soybean Prices to Drop, Corn May Rally1-30

    Peanuts: Bankrupt Texoma Sells Mississippi Buy, Dry Facility1-30

    Florida Peanuts: Done Right, Rotation Adds Thousands Of Pounds1-30

    Grain TV: Soybean Year-to-Date Exports Lower than 20141-30

    Cleveland on Cotton: World Consumption Increases; Will U.S. Sell Out?1-30

    Rose on Cotton: Demand is Hot; Anticipate a Pre-Plant Rally1-30

    Biofuel Industry Threatened with Shutdown – DTN1-30

    DTN Livestock Close: Positive Day for Cattle1-30

    Welch on Wheat: Texas Conditions Decline, Still Above Average1-30

    Doane Cotton Close: Strong Exports Don’t Provide Strong Support1-30

    AFB Grain-Soybean Close: General Weakness Continues1-30

    AFB Cotton Close: Narrow Trade Ends Lower1-30

    AFB Rice Close: Hard Sell Off1-30

    Harvard Farm Boy to Show Fellow Students Real Farmers – DTN1-30

    Welch on Grain: Corn, Sorghum Continue to See Strong Exports1-30

    DTN Cotton Close: Tight Trade Ends at Midrange1-30

    2015 Is International Year of the Soils – Video1-30

    Catfish Production Acres Declined 10%1-30

    USDA: Peanut Price Highlights1-30

    DTN Grain Close: Late Corn Rally1-30

    Weekly Cotton Market Review1-30

    DTN Livestock Midday: Cattle Futures Bounce Higher1-30

    DTN Grain Midday: Corn, Soybeans Lead Drop1-30

    Farm Management: 3 Reasons to Praise A Job Well Done – DTN1-30

    Farming: Leaner Profits Drive Farm Loans – Not Equipment Purchases1-30

    Ethanol Remains Competitive as Gasoline Blend Despite Price1-30

    DTN Cotton Open: Futures Start off Lower1-30

    DTN Livestock Open: Aggressive Pressure to Continue1-30

    Bt Corn Hybrid Manufacturers May Face New EPA Rules1-30

    DTN Grain Open: Trade Begins Quietly Higher1-30

    Georgia Cotton: Glyphosate-Resistant Pigweed Fight Requires Vigilance1-30

    Keith Good: $4.8 Billion Hit to Farm Program Possible Over 10 Years1-30

    Mississippi River Locks – ‘Held Together with Baling Wire and Duct Tape’ – DTN1-29

    Senate Passes Keystone Bill, Unable to Get Supermajority – DTN1-29

    ELS Cotton Competitive Payment Rate Is Zero1-29

    California: New Robotic Weeder to Save Time, Money1-29

    Peanut Stocks: Utilization Up 6% from Last Year1-29

    U.S. Grain Transportation: Corn Inspections Highest Since October1-29

    North Carolina: Cotton Variety Performance Data Available1-29

    Texas Pecans: Trade Slow as Harvest Winds Down1-29

    Western Region Pecans: Light Deliveries, Harvest Nearly Done1-29

    U.S. Energy: Market Balances Seen in Changing Futures Price Spreads1-29

    Gasoline Prices: Average Declines Again1-29

    Propane Stocks: Down 1.9M Barrels1-29

    Diesel Prices: Average Drops 7 Cents1-29

    North Carolina: Feb. 4 Meeting Looks At Crop Mix, Marketing Decisions For 20151-28

    Biodiesel: Policy Incentives Necessary for Profitability1-28

    AgFax Peanut Review: Peanut Protein Cure for Nut Allergy?1-28

    DTN Fertilizer Trends: Fewer Pre-Purchases Than Normal1-28

    Ag Lenders’ Sentiment – Latest National Survey From K-State – (Audio)1-28

    Drones – The Next Big Tool in Agriculture1-28

    AgFax Rice Review: Govt. Action Requested Over Iraq Trade; Japan May Increase U.S. Imports1-28

    Seramas: Little Chickens With Great Personality1-28

    Ag Fuel Costs Likely to Dip, Chemicals to Rise in 2015 — DTN1-28

    Seed Companies Expected to Hold Line on Price Increases — DTN1-28

    Soybeans: Higher Protein Levels Mean Better Quality, Better Prices – DTN1-27

    Crop Insurance: Most Corn Farmers Opting for PLC – DTN1-27

    Soybean Rust Turns Up In Louisiana On Kudzu1-27

    Florida: AgSave Summit Meetings, Feb. 231-27

    Crop Insurance: Difference in Expected Program Payments1-27

    Wild Hogs: North Carolina Hunter Scores Record Kill1-27

    Soybeans: East Coast Winter Weather Is No Match for Biodiesel1-27

    Cotton: Industry Recognizes Utah Researcher For Cotton Genome Efforts1-27

    Corn and Soybean Market: Consumption is the Story1-27

    Sunbelt Ag Events

     

    About Us

    AgFax.Com covers agricultural trends and production topics, with an emphasis on news about cotton, rice, peanuts, corn, soybeans, wheat and tree crops, including almonds, pecans, walnuts and pistachios.

      

    This site also serves as the on-line presence of electronic crop and pest reports published by AgFax Media LLC (formerly Looking South Communications).

        

    Click here to subscribe to our free reports.

      

    We provide early warnings and confirmations about pests, diseases and other factors that influence yield. Our goal is to quickly provide farmers and crop advisors with information needed to make better and more profitable decisions.

         

    Our free weekly crop and pest advisories include:

    • AgFax Midsouth Cotton, covering cotton production and news in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Missouri.

    • AgFax Southeast Cotton, covering cotton production and news in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

    • AgFax Southwest Cotton (new for 2013!), covering cotton production and news in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico.

    • AgFax West (formerly MiteFax: SJV Cotton), covering California cotton, alfalfa, tomatoes and other non-permanent crops in California's Central Valley.

    • AgFax Rice covering rice production and news in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.

    • AgFax Peanuts, covering peanut production in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

    • AgFax Southern Grain: covering soybeans, corn, milo and small grains in Southern states.

    • AgFax Almonds, covering almonds, pistachios, walnuts and other tree crops in California's Central Valley.

    • AgCom 101, providing guidance to ag professionals involved in social media.

    Our newsletters are sponsored by the following companies: FMC Corporation Chemtura Dow AgroSciences.

          

    Mission statement:

    Make it as easy as possible for our community of readers to find and/or receive needed information.

              

    Contact Information:

    AgFax Media. LLC

    142 Westlake Drive Brandon, MS 39047

    601-992-9488 Office 601-992-3503 Fax

    Owen Taylor Debra L. Ferguson Laurie Courtney

          

    Circulation Questions?

    Contact Laurie Courtney