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Get a handle on possible nitrogen loss in corn

Get a handle on possible nitrogen loss in corn

Answer to nitrogen loss question on corn depends on when you applied and in what form.

Justin Petrosino, an agronomist for Stewart Seeds and part of the Agronomy in Motion program, received so many questions about how much nitrogen might be left after heavy rains in the hardest hit areas that he ran an example with the help of computer software, based heavily on statistical data, to find out.

Related: Find cause of minor problems in corn now

He used the service known as ClimatePro, offered by the Climate Corporation. Both Stewart Seeds and the Climate Corporation are divisions of Monsanto.

Where did the N go: Most of whatever N was applied on this field already appears to be long gone.

Writing in his weekly Crop Flash, Petrosino used this example. He did it once he saw that the computer info was showing that fields where all N was applied up front might come up short on N before the end of the season.

Originally, before heavy rains, the program was predicting a surplus by the end of the season in some fields.

He ran a scenario for a field with 220 units of nitrogen in the urea form incorporated before planting. He set his yield goal at 200 bushels per acre. The program predicted that the field would run 35 pounds of N short per acre.

Most fields where N was sidedressed are still showing up OK in the program, he notes. Some fields may be worse off than others however. His team runs a corn stress mitigation study near Perrysburg, Ohio. The program is indicating a 16 pound per acre shortage where the low level of N was sidedressed.

This is a year where low spots and holes, if they still have crop in them, may lose more N than corn on hillsides, he adds.

Related: Waterlogged corn raises questions about nitrogen loss

The shortfalls for nitrogen projected in the information from the Climate Pro program are based on the crop running out of N by the end of maturity.

If you want to check out some of your fields and run scenarios, Climate Corporation offers a free trial or 250 acres. This might be the year to check it out, Petrosino says.

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