New technology for improving nitrogen management in corn

August 5, 2020

A multi-state Research and Education project, led by Cornell University’s Aaron Ristow and Harold Van Es, aimed to enhance nitrogen (N) management in corn acreage by calibrating a new tool, Adapt-N, and educating farmers about nutrient management.

Adapt-N is a cloud-based computer tool that provides precise N fertilizer recommendations that account for seasonal weather conditions and field-specific information on crop and soil management.

More than 20 researchers and Extension educators from 6 Northeast states (NY, NH, ME, VT, PA, MD) and WI tested Adapt‐N through 40 on-farm trials on 12 farms. The project team published a training manual and conducted more than 26 presentations at field days, webinars, regional trainings, scientific meetings, and other events reaching 3,980 farmers and others.

During the project, 72 farmers and 22 agricultural service providers used Adapt-N to better predict seasonally and spatially variable crop N requirements on more than one million corn acres. The team learned that Adapt-N use reduced N inputs by an average of 29 pounds per acre without yield losses; they also demonstrated that Adapt-N use can result in 35-40% reductions in leaching and gaseous losses of nitrogen.

Adapt-N now operates as a “public-private partnership” where Cornell University continues to hone the tool through research while Yara International handles the business aspects. The partnership was recently awarded a $1 million dollar prize to continue their work.

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Topics: Agronomic, Corn, Crop Production, Nutrient Management
Related Locations: New York, Northeast