Innovative Farmers Seeking Lowest Nitrogen Rates for Corn on Sandy Soils to Protect Ground Water

Project Overview

FNC97-166
Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 1997: $4,021.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/1998
Region: North Central
State: Michigan
Project Coordinator:

Annual Reports

Commodities

  • Agronomic: corn, soybeans

Practices

  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Pest Management: chemical control, precision herbicide use
  • Production Systems: general crop production
  • Soil Management: nutrient mineralization

    Summary:

    PROJECT BACKGROUND
    I am in my 14th year of farming. I have relatives that farm but I have established and continued farming pretty much on my own initiative. That is why out of the 1500 acres I farm only about 135 acre owned, and the rest is rented. I raise corn, soybeans, navy beans, wheat and popcorn. A hundred percent of the acreage is no till. I irrigate 200 acres. I am concerned about maintaining a profitable farm operation and feel that I scrutinize my inputs and closely monitor my yields. This nitrogen management project can greatly enhance my farm profitability as it will the other farmer’s involved.

    PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND RESULTS
    The objective of this project was to find the minimum nitrogen requirement for corn production on our sandy loam soils by taking into account organic forms of nitrogen for profitable and sustainable corn production.

    Several Innovative Farmers were visiting about nitrogen plots and decided to conduct similar trials. We have all done pre side dress nitrate soil testing in the past and are all interested in finding the optimum, or lowest cost, for nitrogen side dress for our area of the state.

    Four farmers, Eric Hiscock, Mark Kies, Kevin VandyBogurt and Ed Groholski, initiated nitrogen plots in the spring of 1998. We all used the same corn variety and used similar side dress rates. These plots were taken to harvest. The cost of the nitrogen rates was subtracted form the value of the yield, and the economic data then relates the value of each treatment.

    Attached are the four trials. These trials will be included in the annual Innovative Farmer’s demonstration plot booklet that will be ready on December 7, 1998. A poster board display was used at the Branch County Farmers Day of the Innovative Farmers project.

    [Editor’s note: There are some charts that could not be posted online. If you would like to see these please email us at ncrsare@umn.edu or call us at 800-529-1342. Thanks]

    OUTREACH
    The final plot report is printed and distributed to all Innovative Farmer members and other interested persons. Extension assists with this publication. Draft copies of this year’s results are enclosed.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.