LANDSCAPE-BASED CROP MANAGEMENT FOR FOOD, FEED, AND BIOENERGY
Location: Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research
Title: Sensor-based nitrogen applications out-performed producer-chosen rates for corn in on-farm demonstrations
Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 21, 2011
Publication Date: October 16, 2011
Citation: Scharf, P., Shannon, K., Sudduth, K.A., Kitchen, N.R. 2011. Sensor-based nitrogen applications out-performed producer-chosen rates for corn in on-farm demonstrations [abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual International Meeting, October 16-19, 2011, San Antonio, Texas. 358-10.
Optimal nitrogen (N) fertilizer rate for corn can vary substantially within and among fields. Crop reflectance sensors offer the potential to diagnose crop N need and control N application rates at a fine spatial scale. Our objective was to evaluate the performance of sensor-based variable-rate N applications relative to a constant N rate chosen by the producer. Fifty-five on-farm demonstrations were conducted from 2004 to 2008. Sensors were installed on the producer’s nitrogen application equipment and used to direct variable-rate sidedress nitrogen applications to corn at growth stages ranging from V6 to V16. A fixed N rate chosen by the cooperating producer was also applied. Relative to the producer’s N rate, sensors increased partial profit and yield while reducing N use. Our results confirm that sensors can choose N rates for corn that perform better than rates chosen by producers.