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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #345992

Research Project: Sustainable Intensification of Grain and Biomass Cropping Systems using a Landscape-Based GxExM Approach

Location: Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research

Title: Evaluation of the Haney Soil Health Nutrient Tool for corn nitrogen recommendations across eight Midwest states

Author
item Yost, Matt
item Veum, Kristen
item Kitchen, Newell
item Sawyer, J - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Camberato, J - PURDUE UNIVERSITY
item Carter, P - DUPONT PIONEER HI-BRED
item Ferguson, R - UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA
item Fernandez, F - UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
item Franzen, D - NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Laboski, C - UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
item Nafziger, E - UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS

Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/12/2018
Publication Date: 9/1/2018
Citation: Yost, M.A., Veum, K.S., Kitchen, N.R., Sawyer, J.E., Camberato, J.J., Carter, P.R., Ferguson, R.B., Fernandez, F.G., Franzen, D.W., Laboski, C.A., Nafziger, E.D. 2018. Evaluation of the Haney Soil Health Nutrient Tool for corn nitrogen recommendations across eight Midwest states. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 73(5):579-592. https://doi.org/10.2489/jswc.73.5.587.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.2489/jswc.73.5.587

Interpretive Summary: Soil biological tests are being developed to estimate soil N availability and subsequently corn fertilizer N recommendations. The objective of this research was to evaluate how N fertilizer recommendations and components of the Soil Health Nutrient Tool (SHNT) relate the optimum N rate for corn grain yield. Trials were conducted at 17 sites in eight Midwest US states in 2016 with a standard set of protocols that included a range of N fertilizer rates applied at planting and as a split between planting and sidedress, soil samples for the SHNT prior to planting, grain harvest at physiological maturity, and determination of optimum N rate for the two N application timings. Results indicated that SHNT recommendations accounted for <=30% of the variation in the optimum N rate among sites. Two components of the SHNT not directly used in the N recommendation for corn, the soil health calculation and the 24 hr flush of CO2 following rewetting of soil (known as Solvita®), accounted for the most variation in the optimum N rate. The soil health calculation and Solvita were highly correlated and subsequently both accounted for about one-half of the variation in the optimum N rate for N applied at planting and nearly two-thirds of the variation for N applied as a split. Thus, these two components, but especially Solvita because it costs less to determine and is highly correlated to the soil health calculation, may help improve N recommendations for corn in the Midwest. These results will help advance the development and use of soil biological tests for fertilizer recommendations, and will help producers more profitability manage N fertilizer in corn.

Technical Abstract: Use and development of soil biological tests for estimating soil N availability and subsequently corn (Zea mays L.) fertilizer N recommendations is garnering considerable interest. The objective of this research was to evaluate relationships between the Soil Health Nutrient Tool (SHNT), also known as the Soil Health Tool or Haney test, and the economically optimum N rate (EONR) for corn grain yield at 17 sites in eight Midwest US states in 2016. Trials were conducted with a standard set of protocols that included a nonfertilized control plus six N rates applied at planting or as a split between planting and sidedress, soil samples for the SHNT prior to planting, grain harvest at physiological maturity, and determination of EONR for the two N application timings. Results indicated that SHNT recommendations with expected yield accounted for <=30% of the variation in EONR among sites. Two components of the SHNT not directly used in the SHNT N recommendation for corn, the soil health calculation and the 24 hr flush of CO2 following rewetting of soil (Solvita®), accounted for the most variation in EONR. The soil health calculation and Solvita were highly correlated (R2 = 0.98) and subsequently both accounted for about one-half (R2 = 0.48) of the variation in EONR for N applied at planting and nearly two-thirds (R2 = 0.61) of the variation for N applied as a split. Thus, these two components, but especially Solvita because it costs less to determine and is highly correlated to the soil health calculation, may help improve N recommendations for corn in the Midwest.